Traveling around the city in a wheelchair comes with obstacles. These obstacles shouldn’t stop you from getting outside the house, heading out to the city, and getting done what you need to do, however. Wheelchair accessible travel is possible, so don’t let your wheelchair limit you from doing everything that everyone else is able to do.
You might feel overwhelmed, anxious, and a bit nervous to go out into the city when you’re not sure how wheelchair-friendly it’ll be. These feelings are normal. Once you’re able to learn how to tackle the big city in your wheelchair, however, you’ll be able to navigate through any city you want.
To get some insider tips on how to take over large cities in your wheelchair, here’s our complete guide to everything you need to know.
Planning Ahead for Transportation
When traveling to the city, it’s best to always plan ahead for the kind of transportation you’ll use. Having a plan set in place will help your city adventure go as smoothly as possible. Look into what transportation options you have for that particular city.
If you plan to take the subway, you’ll need to research which subways are wheelchair-friendly, because not all of them are. Be sure to have a route planned for wherever it is you’re going and back. The subway you take should have working lifts, so it might be best to give a few a call before selecting which one you’ll take.
The bus is another great option for getting you around large cities. City busses come with wheelchair-accessible features. Be sure to position yourself in a spot where the bus driver can see you and then use the appropriate bus features to make your ride easy and enjoyable.
If the public bus isn’t how you like to travel, then you also have the option of taking a taxi. The only downfall about choosing the taxi option is that not all taxis are wheelchair accessible. To ensure you get a taxi that is, call or book your taxi ride ahead of time online.
Finding Accessible Restrooms
When you’re at home or in the small areas of town, finding accessible bathrooms might not be as big of a problem. When in the big city, however, it could be a bit more difficult. With all the busy city hustle going on beside you, you’ll want to know how to find wheelchair-accessible public bathrooms quickly.
The best way to find these kinds of restrooms is to look for newer buildings or some of your favorite popular franchises. These types of places are your best bet at finding good public restrooms.
Ensuring There’s a Plan B
Whether you’re traveling alone or with a companion, it’s essential to always have a backup plan. A backup plan will ensure that nothing can ruin your trip. Consider all of the things that could possibly go wrong.
What if the type of transportation you chose to use is having mechanical issues? Do you have a backup transportation plan in place? What are your plans for if something were to go wrong with your chair?
Be sure to bring spare parts with you and have a solid backup plan in place. Doing this will keep you from encountering any more obstacles than there needs to be.
Locating Accessible Sidewalks
If you’re visiting a large city, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be navigating through different walkways and sidewalks. Do your best to take your time and locate all sidewalk inclines for wheelchair access.
If you don’t know where these inclines are located, then you may end up stuck on the road in a dangerous situation. Instead, be sure to know where each incline is at for easy and quick road crossing.
Completing Maintenance Before Leaving
Your chair is a piece of equipment that needs regular maintenance to ensure it runs as it should. It wouldn’t be the best idea to head out for the day without doing a quick inspection first. Imagine arriving in the big city and become stuck because something goes wrong with your chair.
All repairs should be made before hitting the city and your chair should be serviced recently before your trip as well. Doing this will ensure your trip is as error-free as it can be.
Learning as You Go
One of the most important things about traveling to large cities is to learn from your experiences. If it’s your first time exploring large cities, then you can expect there to be a few hiccups here and there. Rather than letting these small obstacles defeat you, find ways to overcome them and then prevent them in the future.
Sometimes it takes failures to perfect a craft. Learn as you go when visiting a large city. The more often you visit, the easier it’ll become. You’ll start to learn what type of transportation works best for you, where all the wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are, and where all of the sidewalk inclines are located.
Keeping Mental Health in Mind
Being limited to the things you can do has an effect on your mental health. It can be hurtful to see others doing things that you’re unable to do. This is why it’s so important to keep your mental health in mind.
Speak with your doctor about your mental health and how to keep yourself healthy. You may have more obstacles than others when taking on the city, but you can do all of the things anyone else can do when you have the right mindset.
Approach the city in the right state of mind and there’s nothing you won’t be able to tackle.
Wheelchair Accessible Travel Does Exist
If you believe that you cannot tackle a large city in your wheelchair, then think again. Wheelchair accessible travel is possible when you keep these tips in mind.
If you’re looking to buy a new chair to accompany you on your next city journey or service the one you have, then be sure to contact us today.