Saving money on travel makes your vacation better. When there are fewer bills to think about, you can enjoy yourself and relax even more. Here’s a list of money saving tips specifically for travelers with disabilities:
Bring your medical equipment with you instead of renting it. If you own a wheelchair, portable oxygen, or other medical devices, you’ll save money by packing and bringing yours instead of renting. The Transportation Safety Administration allows all types of disability-related items through their checkpoints. Many devices are available in smaller, more portable sizes if traveling by car or other means.
Stay in lodging that includes a kitchen. Some people with disabilities take a long time to get ready in the morning and require breakfast before leaving their room. Others require food with medication at odd hours, including late nights. Some want the ability to make their own food for special diets, or to have food readily available in case of feeling unwell. Consider staying in a hotel suite, vacation home or time share rental. If you have a kitchen or kitchenette, there is no need to pay for room service or to buy an expensive cup of soup, coffee, gluten free meal, etc.
Call your transportation and lodging directly. Contact your hotel, airline, train service, cruise line by phone to be sure that your needs are known. If you require a room with a low bed, to bring your power chair on board your flight, or a handicapped cabin, speak to someone after your reservations have been made. Get their name and your confirmation number. Ask for an email. Save money because you won’t have to make last minute changes.
Get to the airport extra early. Although everyone needs to adhere to this because of TSA screening, people with disabilities should arrive about three hours in advance of their flight. Screeners are educated about the special needs of people with disabilities, but there is always the chance of a problem. It can concern your prescription medications, the decision about allowing your battery powered scooter or wheelchair on the plane (spillable wet-cell batteries are prohibited on airlines), or if you require oxygen while going through screening (portable oxygen must go through a separate screening under specific circumstances). Again, avoid last minute changes in case you are late for your flight and save money.
Search for Disability Discounts. They do exist, but you have to research and ask for these types of discounts. Most notable in the Amtrak 15% discount to the person with a disability and a companion. Some theme parks and other attractions offer discounts, including free admission to traveling companions. Speak up and ask about discounts. You never know what will happen.
Are you aware of other money saving tips for travelers with disabilities?