The Ultimate Checklist for Disabled Travel

Checklist for Disabled Travel - Cloud of Goods

A disability or impairment of any kind shouldn't put limitations on your freedom to explore, see the world, or visit loved ones. And since we know that hitting the road, boarding cruise ships, or catching flights can come with a few extra complications when mobility is an issue and accessibility is on the line, we’ve put together the Ultimate Checklist for Disabled Travel in the year 2024 and beyond. At Cloud of Goods, we help you to be mobile on your trip with our mobility rental options!    

Accessible travel allows disabled persons to go near or far to feed their wanderlust or stay connected to family. Book your trip, pack your bags, and gear up for an epic adventure that’s fun, safe, easy, and hassle-free. Below you’ll find answers to all your questions about travel for people with disabilities.


Pre-Trip Planning

Know Your Rights as a Traveler with Disabilities

It’s your right to have an equal opportunity access to enjoy your travels just like anyone else, disability or no disability. So, it goes without saying that if you ever feel like your needs aren't being met, or if you face any discrimination while traveling, don’t have any hesitation to raise a concern or file a complaint. The good news is the Justice Department recently rolled out an electronic ADA complaint form that allows you to quickly and easily report violations online.

Officially signed into law on July 26, 1990 by then President George Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires hotels and other lodgings here in the states to have at least 2 accessible rooms equipped with features such as wider doors, grab bars, safety rails in the bathroom and furniture that allows wheelchairs to move freely.

Enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the ADA extends its regulations to cruise ships, ensuring accessibility for passengers with disabilities. Major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and MSC Cruises offer accessible staterooms. Some ships, such as the MSC Seaside, Norwegian Bliss, and Disney Fantasy, are particularly lauded for their accommodations. For air travel, airlines are legally obligated to assist disabled passengers with boarding, deplaning, and connecting flights, as well as aiding with luggage handling. Similarly, the ADA applies to train and bus travel, ensuring accessibility for disabled passengers in these modes of transportation. However, you may want to consider reaching out ahead of time if you have any particular needs, specific requirements or requests, just to make sure the company has everything ready to accommodate you.

Key Questions to Ask Regarding Accessibility

  • For airlines: Ask if priority boarding is offered for disabled travelers and if assistance will be provided both at the airport during arrivals and departures and on the plane as well.

  • For cruise lines: Ask about the availability of accessible cabins and any onboard facilities that specifically cater to passengers with disabilities, like ramps and elevators.

  • For hotels: Ask if an ADA-compliant room is available for you to check into and if the property has elevators, automatic doors, roll-in showers and/or extra wide doors.


Accessible Travel Agencies

Wondering if disabled people get discounted travel or want to know which airline is best for handicapped travelers? Planning trips and vacations as a disabled person can be tricky, especially if you require a scooter, walker or wheelchair to get around. That's exactly why working with a travel agency that specializes in accessible and inclusive travel is a great option if accessibility is of concern. Disability travel agents are professionals who work closely with properties and operators that have already been pre-vetted for accessibility, ensuring their clients are provided with assistance and handicap-friendly accommodations. Not only can your travel agent book flights and hotels, but he or she can also let you in on where the best places are to eat or shop as a disabled person. If you plan on doing some sightseeing, your agent should also be able to tell you which nearby attractions are accessible. They really do know their stuff.

Transportation Tips

Air Travel

  • Book in Advance: Give the airline you're flying with a heads-up about any assistance you might need at the airport or on the plane. When booking your flight, you can let them know you'll need help boarding, checking bags and/or getting around the airport.
  • Consider Timing: It’s best to choose times that are less hectic in order to make your travel experience quieter, more relaxed, and more enjoyable. We suggest booking early morning or late evening flights during non-peak times to avoid the mid-day rush.
  • Relax and Enjoy: Flying can be stressful whether you have a disability or not. We recommend bringing along a book, watching a movie on your tablet or listening to a podcast to help pass the time while in flight or waiting for your flight to arrive.


Ground Transportation

  • Leverage Technology: Did you know apps like Uber and Lyft often have options for accessible transport? Disabled travelers love these apps because they let you track your ride's arrival and communicate directly with the driver about any accommodations you might need.
  • Get Discounts: Amtrak Railways offers a 10% discount to adult passengers with a disability. Those with permanent disabilities can even receive a free lifetime pass to all of the National Parks in the United States. You can get it online and only have to pay a $10 processing fee.
  • Get a RailCard: If you’ll be traveling in the UK, you’ll definitely want to look into getting your free Disabled Persons Railcard (disability railcard). These passes are available free of charge to deaf and disabled persons with visual impairments, hearing impairments, and other physical disabilities.


