Those who need assistance standing and walking steadily will naturally need to bring along their walking canes or mobility devices onto an airplane during travel. All walking canes vary in size and style, but all have the same purpose – to help the individual get around. If you are planning to travel by airplane, it is good to know that you can take your walking cane onto the plane with you without any problems. Here are some basic guidelines and tips to help make traveling with your cane much easier and smooth:
Traveling With Your Cane
- The Basics – Many airlines will allow you to bring your walking cane on the plane with you, without it being considered one of your carry-on pieces. A cane is listed under the category of a mobility device, so naturally it would be allowed. However, due to precautions at the airport, you may have to go through an X-ray machine before boarding. Collapse your cane (if possible) before it is X-rayed and ask for help while standing or walking through the metal detector.
- Storing Your Cane – After you have been seated on the airplane, you can ask a flight attendant if he or she can store your walking cane for you. Several airplanes will have closets or designated areas to store larger passenger items such as walking canes, hanging garment bags and crutches. Once you have ended your flight, the flight attendant will return your walking cane to you.
- Safety Concerns – Because airplanes are confined areas, it can be easy to bump into other passengers. While you are walking on the airplane with your cane, be very careful how you move if you need to get up at any point.
Now that the basics have been covered, lets consider some tips that can be incorporated in your travels with a walking cane.
- Tip #1 – If you are traveling to Europe, check out the book written by author Rick Steves, Easy Access Europe. This book breaks down several European countries and has options for people who need assistance walking with a cane or are confined to a wheelchair.
- Tip #2 – When traveling, try to book your accommodations near the site(s) that you want to visit. This will help you to reach your destinations quickly and easily without the need to walk farther or pay additional for transportation.
- Tip #3 – While in the airport, utilize the wheelchair service that is available. This is especially helpful if the airport is large and requires a lot of walking. Typically, this is a free service and the staff will take you in the back areas, around the crowds to quickly and safely make it to your destination.
- Tip #4 – Use public transportation when made available. Private drivers can be cheap; depending on what area you travel to and allow you to walk from the car to the location with less in between.
- Tip #5 – Build in some “rest breaks” into your itinerary. By doing so you will allow your body to rest, even though you will be traveling all of the time.
No matter how long or how far you travel it is important to consider the limitations that are associated with walking canes. We hope that by considering the above-mentioned tips and information that you will be better equipped to travel easily and comfortably. Happy Travels from Palo Medical!