Travelling with limited mobility

Bill has limited mobility but that doesn’t prevent him from wanting to travel. In Travel SOS, he’s asked Leon for some tips on how and where he can tour with his walking frame.

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Q. Bill
My knees are now shot and I have to use a walking frame to get around. I still want to travel with my wife, who also uses a walking stick. Do you know if there are any tour companies that specialise in trips for people with limited mobility? And how do I go about getting my walking frame on a plane.

A. It’s great that you’re not letting limited mobility stop you from getting about. Most airlines are usually quite accommodating with passengers who have limited mobility. As you can imagine, each airline has its own rules and guidelines. I suggest you figure out the airline with whom you’re flying, then google its mobility assistance guidelines.

For instance, Qantas will allow collapsible walking frames in the plane’s cabin, but not non-collapsible frames. It will also allow your wife to use her walking stick until she’s onboard, then it will need to be stowed until she lands. I’m unsure as to what happens if you need to move about the plane during a flight, but the disability laws should ensure that you’ll have the access you require onboard. Again, I suggest you contact the airline to find out exactly how you’ll be treated. Also, CHOICE has a great resource for knowing your rights to accessible tourism.

Here are a few places to start:

Airlines will also require you to contact them beforehand to book in any special assistance you may require.

As far as where to go, well, that’s up to you!

However, there are a few organisations that specialise in assisted travel. This can range from people with disabilities to people with limited mobility. A couple that come to mind are:

  

And most city tourism websites will show you all the places you can visit. NYCGO is a great resource, as is Visit London and Accessible NZ. Check wherever you’re going and google ‘accessible Paris’ or ‘accessible Singapore’ and you’ll find what you’re looking for.

I hope that helps. Happy trails, Bill!

Do you have any advice for Bill? If you have limited mobility, can you help Bill with some travel ideas?

Related articles:
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Carless travel with a wheelchair
Flying with elderly parents

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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