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  • Traveling to a different country

    Posted by lindsay-russell on May 28, 2023 at 8:20 pm

    I am looking into taking a summer vacation next year and I’m really interested in going to London, but my dad is concerned about the duration of the trip and how we can get the necessary medical equipment for our stay (bath chair, etc.). Has anyone traveled to a different country and could tell me about their experience?

    tammy replied 1 year, 1 month ago 5 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • micaela-macdougall

    Member
    May 29, 2023 at 5:29 pm

    I have had the privilege of flying in and out of London 4 times, so I’m happy to help however I can!  Feel free to message me or ask me questions here.

    It’s definitely possible to go to London, it’s just a question of how much time and money you want to put into it.  What medical equipment exactly do you need?  I’ve generally found the UK to be much more accessible and disability friendly than the US, so there are solutions out there.  A few things off the top of my head:

    1. I’m assuming you’d bring your own wheelchair.  I strongly recommend British Airways, they are the only airline that has never damaged my wheelchair.
    2. There are hotels in the UK that have hoyer lifts available for use.  They’re rare, but they do exist – especially in London, you should be able to find one.
    3. You can buy a travel shower chair to bring with you, though it could get expensive depending on what kind you need.  I’ve never done this, but I would guess you could also rent one or find a hotel that has one available – it’s worth researching.

    Remember, it is your legal right to fly with as much medical equipment as you need, it does not count towards your baggage allowance.

    Here are a few disability travel blogs that I have found immensely helpful over the years:
    https://wheelchairtravel.org/
    https://www.simplyemma.co.uk/
    https://curbfreewithcorylee.com/

    Do as much research as you can ahead of time, and you will be able to enjoy yourself much more!

    One last tip – London holds a special place in my heart because it is the only city in the world where I can hail a cab on the street.  Every single taxi is wheelchair accessible, you don’t have to reserve a special one ahead of time.

    • lindsay-russell

      Member
      May 29, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      Hi! Thanks for all the information and tips! We were thinking of renting the medical equipment I need but didn’t know if they had medical equipment stores like here in the US. That’s really cool that every cab is wheelchair accessible! It’s amazing to hear how so many different countries are far more accessible than here in the US. Wish that was available here.

  • alyssa-silva

    Member
    May 30, 2023 at 8:52 am

    Hi Lindsay. My friend is a wheelchair user (she doesn’t have SMA though) and wrote some blog posts about her travels to London. I’ll leave them below. Hopefully, they’ll provide some insight for you. 🙂

    https://emmbai1013.wixsite.com/mysite/post/tips-for-studying-abroad-from-a-wheelchair-user

    https://emmbai1013.wixsite.com/mysite/post/accessible-museums-in-london

  • deann-r

    Member
    May 30, 2023 at 9:40 am

    No advice as I’m not a traveler, but if you go we want to hear all about it!

  • tammy

    Member
    May 30, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    I can’t speak on London but I have Been to Spain twice and France once. Spain was fantastic and everybody at the airport handled the wheelchair a million times better than they do in the US. They are much more caring and technologically equipped. Lots of things were also wheelchair accessible like the beaches and public transportation. So if you’re ever looking to visit I highly recommend it

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