As I m preparing to go travelling to NYC next month, I thought it might be useful to write down the process of preparation.
First important task – find an accessible hotel room. Book it -it does not matter if you do not use it but you have to have somewhere to stay. You can continue your search after you booked – unless you put in a fixed unchangeable price (like using Priceline.com). Usually you can cancel up till the day before your booked date.
- get your plane ticket – shop around but if you re a wheelchair user like me, do not go for the cheapest. Best to get a direct flight if possible unless you need a break from a very long haul. You want to try to avoid being you and your wheelchair being moved unnecessarily – the more you get hauled, the more likely you (and wheelchair) would get damaged. Its worth the peace of mind to pay a bit more for better customer service. No good arriving totally stressed or having your wheelchair out of action!
- pack lightly, enough to have 3 changes of clothes (you can always buy what you need there). Remember that you have to bring your equipment with you, whatever it might be. I try to carry everything on my wheelchair but these need preparing –
- wheelchair – get it serviced before you leave. Look up a place for it to be repaired if it gets damaged.
- battery charger – if you re going over to US or Canada (or Japan) you will need a dual voltage charger
- adaptors for everything else that needs charging (a multi socket might be useful if you have more than one appliance that needs charging, there might be only one electrical socket in your hotel room)
- make sure you have enough plastic as in alternative for money but you need to have some cash in the right currency anyway
- get travel/medical insurance to be on the safe side and give all pre existing conditions because it can become void if you didnt declare (it can cost a lot to repatriate – especially from the USA)
- take some emergency snacks with you if you have dietary needs eg. diabetes or allergy to gluten
Check with your service provider for roaming charges. It might be cheaper to get a sim card when you get there.
(to be cont.)