If you have disabilities, traveling can be difficult. People with disabilities often face many additional challenges when they want to explore the world. From booking accommodations to navigating airports, there’s a lot to consider when planning your travels with a disability.

Traveling is an amazing experience that everyone should be able to enjoy regardless of physical or mental abilities—and luckily, it is possible for people with disabilities! People with disabilities often face extra challenges when they decide to travel and must make sure they account for them in their plans.

However, it’s not impossible! With the right planning and preparation, anyone can successfully travel even with a disability. Here are some tips and resources that can help make your next trip extra enjoyable and stress-free.

Understandings Of This Article:

  1. People with disabilities should plan ahead and be aware of extra challenges when traveling.
  2. Airlines have designated complaint resolution officers and special assistance lines for people with disabilities.
  3. Public transportation and rental companies may offer assistance such as wheelchair-accessible buses, lifts, and ramps.

Travel Tips For People With Disabilities

Traveling can be a great way to explore the world and experience new cultures, but for people with disabilities, it can be difficult. From booking accommodations to navigating airports, there are many additional challenges that must be taken into account when planning a trip. But don’t worry! With the right preparation and planning, anyone can successfully travel even with a disability. 


When it comes to air travel, people with certain medical conditions should always contact their doctor before flying and make reservations in advance. Airlines are prohibited from discriminating against people with disabilities, and each airline has a complaint resolution officer available via telephone for those who need assistance. Customers with disabilities can call the special assistance line of their respective airlines for accommodations and help. For example, JetBlue offers accessibility assistance by phone at 855-232-5463, while Icelandair provides travel assistance for those with reduced mobility by phone at 800-223-5500.

In addition to these services, there are also resources available from organizations such as Autism Speaks and United Spinal Association that provides guidance on how to prepare for air travel. It is important to contact the airline you are considering to ensure accommodations can be made prior to your flight. Booking tickets on a third-party site may not provide an option to select assistance, so contacting the airline directly is recommended. Making an informed decision as to which airline to fly with is essential for a successful journey.

Public Transportation

When traveling by bus, train, or other public transportation, it is important to research the accessibility of the service before booking tickets. Many public transportation systems offer special accommodations for people with disabilities such as wheelchair-accessible buses and trains. Additionally, many cities have paratransit services that provide door-to-door.

door transportation for those with disabilities. It is important to contact the local transit authority to inquire about any special services they may offer.

When traveling by car, it is important to make sure that the vehicle you are using is equipped with the necessary features for a safe and comfortable journey. Many rental car companies offer vehicles that are wheelchair-accessible or have other features such as hand controls, lifts, and ramps. Additionally, many cities have taxi services that are wheelchair-accessible.


When booking a hotel, it is important to take the necessary steps to ensure an accessible room is guaranteed. Talking directly to hotel staff is the best way to ensure that your needs are met and that you have a pleasant stay. It is recommended to book over the phone so that you can discuss accessibility needs with the staff, such as door measurements, elevator access, and service animal accommodations. Researching thoroughly beforehand can help avoid any unpleasant surprises when you arrive at your destination.

When traveling outside of the US, it is important to be aware that room sizes and standards may vary from country to country. This means that what may be considered an accessible room in one country may not meet the same standards in another. Asking specific questions about accessibility features will help ensure that your needs are met no matter where you travel. Taking these steps will help make sure your stay is comfortable and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Traveling with Oxygen

Traveling with oxygen can be a daunting task, but with the right preparation and knowledge, it can be done safely and comfortably. It is important to make arrangements in advance and obtain a doctor’s statement of needs. Airlines must permit the use of Portable Oxygen Concentrators if labeled as FAA-approved, but they may charge for the use of their oxygen tanks.

Airlines do not provide oxygen for use in terminals, so travelers should plan accordingly. U.S. airlines and flights to or from the United States must provide all travelers with the same travel opportunities, regardless of disability. Airlines may require up to 48 hours advance notice and 1-hour advance check-in for certain accommodations.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has a toll-free hotline and the TSA website provides answers to questions about screening policies, procedures, and checkpoints for people with disabilities that are helpful when planning your trip. With proper preparation and knowledge, traveling with oxygen can be done safely and comfortably without any additional stress.

Overall, traveling with a disability can be made easier by researching and planning ahead. Contacting the local transit authority and hotel staff, as well as researching airline policies and procedures, will help ensure that your needs are met and that you have a safe and enjoyable journey.

