After limb loss, lots of the things you used to do without thinking about them may suddenly seem challenging. Traveling can be one of those things, and if your friends are making big Spring Break plans, you might be wondering how you can take part without sacrificing your safety or wellbeing. Good news – it’s totally possible to enjoy Spring Break with a prosthesis, and BioTech has all the tips!
Any vacation requires a certain amount of planning, but for those with limb loss, the preparation stage of the trip can be a bit more extensive. Here are a few tips for before you leave:
- Check your prosthesis for cracks, tears, loose parts, and strange sounds (these could indicate a soon-to-be-broken component).
- Pack extra supplies, such as socks, tape, socket liners, tool kit with screwdriver, and plastic bags to put over the prosthesis when you’re near sand or water.
- Take your prosthetist’s phone number and email address, just in case something happens to your prosthesis.
Address Travel Concerns
If you’re flying to your destination, make a special request for bulkhead seating. These are the seats at the front of a section, and they face a wall instead of another row of seats. Sitting here will provide you with more space, and usually, airlines reserve these seats for people with disabilities.
Wheelchair assistance is another thing to look into. Even if you can walk to your flight, a wheelchair will get you to the front of a customs line and can keep you from having to endure a strenuous journey between flights or through a large airport.
Loose clothing and shoes that slip on are essential for getting through airport security efficiently. Also, bring a letter from your doctor or prosthetist that explains your need for a prosthesis. This can be vital if a TSA agent questions anything. Expect your device to set off an alarm at security, and be proactive about giving information to agents.
If you’re not flying, consider Amtrak or Greyhound. Both are well equipped to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities, and Amtrak even offers a discount as long as you have a letter from your doctor on hand.
Gather Hotel Room Information
Before you arrive at your Spring Break destination, be sure you have called the hotel or condo in advance. Ask to speak with a person who has actually been inside the room and is familiar with its layout. Try to avoid “yes” or “no” questions.
If possible, stay on the first floor – or as close to it as you can get. Not only will this make things easier for you, but if the elevators are turned off during an emergency, you’ll be able to get out as easily as possible. And before you check in, ask to see your room to make sure they have accommodated your needs!
Spring Break with a Prosthesis Can Be Great!
There may be a few more steps to having an awesome Spring Break now that you’re an amputee, but believe us when we say that your vacation can still be everything you want it to be! Take the time to prepare, talk to your prosthetist, and make arrangements that will ensure a smooth experience. We hope you have a wonderful time!