Tips for Traveling With People With Disabilities

Written by

For the nearly 1.25 million Hoosiers living with a disability, transportation goes far beyond getting from one place to another. Being in a different environment, be it a new room, new city or on a plane, can be extremely stressful. Even tasks as seemingly simple as getting in and out of a car can become discouraging travel barriers.

Tips for traveling with people living with disabilities

Give yourself extra time and plan ahead

Once you’re familiar with where you’re going, you can prepare for what you may encounter on the way.

  • Start by planning ahead to refill any necessary medications or purchase supplies the day before your trip.
  • Research your route and schedule pit stops along the way, especially if it’s a longer trip.
  • Have a game plan complete with in-vehicle activities and snacks in case you encounter unexpected circumstances.
  • Be sure to check the emergency medical kit as well.
  • And don’t forget to make sure everyone uses the bathroom before you leave!

Know your destination

Depending on your destination, there are a number of factors that can make the end of a trip frustrating for everyone in the vehicle. Is there enough designated parking? Will there be accessible seating? Is the destination in a busy part of town? Are there any potential physical obstacles?

In addition to the physical difficulties, an unfamiliar environment can create emotional stress. If you’re going someplace new, look online or call before you leave to find out how disability friendly your destination is to make the trip easier for everyone.

Be patient and supportive

It is important to be patient and calm when traveling, even more so when assisting a person with a disability. It might take a little extra time to get to where you’re going, but getting there safely is more significant than how long it takes to get there. Talk to your loved one before you leave about any concerns he or she has to help avoid unnecessary stress while driving or once you reach your destination. If a stressful situation arises, give information in small amounts and repeat yourself using a calm tone of voice as necessary to prevent further agitation. Take cues from your loved one, and try to see things from his or her point of view.

With these tips for traveling with a person with disabilities, your trip should be more enjoyable and less stressful.


If you are caring for a person with disabilities in Central Indiana, contact CICOA today for local resources and services to support you and your loved one. Call (317) 803-6131.


More News & Stories

CICOA named Top Workplace 2024

Culture of Care: CICOA Honored as a Top Workplace

Every day I come to work, I feel energized to do the work I do on behalf of older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers because I am surrounded by a team who shares that passion for our mission....
CICOA named Top Workplace 2024

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions Named a 2024 Top Workplace

CICOA Aging & In-Home Solutions has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2024 honor by Indianapolis Star Top Workplaces, landing in the No. 3 spot in the large business category. The Top Workplaces awards recognize employers that build and nurture a...
Innovation lights the way

Light the Way: Help Us Unlock a $25,000 Matching Gift for Wrinkle Innovation

As CICOA marks its 50th anniversary, we're reflecting on our commitment to serving older adults, individuals with disabilities and family caregivers. But we're not just looking back – we're also looking forward with innovative approaches to make an even greater...