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Air Travel Disability Tips


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White plane with Delta written on it. Blue sky background
Delta Airlines Plane

We have been flying a lot lately. I have been in the air more recently than I have been in my whole life I think. We don't normally fly because it's easier and cheaper to drive. But going to Walt Disney World has changed that and we have flown twice in the last 9 months or so.


Here are some travel tips that help me with flying:


Anxiety


1) Have some music on my phone to help with my anxiety- I have some major flight anxiety. I am ok once I am in the air but taking off and landing get my anxiety to skyrocket. So I have a playlist on my phone for flying to help take my mind off of what is going on.


2) Relaxation techniques- I also use some deep breathing relaxation techniques. If you like to use aromatherapy having some lavender roll-on aromatherapy may help you. Remember all liquids must be under 3.4 ounces.


3) Valium- If none of these ideas help you can always ask your doctor for a small dose of valium. It is a benzodiazepine and helps relax you.



Using the Lavatory


1) Clothing- your choice of clothing is super important for this. I have started wearing dresses or skirts because then I don't have to try and get pants down and back up in the lavatory. I only need to worry about my undergarments and it is much easier.


2) Protection- I also wear pads on my underwear in case of leaks or accidents. Having a bladder condition makes travel uncomfortable because I never know when I will have an issue and when I won't. I use the longer Poise pads for travel just in case.


3) Handicap Lavatory- The lavatories on planes are super small. Look for the one with the wheelchair symbol indicating it is a handicap because it's a little larger and easier to move around in.


Assistance


1) Special Assistance- Use the special assistance people. They are there to help you. I always mark my disability and request special assistance when booking. If you just need help getting to and from the gate they can help you.


2) Aisle Chair- If you are dependant on a wheelchair and can't walk at all they have a special aisle chair that they can take you to your seat in. I haven't had to use this yet but maybe someday! I am just glad it is there.


3) Ask the flight attendant- If you need help just ask! They are more than happy to help with whatever you need! They even have some medications for headaches, tummy upset and sometimes they will have headphones and other items if you just ask.





TSA


1) Special Screening- The TSA can do a special screening for you so you can stay in your wheelchair. I can't stand long enough to go through the body scanner. So they will have a female agent do a pat-down. They do ask me if I want a privacy screen. If you are not comfortable with it being in public ask for the privacy screen. For expediency, I always say just do it! They also ask if I have any sensitive areas and I tell them! Then they test my chair for drugs and away I will go!


2) Special Assistance Line- they have a special assistance line for TSA. If you are handicap even without the special assistance people you can use the line. It's always quicker than waiting in the regular line.


3) Clothing- this is another area clothing is key. Wear shoes that are easy to take off, no belt, and clothing that is not bulky. It helps with the whole process.




Travel can be daunting when you have medical conditions. It can seem unattainable. Just know there are ways to make it not only work for you but ways you can make it enjoyable!


For more tips make sure you are following my Instagram!

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