Peer to Peer Insight: “Travel is possible for everyone”

With Youth in Action (YIA12) less than a week away, youth along with their families and caregivers, will be heading to Calgary very soon.  Many participants will be flying by air so we took the advice of Dale, a seasoned traveller, on his best practices for air travel.  Hope everyone on their way to YIA12 this week has a great flight. See you soon!

I’ve been playing power soccer for 14 years and have been on the Provincial and National teams.  Because of power soccer I’ve traveled a lot and have learned a lot about what and what not to do.

For air travel, first I make sure that I have everything I absolutely need in my carry on. Baggage can always be lost.  I carry on medication, the Roho cushion from my chair so it doesn’t get damaged, and my sling.  Some of my teammates also carry on BiPAPs and powerchair chargers. Any liquids should be double bagged and in the amounts that are allowed. I carry on anything I can’t be without for 48 hours and can’t buy when I get there.

The morning of the flight I sit on my evacuation sling to be used for transferring. The airline staff let anyone that needs any help board early.  If it’s an Air Canada flight in Canada, they have The Eagle Lift (a hoyer lift that fits down the aisle) I let them know ahead of time that I’ll need it.  As I’m on the way to my seat, I’ll have someone traveling with me taking any loose parts off my chair and taping them to it.

They also need to label the manual release levers and places to lift by, and disconnect the power.  Then they let the baggage handlers know that my chair has non-spillable batteries that don’t need to be removed.

At the other end I take my pre-arranged transportation to the hotel where my pre-arranged equipment is.

The rest of the trip I have fun!  I might take the competition seriously, but I still have fun.  I’ve been to Paris, Montreal, Atlanta, Arizona, California and more.

-Dale

This article was taken from the Bridges to the Future newsletter.  Visit their website to read  the newsletter or learn more about the Bridges program.

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