Are you tired of feeling limited in your travel options because of a disability or mobility concern? Do you want to plan a fun and adventurous road trip with your family but aren’t sure where to start? Whether you use a wheelchair, have difficulty walking long distances, or have other accessibility needs, this guide is for you!

We understand the challenges and barriers that individuals with disabilities face when traveling, and we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to explore new places without limitations. Use this guide to prepare for your next accessible road trip and make it enjoyable!

Research and Plan Your Route

Navigation is one key to a successful, accessible road trip. Begin by surveying your route using accessible travel resources such as the Google Maps “Accessible Places” feature, which indicates wheelchair accessibility. Look into potential roadblocks that might not be classified in mainstream maps, from narrow sidewalks to halls that could impede movement.

Remember, attractions and facilities can vary significantly in the level of accessibility they actually provide, so don’t rely solely on online information. It’s always a good idea to call ahead to confirm the current state of accessibility.

Consider Your Vehicle

Whether you own a vehicle that’s not fully equipped for your accessibility needs or you’re just starting to explore the world of accessible travel, consider a vehicle designed for this purpose. Wheelchair-accessible vehicle conversions have revolutionized travel for many people, making it significantly easier to hit the road… or off-road, if that’s your thing. ATC Mobility specializes in converted SUVs and trucks, so you can find the solution that best fits your road-tripping plans and accessibility requirements.

Pack Essential Accessibility Equipment

A big portion of packing for an accessible road trip revolves around ensuring the mobility equipment and assistive devices you rely on are present and serviceable. These may include extra batteries for devices, tools for emergency repairs, or a portable ramp for places that may not have permanent accommodations. Portable shower chairs, transfer boards, and a personalized grab bag to keep essential items nearby should also be part of your packing list.

Create a Comfortable Traveling Environment

You’ll need accessories to enhance comfort and convenience on your accessible road trip. Cushions can make a significant difference during long hours in a seated position, while organizers and storage solutions can keep your space manageable and free of obstacles. A travel pillow or seat cushion can turn a bumpy ride into a cozy one, especially when it’s tailored to your body’s unique needs.

Gather Medications and Health Supplies

Ensuring you have all the necessary medications and health supplies is a must for a worry-free, accessible road trip. Bring more than enough medication for the duration of the trip, and factor in any potential delays or unexpected detours. In doing so, you prevent the chance of running out of essential meds and provide yourself peace of mind throughout your journey.

Additionally, packing a first-aid kit is an excellent precaution. A well-stocked kit can address minor injuries or ailments on the go, preventing small issues from becoming major ones. Remember to include items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any other first-aid items that suit your health needs.

List Emergency Contacts and Information

Familiarize yourself with local hospitals and pharmacies along your route. Also, add emergency contacts to your cell phone or a device with a long-lasting battery, and write them on a piece of paper. Sometimes, the classics are the most reliable; when you need them, you’ll be glad you packed them! Taking this precaution can be especially calming when unexpected hurdles arise on the road trip.

Plan Frequent Breaks or Stops

Planning breaks along the route not only makes driving more manageable but also provides you and your travel companions the opportunity to stretch, take care of personal needs, and reset for another portion of the trip. Designate landmarks or accessible pit stops along the way for rest.

Stretching is critical for maintaining health, especially on long road trips, and strategic map plotting can help you incorporate these breaks into your travel schedule. Remember, getting there is just half the fun! The stops leading up to your destination are adventures waiting to be experienced.

Remember Snacks and Hydration

Snacks and drinks keep up your energy levels, which is especially important on a trip where finding suitable sustenance might not be easy. Keep a stash of water and energizing snacks within reach to stave off hunger and give you a boost when needed.

Not all roadside vendors offer accessible options; sometimes, the best (and most convenient) food is what you bring with you. A cooler with cold snacks and drinks or a collection of your non-perishable favorites can turn a moment of exhaustion into a time of refreshment.

Try Entertainment Accommodations

Long stretches of travel mean you may need more than just the view to keep you occupied. Books, audiobooks, podcasts, and music playlists can make the hours fly by. Comfort in entertainment is just as important as comfort in travel, so curate a selection of favorites that you can listen to or read throughout the trip.

Be Flexible and Patient

The most essential item on your accessible road trip is a flexible mindset. Delays and unforeseen circumstances happen to all travelers, but flexibility is the trump card in your hand. Sometimes, the most vibrant memories come from unplanned deviations! Taking a road trip is all about the voyage. Patience and adaptability promise a unique adventure.

Preparing for an accessible road trip includes more than making a checklist of essentials; it’s also a philosophy of empowerment! By considering every detail that will contribute to a smooth, enjoyable trip, you’re setting the stage for an adventure that surpasses the typical pitfalls of travel. Accessibility can be your pathway to profound and personal travels on the open road.

If adventure is calling to you, consider reaching out to ATC Mobility. Our commitment to quality and customization ensures your vehicle is the key to unlocking new journeys with ease and comfort. Explore the possibilities with us and set yourself on a path where the world is your oyster!

How To Prepare for a Wheelchair Accessible Road Trip