Road Trips and Power Wheelchairs

Road trips can be fun depending on the type of person you are. I’m the guy that just wants to get there and get it done! So, I generally don’t try to drag it out. I do this because I want to spend as much time as I can at the destination. Wherever I’m going, I’m usually driving there for a reason. So, I don’t make too many stops and I just try to power through, as some would say. So, if you’re planning for a road trip, here are some tips to follow.

Plan your route

Before you leave, take a look at Google Maps, your GPS or the typical road atlas and plan out the route you are going to take. Look into alternate routes as well, because accidents can happen and if there’s roadwork, the traffic gridlock can really slow you down.

Stick to Power Wheelchair-Accessible Rest Stops

Check your vehicle’s fluids before getting on the road

If you’re driving on a major road or interstate, generally, there will be rest areas and welcome centers along the way. The large commercial service plazas that service both truckers and cars are more likely to offer important amenities like fuel and food and beverage services. They are also more likely to be power wheelchair accessible, as opposed to a regular gas station that’s right off the highway. For example, when driving through Illinois, the rest areas and welcome centers have bathrooms, picnic areas, lighted walkways, maps, security cameras and plenty of parking for both recreational vehicles and commercial trucks. So, while planning your trip, check out the states you will be visiting to see what kind rest areas they have and make sure they are power wheelchair accessible.

Pack Your Own Food

road surrounded by green trees
Photo by suzukii xingfu on

If you’re like me and want to get to your destination as quickly as possible, packing your own food is a good idea. This will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend stopped. Plus, with COVID-19 always a consideration, packing your own food reduces your contact with other people who are also on the road.

When I moved back from California to Chicago, it took me three days of driving. There were a lot of places where I could’ve stopped and explored. Instead, each day I woke up and drove as far as I could. I’d find a hotel, sleep, then wake up and do it all over again until I reached home. I had my dog, Mya, and my cat, Ary, in the car with me, so any kind of exploring or extended stops would’ve been a lot more difficult.

While I’ve done a lot of road trips, I have never actually planned a road trip just to do a road trip and visit a bunch of places. I’d like to though! I picture myself doing that in an RV of some kind, making a big circle around the country. For now though, I’m a guy who turns up the tunes, drinks Powerade and munches on sunflower seeds the whole way.

What kind of road tripper are you?

About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.

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