Heading Away This Festive Season? Here Are 5 Tips For Travelling In A Wheelchair

It’s almost considered a sin to let the festive season pass by without venturing out for a weekend or week-long trip. Road trips are a great way to tap into your adventurous spirit and see more of Australia.

Being in a wheelchair certainly doesn’t prevent you from embarking on a road trip, it just means you have a few more steps than most when it comes to prepping your disability vehicles, cars and yourself to ensure a carefree and enjoyable holiday.

Here are some tips to consider when travelling with a disability.

1. Make Sure Your Wheelchair is Ready for Anything

There’s nothing wrong with being overcautious with your wheelchair or mobility scooter before leaving on an extended holiday. The Christmas season is one of the worst for regular shop opening hours, so it can be tough tracking down a repair or servicing shop.

Servicing your wheelchair beforehand offers valued peace of mind, but we also recommend investing in your own basic repair kit in case of random malfunctions. There are also numerous devices you can add onto your wheelchair to make moving around new environments easier.

These include grade aids for tackling steep inclines, light-up casters for nightly excursions and extra padding for your seat.

2. Prepare Your Vehicle

For wheelchair-bound drivers or passengers, preparing a vehicle for a road trip means more than just ensuring the car has been serviced. Of course, you should do this too. However, it’s just as important to check the wheelchair ramps and lifts are functioning perfectly.

You should also make sure you have the best wheelchair stowage for your vehicle, such as a platform lift, wheelchair crane or roof-mounted wheelchair hoist (for smaller cars). At Auto Extras, we also offer a range of wheelchair vehicle conversions if you haven’t modified your car or van yet.

Our vehicle modifications can also help those with disabilities drive more confidently. These mobility driving aids range from push-pull hand controls for braking and accelerating to pedal extensions and innovative steering devices for better vehicle control.

3. Map Out Your Route Thoroughly

Sure, planning out service centres, fuel stops and emergency hubs isn’t the most exciting part of travelling, but knowing all options in worst-case scenarios will help you relax and enjoy the sightseeing, new restaurants and those Kodak holiday moments.

Research and book hotels in advance, as some aren’t wheelchair accessible, and invest in travel insurance. You might also need to call ahead when visiting national parks, museums and restaurants to make sure they can accommodate wheelchairs.

4. Keep Your Body Fuelled

Staying hydrated and well-fed is crucial to staying alert on the road. Christmas is a busy time of the year for holidaymakers, so it’s important to drive well and keep your body and mind fuelled.

In this sweltering Australian summer heat, it’s even more important to drink water regularly and keep a bottle with you at all times. Invest in a side satchel for your wheelchair for extra convenience.

5. Help Should Always be Close at Hand

It’s always better to travel with someone. Not only can they keep you company, but they can also assist you with difficult tasks, including getting into a regular bed and getting around new areas.

However, if you prefer to travel alone, make sure you always have your phone close at hand. Keep it charged and double-check if you’re travelling anywhere with no coverage.

Be Adventurous, Prepared & Mobile this Christmas

There’s no need to sit around at home this festive season, but it’s important to ensure you’re well-prepared for a trip away.

You can contact us at Auto Extras for a range of vehicle modifications and advice to help you get out on the road and travelling.