Planning accessible travel, especially a trip to a foreign country can be both overwhelming and exciting. In the month of November, I went on a trip to Peru for about three weeks. I had been planning this trip all year. I learned about the charity, Chair the Hope, a few years ago. It was founded by a man Nathan, who is a paraplegic. He understands the lack of access to wheelchairs and the need for freedom and mobility. He takes humanitarian groups all around the world to deliver wheelchairs to those in need. I had a lot of preparation to do before this trip, so here’s a few things I did to ensure my trip was both enjoyable and accessible to me.
Research Your Destination and Activities
As a wheelchair user, I was immediately drawn to this opportunity to travel with Chair the Hope. I knew that I would be in good hands traveling with Nathan, another wheelchair user, but I also knew I needed to do the research to know what to expect. I looked into hotels so I could see what wheelchair accessible rooms are like. I also looked up several of the attractions we were planning to visit so I could see how to adapt the experience for my needs.
Accessible Travel Packing Tips
When it came to packing, I deciding to travel with a portable shower chair and removable grab bar. While I didn’t need them in the end, it was nice to have them just in case.
I was also pleasantly surprised with how accessible the city of Lima was. There were plenty of ramps and the doors to most buildings were wide enough. Some of the ramps were rather steep, but I was grateful they even had the ramps. While I didn’t bring one, many wheelchair users often pack portable ramps, in case their destination proves to be inaccessible. The people in Lima were also very willing to help. They were kind and friendly. I always felt like I could ask for help if I needed.
Staying Flexible When Traveling
When traveling, especially to a foreign country, it’s important to be flexible. If something doesn’t go exactly the way you plan it, just go with the flow. Sometimes, especially in foreign countries, the experiences will take you out of your comfort zone and when you allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone, your experiences can be even more magical than you could ever imagine.
Click here to read part two of this blog series.
About Kerri Knudson: Kerri lives in Utah with her daughter. She uses a 4Front® 2 Power Wheelchair and loves exploring the outdoors. Click here to learn more about Kerri.
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