Everyone loves a road trip. You pack up the van; fill it with your favorite snacks, some comfortable pillows and a few cozy blankets and you’re good to go. If one or more of the people in your family has a disability andneeds a wheelchair, it’s not a problem. All it takes is some advanced planning on your part to ensure a problem-free trip.
There are countless destinations to choose from once you decide to start planning your trip. The key of course is to plan your trip, which you would do whether you’re traveling with disabled passengers or not. But planning is critical when traveling in a wheelchair conversion van in order to avoid major problems along the way.
First things first – choose your destination
Before you get into planning your amazing trip, you need to have a destination in mind. The U.S. has so many options available to you; you’ll never run out of places to go. From oceans to mountains to national parks and monuments to scenic vistas or a trip down a country back road, the choices are unlimited.
Once you have selected your destination, it’s time to make sure that the route you plan to take can accommodate all the needs of everyone in your group. That includes access to wheelchair accessible facilities along the way. You’ll also need to determine how frequently you’ll need to stop, and whether you want to stick to highways or travel along slower, more scenic roads.
Planning is key
In order to ensure that everyone on the trip has an enjoyable experience, you simply need to plan everything in advance. Everything! Because if you leave something to chance things may go wrong, and could ruin your trip entirely.
Hotels with wheelchair accessible rooms aren’t the only thing that you have to be on the lookout for. Your destination’s attractions, restaurants at your destination, as well as the activities you’ve planned must be able to accommodate everyone in your group – and of course that means handicap passengers too. Do the same for the route along the way, from gas stations to food stops.
Make sure the wheelchair van you’re traveling in is in great mechanical shape, all tuned up and ready to go. Some conversion vans have power inverters that will let you charge power wheelchairs. Check to be sure that your van does as well. And don’t forget to check on the items used as safety features in the van, including the wheelchair restraints, ramps, and lifts, if there are any.
Here’s something else to plan for: be sure to have a list of conversion van dealers who will be able to service your vehicle and provide any roadside assistance that you may need if any issues with your van arise during your trip.
On the road again and having fun!
Aside from trip planning and safety, the final key on any road trip is to have a lot of fun! Experience exciting new places, change up your regular daily routine and if possible do things spontaneously. If you see something interesting, stop and explore it! Most importantly, enjoy your time with your traveling companions.