With the rise in popularity of smartphones, developers have taken advantage of the opportunity to create apps. There seems to be an app for just about everything out there. Now that accessible travel is being talked about more within the online travel community, there are app developers that look to help optimize accessible travelers’ experiences away from home as they travel with their small motorized scooter or portable power chair. Since this type of app is new, some apps may not have all the information available that their counterparts have because they haven’t been around that long. However, looking into accessible travel apps can help you prepare for your trip and ease a bit of your travel anxiety.
Accessible Map Apps
When traveling to an unfamiliar place, it’s good to have an idea of where you’re going. While reading a map is a useful skill to have, using a map app can help you navigate directly to your destination without any unnecessary detours. If you are traveling domestically, using an app like Google Maps is simple. All you have to do is enter your destination and hit the navigate button. If you’re abroad and don’t have an international data plan, however, you will need to use Wi-Fi to be able to use the app while you’re already out.
Some accessible map apps include: Access Earth, Jaccede, Euan’s Guide (iOS), Wheelmap, Wheelguide Accessibility and Accessaloo
Accessible Transportation Apps
When traveling, check if the city you’re visiting has a public transit, whether a bus, subway or train system. Some transit systems have launched apps that allow riders to check schedules and routes, locate stations and elevators and buy tickets.
If your destination doesn’t have a public transit system, UberWAV and Lyft Access services are available in a select group of cities in the United States and abroad. To learn more, download the Uber and Lyft apps.
Getting Organized for Your Accessible Trip
Thinking of what to pack when traveling with your portable power chair can be challenging enough, but keeping everything organized is a whole other story. Downloading and using a checklist app is helpful when it comes to remembering your important items, like medications and chargers for your electric mobility devices.
Our recommended checklist app: OneNote
The best part about OneNote is that you can access your list from any computer or device as long as you remember your login information.
Aside from a checklist app, we recommend an app like Pill Reminder and Medication Tracker by Medisafe, which helps users keep track of their medication, refills and more.
Communicating with Others During Your Accessible Trip
Communication is important, even if you’re going on a short trip. Download your texting app of choice and make sure that those you want to keep in touch with also download the app. Some texting apps also feature the ability to make calls, send voice messages and video chat. These apps are accessible around the world, as long as you have a Wi-Fi or data connection.
Some popular texting apps include: WhatsApp, Telegram and KakaoTalk
Additional Helpful Accessible Travel Apps
In addition to accessible map apps, accessible transportation apps and texting apps, it’s a good idea to see if your airline and hotel have an app. Airline apps offer features for flyers like booking flights, monitoring flight delays, checking in and generating boarding passes.
Some hotel apps offer the option of a mobile key so that travelers can open their hotel room door with a tap of their smartphone. Users can also manage hotel reservations and easily access information about the reservation and the hotel itself, such as the address.
For more helpful information before you travel, check out our resources for planning an accessible trip!