Tips for traveling with crutches

Written by quentin shires
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Tips for traveling with crutches
Don't let crutches stop you from going on vacation. (Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you have a leg injury and are currently using crutches, don't let that get in the way of your travel plans. Although travelling can be more difficult on crutches, if you plan ahead you can have a more comfortable journey.

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Navigating the Airport

Transportation Security Administration rules require that all crutches undergo X-ray screening. Screening agents, therefore, must assist all passengers who have mobility issues until they are able to pick up their crutches. If you find you are not getting the assistance you need, or are left standing in an uncomfortable position, inform a TSA agent so he can get you a chair or reunite you with you crutches.

Airlines are also required to assist travellers who use crutches. When booking your ticket, inform the customer service operator that you use crutches so the airline can issue you a pre-boarding pass. Pre-boarding passes allow passengers to board the plane first and get settled before general boarding begins.

Consider travelling with a pair of collapsible crutches. Collapsible crutches fold up and can easily fit in your seat pocket, under your seat or in the overhead bins. Before travelling, talk to your doctor about the best kinds of collapsible crutches; they come in both forearm and traditional styles.

Tips for traveling with crutches
Ask checkpoint security officers to help you through the screening process. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Carry-on Baggage

Carry-on baggage should be limited when you are travelling with crutches. Keeping your arms free is important. Consider carrying a backpack instead. When packing carry-on luggage take only essential items in your backpack. Medications, passport, identification card, tickets and entertainment items all fit nicely in a backpack, allowing you easier mobility.

To help keep your backpack as light as possible, ask other family members if you can store other essentials in their carry-on luggage. A change of clothes and personal care items are important if you are travelling on a longer flight and will provide you with solace if your checked baggage gets lost.

Tips for traveling with crutches
Keep carry-on luggage to a minimum so it's easier to walk with your crutches. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Hotel Accommodations

Before leaving on your vacation check with your hotel to make sure it is equipped to deal with your disability. Ask if the hotel has an elevator and rooms that are handicapped-accessible. If the hotel does not have an elevator, request a room on the first floor.

Tips for traveling with crutches
Make sure your hotel room's bathroom is equipped with safety rails. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Recreation Activities

Just because you are on crutches doesn't mean you have to stay in your hotel room. Many tourist attractions and recreational facilities cater to people with mobility issues. Consider renting a wheelchair. Or call ahead to see if the museum or attraction you are visiting has loaner wheelchairs.

Tips for traveling with crutches
For larger visitor attractions consider using a wheelchair. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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