Travel Made Easy: Can you do that?

Usually, I write about how mobility challenged people can continue to travel. But I had a phone call this week from someone wanting to travel to Europe with a few friends. Not unusual. The person goes on to tell me “My friends have all had knee replacements, hip replacements and other physical issues that could make travel difficult.” He wanted to know what type of European trip would be best for his friends. Instead of trip ideas, I asked questions.

Before traveling, here are some specific questions you should ask yourself: Can I

  • Sit for at least an hour (plane, car or motorcoach)
  • Enter and exit a car or a van (transfers)
  • Climb steps to a motorcoach (sightseeing)
  • Stand for more than 15 minutes (sightseeing)
  • Walk for 30 minutes without stopping (sightseeing)
  • Climb steps without assistance (sightseeing)
  • Adjust sleep patterns
  • Use non-handicapped bathrooms/toilets/showers

To make this clear, this list of questions is hardly complete. I personally cannot do some of these things independently but I can do them with the assistance of my traveling companion. I understand my limitations and the abilities of my traveling companion and I suggest you honestly evaluate your limitations and strengths before planning a trip.

Travel should be about new experiences, meeting new people, enjoying cultural and culinary discoveries. After an honest evaluation, perhaps the next question to ask your self is “How can I adapt my limitations so I can enjoy travel?” Or “what do I need to do so I can feel physically safe while traveling. Perhaps you limit your travel to the United States where the ADA regulations will make some travel challenges easier. There may still be challenges particularly with historical sightseeing sites which may be exempt from adaptation but you will have to accept that you just cannot do and see everything. Accept what you can do.

Once you’ve had this honest discussion with yourself and your traveling companion you can start planning your next travel adventure with realistic expectations.

Travel Tips: Make sure you know your strengths and limitations. Have an honest conversation with your travel companion. Accept what you can do.

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About Kate DeLosso

Kate DeLosso is a travel professional with over 20 years of experience traveling the world on land and by ship, visiting over 30 countries with an emphasis on travel in Asia. Kate DeLosso Travel is a home based travel agency that helps individual travelers and groups explore the US, Europe and Asia. A number of years ago, Kate had stroke and had to re-learn how to walk, type and drive a car. With a mobility handicap, she became aware that travel was “different” for people with physical challenges. One of her missions has become to share the knowledge accumulated after 20 years of traveling the world as a mobility challenged person. Kate DeLosso is a Certified Travel Counselor, Special Interest Travel Specialist and an Accredited Cruise Counselor and founder of Kate DeLosso Travel. She has lived and worked in Chadds Ford since 1999.

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