On April 6, Isabelle Ducharme, the president of Kéroul, shared some helpful tips on traveling with ALS. Whether the goal of your trip is relaxation, adventure or self-exploration, traveling with ALS is not only a possibility, it is a reality! Here are three ways you can travel the world without restrictions.
Traveling with ALS: your region
You don’t need to be on the first flight to Paris! Keep an eye out for accessible activities in your region. It’s a simple, accessible and inexpensive way to get out of the house. Enjoy a visit to the local park or a dog sledding adventure. Take advantage of every occasion to explore new interests and experiences. Accessible tourism is the perfect way to discover your region, your city, your community and yourself. Select your region in the “Search for an establishment” tool and start exploring!
Traveling with ALS: Quebec
Whether you are looking for a one-night stay, a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation, you are in luck! Traveling within the province can lead you to some of the most beautiful places in the country and even North America. The province boasts a wide variety of outdoor destinations that are beautiful and exciting. There are over 1,700 accessible and partially accessible outdoor touristic destinations in the province.
To plan an accessible escapade in Quebec, adapted to your needs, visit Kéroul’s quebecforall.com.
Traveling with ALS: national and international
For the more adventurous, it is possible to travel to the four points of the globe. You are only a phone call away from a travel agent should you feel that plane travel is not the best option for you. They can make sure that all your travel and accommodations are adapted for your needs. Cruises offer all-inclusive packages and the ships are also equipped with a medical team. All that’s left to do is to pack your bags and live an unforgettable experience!
Your 4 Item Travel Checklist
It is possible to call taxis or adapted vehicles fitted with an access ramp. Visit Kéroul’s transportation section to learn more about your options.
City to city transport
Buses: Some bus companies own vehicles with an accessible washroom and a place for one or two wheelchairs. The wheelchair is secured in the same manner as it is in a minibus in order to ensure the passenger’s security. However, it’s important to make sure the arrival station is accessible. In some cases, the companion travels for free! Please remember that it is highly recommended to reserve 48 hours in advance.
Trains with Via Rail Canada: It is important to find out if the railway station platforms (departure and arrival) are even with the ground and whether or not the terminals have stairs. Wheelchairs will be secured in the train, as they are in buses. The Via Rail service includes a free technological assistance application that helps individuals with particular needs to navigate on the Web. As for the companion, they can travel free of charge and will benefit from the same service class! It is also recommended to reserve 48 hours in advance.
Plane: When booking your flight, make sure to describe your particular needs to the airline attendant. You’ll have to fill in a medical form in order to request and receive the confirmation that the service provided can be adapted to your needs. The transfer to your seat should also be considered. It may imply that you’ll have to be the first passenger to take their place on the plane and the last one to exit. You’ll also have to choose between a direct flight or a layover flight. Lastly, special rates and discounts may be available depending on the airline you decide to travel with. Don’t forget to ask if there are travel rebates available to you. Traveling is always better when it stays within budget!
Cruise: Cruises are also an option as they often offer an accessible experience to its travelers. A cruises’ all included formula is a significant advantage if you want to keep things as simple as possible. Medical and technical services offered aboard the ship will ensure an additional peace of mind. Finally, remember to choose ports that have docks and to reserve your adapted transportation service, both to and from the airport and the ship.
From hostels to adapted yurts, there are some 70 accessible and 272 partially accessible lodging options in Québec. Internationally, there are a variety of must-do activities that are suited for all. Visit Kéroul’s website to find the section comprising a list of travel destinations. You will also find the links to a variety of accessible and adapted activities.
If you are armed with a passport, a photo identification card and an insurance coverage that protects you wherever you may find yourself, you have everything you need to take that trip you deserve! Keep in mind that some destinations require vaccinations and even a visa.
Planning: Before you begin, determine what the objectives of your trip are. Are you planning to carry out personal research; do you need assistance while doing so? How accessible are the destinations you wish to visit? What resources are available in case of emergency? These are all questions which must be answered before you confirm any travel plans.
Booking: It is important to organise your information before proceeding to any reservation. Be sure to clearly explain your limitations and your specific needs (transfer, suitcases, etc.) before you confirm your booking. It will ensure that they can be prepared for your arrival and welcome you with all the tools you will need in order to have a comfortable and safe stay. It is important to indicate the dimensions and the weight of your equipment, provide a list of your medications and allergies and finally, outline any moments in your schedule when you may need assistance.
Luggage: In addition to the essentials that a suitcase contains; clothing, hygiene products, etc., do not forget a 48-hour emergency kit that will include your everyday essentials and your medications for a few days to be carried with you during your travels. A bottle of water and non-perishable food items are always useful allies when an unexpected craving arises!
If you missed the conference on Traveling with ALS, you can watch it here.
Organised tours for the deaf and hearing impaired: Contact Johanne Boyer
Access to Travel
Canadian Transportation Agency
Take Charge of Your travel
Be sure to visit Kéroul.qc.ca for extensive information on accessible tourism!