When you’re an amputee, traveling can be challenging because you have to plan for so many things, including airport security, accommodations, and having everything you need for your prosthetic while you’re away. Being fully prepared will make the experience enjoyable and help you avoid too much stress and frustration.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your travels.
1. If you’re flying, wear loose, comfortable clothes and have your identification and letter from your doctor ready before you get to security. Security is not easy for anyone, but it can be particularly difficult and frustrating for someone with a prosthetic. You will need to verify your situation with a note from your doctor and still go through security. This may mean they will pull you aside for a separate security check. They may even request to inspect your prosthetic. It’s essential to be prepared to make security as easy as possible.
2. Pack plenty of extra supplies and keep them in your carry-on. You don’t want to get stuck somewhere without the supplies you need for your prosthetic. So pack extra Knit-Rite socks, sock liners, plastic bags, tape, and a small tool kit. While this won’t cover all possible problems, it will cover many while also providing you with peace of mind. Keep those items in your carry-on, so they don’t get lost with baggage. You will also have access to them while on the plane if necessary.
3. Inspect your prosthetic before your trip. While accidents do happen, you want to reduce the risk of your prosthetic breaking on your trip by inspecting it ahead of time. Check your prosthetic to make sure it has no chips, cracks, or other damage that may lead to a severe break or damage. The last thing you want is to be on vacation with a broken prosthetic and no access to other options.
4. Consider all of your options. Flying may not be the best option for you. It’s a personal decision, and putting yourself in that position with security, boarding, and then being stuck on the plane may not be something you’re ready for. You may choose to travel by bus or by train. While these options take longer, they may be more comfortable and accommodating. Their security procedures are also less intense than airports.
5. Call the hotel where you’re staying to make sure they have the amenities you’ll need. For example, if you’re planning to visit the site for shore eyes, you’ll want to call the casino ahead of time to make sure they can accommodate your needs. Make sure you have a room on the first floor in case issues with the elevator occur, or if mobility is a concern. Otherwise, you want to make sure you have the place you want.
6. Be prepared mentally and stay calm. Traveling can be stressful, and the best way to make the most out of your experience is to be prepared mentally and emotionally for the potential of stress and make a conscious decision to stay calm. If you go into the trip anxious and waiting for things to go badly, then you will be overly frustrated when mistakes happen. However, if you go into it expecting to have a great time, small mishaps won’t bother you as much.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t travel and go on all the vacations you want to. But to ensure a great trip, you need to make sure you are prepared, and you have arranged for the accommodations that are best for you.