Ground Transportation

Ground transportation can be a challenge for those with disabilities, but there are several options available. When booking flights or hotel rooms, it is important to ask for an accessible shuttle if needed. Paratransit services may provide door-to-door service, public buses, or ride-sharing opportunities. Greyhound Bus and Amtrak both offer additional services to passengers with disabilities and have worked to make their facilities more accessible. Taxis are the most common way to get to and from the airport but can be expensive. Public transport such as local trains and disabled travel buses are available at most airports and are more affordable. Porters can also be hired to help with luggage if needed.

When traveling by ground transportation, it is important to plan ahead in order to ensure that all needs will be met. Researching the different options available in advance will help make sure that the journey is as comfortable and stress-free as possible. It is also important to remember that many of these services require advanced bookings, so it is important to plan ahead.


Metal Implants and Internal Medical Devices

Metal implants and internal medical devices can pose a challenge when it comes to airport security. Passengers with metal implants should inform a Transportation Security Officer (TSO) before screening begins so that the TSO can take appropriate measures to ensure the passenger’s safety. Passengers may request to be screened by imaging technology if it is available at the checkpoint, as this will allow for more thorough screening without having to worry about setting off any alarms. If the passenger cannot or chooses not to be screened by imaging technology, or if they alarm a walk-through metal detector, then they will be subject to a thorough pat down procedure.

It is important for passengers with metal implants or internal medical devices to understand their rights and responsibilities when it comes to airport security. By informing the TSO of their condition beforehand, they can help ensure that their screening process goes as smoothly as possible. Additionally, passengers should always remember that they have the right to request an alternate form of screening if one is available.

Service Animals

Traveling with a service animal can be a great way to ensure that individuals with disabilities have the support they need while on the go. Airlines are required to allow service animals to fly in the cabin of the aircraft free of charge, but documentation from a doctor is needed to qualify the animal as a service animal. It is recommended that travelers contact their airline prior to their trip and inform them that they will be traveling with a service animal. Airlines typically allow trained service animals to accompany qualified individuals with disabilities, but it is important to check with the airline for specific requirements.

In addition, travelers should contact the US embassy or consulate of their destination country for information on possible restrictions for service animals and any quarantine, vaccination, and documentation requirements. It is also important to consult a veterinarian prior to your trip and contact destination hotels to make sure they will allow service animals. 

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Other Resources

Traveling with a disability can be a daunting task, but there are many resources available to make the process easier. The Department of Transportation offers disabled travelers information about the Air Carrier Access requirements for accommodations, facilities, and services. Additionally, TSA Cares provides a toll-free number (1-855-787-2227) and email address (TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov) to answer questions about screening procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. Passengers should call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

Organizations such as Autism Speaks provide a fact sheet with traveling tips for individuals with autism and their families, while SATH, the U.S. Department of State, and specialty travel agencies can provide helpful information for disabled travelers regarding the accessibility of destinations. Understanding the resources available to disabled travelers is essential for successful travel with a disability; researching these options in advance will help ensure that all needs are met during the journey.

Are there any specific methods of transportation that may be better suited to people with disabilities?

Yes, there are a variety of methods of transportation that may be better suited to people with disabilities. For example, many cities have accessible public transportation systems such as buses and trains that are designed to accommodate passengers with disabilities.

Additionally, some airports offer wheelchair assistance services for travelers with mobility impairments. There are also specialized travel agencies that provide services tailored to the needs of disabled travelers, such as accessible transportation and accommodations.

Are there any accommodations I should look for when planning a trip for someone with a disability?

When planning a trip for someone with a disability, it is important to consider the accommodations that are available. Depending on the type of disability, there may be certain accommodations that can make traveling easier and more comfortable. Here are some tips to help you plan a successful trip:

  1. Research accessible transportation options. Many airports, train stations, and bus terminals have special services for people with disabilities. Look into these services to see if they are available at your destination.
  2. Look for accessible lodging. Many hotels, motels, and resorts offer special accommodations for people with disabilities. Research the options available in the area you are visiting to ensure that your lodging is accessible and comfortable.
  3. Consider rental cars or taxis. If public transportation is not an option, consider renting a car or taking a taxi. Make sure to research the rental car company and taxi service to ensure that they are able to accommodate your needs.
  4. Plan ahead for medical needs. If you or someone in your party has a medical condition, make sure to plan ahead for any necessary medications or treatments. Research local hospitals and pharmacies in case of an emergency, and bring any necessary supplies with you on the trip.
  5. Ask for help if needed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Many airports, hotels, and other establishments have staff members who are trained to assist people with disabilities.


Traveling with a disability can be a challenging experience, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right preparation and research, disabled travelers can find accessible transportation, lodging, and medical services that will make their trip more enjoyable. By understanding the resources available to them and planning ahead for any potential needs, disabled travelers can ensure that their journey is safe and successful.