Q: Transportation while traveling. How do you get around with a wheelchair? Do you rent a large or accessible van? What about public transportation?
A: Not all wheelchairs travel the same! Here’s what some of our readers had to say. I added my own notes below them, labeled JA.
Scenic Route Family: We get a suburban, but Uber Black SUV saved us in D.C.!
JA: Large rental vehicles are always an option. Our chair doesn’t come apart, so we need a big vehicle. I’ll search with the filters open for both vans and SUVs because I often find a deal on one or the other. Most cities also have wheelchair accessible Uber, Lyft or taxi services. Depending on your chair set-up, you may also be able to use an Uber XL or similar size upgrade.
Danamarieplus3: Some cities have great public transport for wheelchair users.
JA: Public transportation can be a great option for city travel – especially in the U.S. While D.C. is the only city I’ve visited with a fully accessible metro system, most cities have an accessible bus system. In general, we avoid the underground because it’s too unpredictable.
Bethany Hildebrandt: We drive our wheelchair accessible van.
JA: Road trips are our favorite! There are so many destinations that are worth the drive, and you have the added convenience of your own vehicle. You can also rent wheelchair accessible vans, but it will likely be the most expensive part of your trip.
Wonders Within Reach: The most common response I received from polling my audience was to take the chair apart and put it in the trunk. We’re not able to do that, but we’ve had good experiences using public buses and renting larger vehicles. Uber, Lyft and accessible taxis can also be a good option, but we typically wait much longer than we would if we were using a regular-size car service.
Next Issue: Public restrooms are hard to find. How do you meet the need for frequent accessible restrooms while traveling? What about outdoor adventure – how do you meet bathroom needs where there is no bathroom? What do you do for someone who can’t fit on a changing table, but needs to be changed lying down?
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