Planes, trains, boats, and automobiles

By air...
In recent years, airport security has been stepped up. Fortunately, if you take MS medications, you can still bring them with you on the plane in your carry-on baggage. It's important to have the medication with you in your carry-on in case your luggage is lost. See the "Taking medications along for the ride" section of this feature for more details on how to transport your medications. You can also contact the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) for more information.

If you have a disability or mobility issue, call ahead to find out how the airline can help you in terms of boarding, seating, storing your mobility device, and accessible washrooms. Find out if you need to arrive early or identify yourself to someone in order to access this service.

By land...
If you're traveling by train, most rail companies have modified their cars to offer better accessibility to people with restricted mobility and offer assistance with boarding. Some (such as VIA Rail in Canada) may also offer free travel to care providers traveling with you. As with airplane travel, it's important to keep your medications in your carry-on luggage where they will be easily available to you.

Many trips involve renting a car or van once you've reached your destination. This can still be an option even if your mobility is restricted. Call ahead to find out if the rental car company offers cars that can accommodate mobility devices, if needed. Rental cars may also come with other special features for people with disabilities, such as hand controls (for people who cannot use their legs to push the pedals). Most of these services are available free of charge, but you usually need to reserve ahead of time. If heat makes your symptoms worse, look for a vehicle with air conditioning. You may also want to consider getting roadside assistance coverage during the time that you rent a vehicle (if you're not already covered).

Or by sea...
If you're planning a cruise, here are a few things to keep in mind.

When choosing a cruise line, call ahead to make sure they can accommodate any special needs you may have, and that you will be able to access public areas and shore excursions. Whether it's onboard wheelchair accessibility, air conditioning, a crewmember to help you aboard, or a cool place to keep your medications, most major cruise lines will be happy to help. However, you may need to arrange these things in advance. You may also want to find out ahead of time whether any doctor's notes or medical releases are required. Choose a newer boat if possible, as these are likely to be larger and more accessible for those with disabilities.

Seasickness can ruin a great cruise. Before you leave, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about medications that you can take for seasickness and whether they are safe to combine with your other medications.

No matter how you choose to travel, if your travel experience did not provide the accessibility or accommodation you needed, you can find out more about your rights by contacting the Canadian Transportation Agency. Their Codes of Practice provide more information about accessible travel regulations.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2021. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: