Many people dream of traveling the world in retirement. Such dreams come true every day. But many more retirees or people nearing retirement fear that their dreams of seeing the world won’t be possible due to mobility issues beyond their control. Thankfully, such fears are largely unwarranted.
Various conditions can affect men and women’s mobility. Many such issues tend to arise after age 50, prompting many people to believe their post-retirement travel plans will never come to fruition. Conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD; and heart disease may make it hard for people to travel. But that difficulty doesn’t mean aging men and women should resign themselves to a sedentary lifestyle.
Though they might require a little extra effort before boarding a plane for parts unknown, the following are a handful of ways that aging men and women with limited mobility can reap the rewards of traveling.
- Contact airlines or other transportation companies if you require special accommodations. The U.S. Department of Transportation notes that passengers are generally not required to provide advanced notice for disability-related accommodations. However, it makes sense to provide such notice anyway. By doing so, men and women with limited mobility can ensure they will have adequate assistance during their trips. When made aware of passengers’ mobility issues, airlines or other travel companies may arrange for wheelchairs to be available at the gates or train platforms so passengers can easily make connecting flights and trains. In addition, advance notice gives companies a chance to provide seating accommodations that can make for a more enjoyable trip.
- Contact security agencies. Security is part of modern travel, so travelers, especially those traveling by air, should expect to go through security checkpoints during their trips. Travelers with limited mobility should contact the security agencies in their home country as well as those in any country they plan to visit to get an idea of what they can expect. Knowing these guidelines in advance can help people with limited mobility determine if they should arrive extra early so they can make it through security checkpoints in time to make their flights or trains.
- Contact hotels directly. Each country has its own laws regarding how to accommodate people with physical disabilities or mobility issues, so don’t leave things to chance. Before booking a hotel room abroad, travelers with limited mobility should contact the hotel directly to confirm that it can accommodate their needs.
Men and women with limited mobility can still enjoy the wonders of travel, even if it requires some extra effort before embarking on their trips.