Cruise Ships

  • Choose the Right Ship: Not all cruise ships are created equal. If you're a disabled passenger, you'll want to look for ships that were built or refurbished more recently, as newer or updated ships tend to have better facilities for people with disabilities. Celebrity Reflection, Carnival Horizon, Norwegian Sky and Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas are just a few of the cruise ships highly rated among passengers boarding with disabilities.
  • Get to Know the Layout: Getting around cruise ships takes patience, so make sure you get familiar with where elevators are located in relation to your cabin and the places you plan to visit most often, such as the dining areas, entertainment venues, the service desk and the casino. You should be able to ask staff for a map of the ship that lays out exactly where elevators are or reference the ones located throughout the ship.
  • Use the Ship's Resources: The attendants who work at the guest services desk are really helpful when it comes to arranging assistance for boarding or disembarking. They can even help you book accessible excursions, tours or activities for days the ship will be in port.
  • Connect with Others: The neat thing about cruising is that you get to meet, dine and hang out with people from around the globe with all kinds of hobbies, backgrounds and interests. Many cruises these days even have meetups for disabled guests to gather and share their experiences, tips and recommendations with one another in a relaxed social setting.



Technology and Apps

Handicapped travel has never been more convenient, in part due to the availability of high-tech apps, tools, and websites. These are just some of the most popular mobile applications for traveling with a handicap.

  • Wheelmap: This must-have app for disabled travel maps out wheelchair-accessible destinations all around the world, each with a clear rating. Whether you're looking for a handicap-accessible restaurant, mall or museum to visit, it'll show you locations nearby. Since it's user-generated, you can add your own findings to help others and also see what others have to say.
  • Be My Eyes: Available in over 180 languages, this cool app connects blind and low-vision users with sighted volunteers who are there to provide visual assistance through a live video call. You can have the sighted helpers read signs when getting around airports, train stations, bus depots or busy city streets.
  • Google Maps: Though widely used, many people don’t realize that Google Maps has accessible route features that can show you the best paths to take if you're using a wheelchair or need to avoid stairs. This app also provides real-time public transportation updates, making it a great tool for traveling with disabilities.


What to Pack

Besides hand wipes, sanitizer, a small first-aid kit, books, and digital devices for entertainment, there are a number of other things you’ll want to make sure you pack for your trip.

Medical Supplies

Make sure you pack the medical equipment necessary for you to maintain your health, hygiene, and safety when away from home. This includes blood pressure monitors, glucose meters, portable nebulizers, oxygen concentrators, adult diapers, neck supports and wound dressings.

Mobility Aids

Depending on the nature of your disability, you might require a wheelchair, walking stick or mobility scooter to safely get around. If you don’t want to fuss with bringing yours from home, you can book your mobility rentals with us here at Cloud of Goods for convenience.


You’ll want to bring enough medication for the entire duration of your trip PLUS a few extra days just in case anything was to happen. Make sure to keep your medicines in their original packaging and bring copies of your prescriptions to avoid any issues at security checkpoints.


It's important to also bring along a travel insurance document that details information about your condition or disability, provides contact info for your doctor and lists any medications you're taking. Make sure you also have your medical ID accessible when traveling.

Communication Aids

Don't forget to also pack assistive accessories such as hearing aids or voice output devices so that you’ll be able to hear others and communicate in a way others understand. Compact, lightweight and rechargeable battery-operated devices are best for solo or companion travel.

Comfort Items

You'll likely spend lots of time sitting, so comfort items are essential. These include specialized pressure-relieving seat cushions, ergonomic travel pillows, thermal blankets and other items that can help make your travels as a disabled person that much more comfortable and convenient.

And there you have it, dear reader … The Ultimate Checklist for Disabled Travel! Thanks to all of the tips and tidbits contained here in our disability travel guide, you're now a more well-equipped traveler prepared to make your domestic or international travels by air, road, or sea safer, easier, smarter and more comfortable. Speaking of making things easier and more efficient when traveling, why not lighten your load without compromising safety or accessibility by booking mobility rentals with a company known for its excellent customer service and wide range of options? We here at Cloud of Goods specialize in assisting people just like you who want to get where they’re going safely, easily and conveniently despite being disabled, handicapped, or impaired in any way.

Whether you’re looking to rent a mobility scooter, a folding wheelchair or a portable oxygen concentrator when traveling to higher elevations, we have everything you could possibly need to enjoy safe and happy travels. Place your order online through our website   or reach out via email at or give us a call at (+1)407-545-3103. There’s no better time than now to get out and make the once impossible possible!