Traveling with Disabilities
Each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities. Before you travel, visit travel.state.gov/destination and enter a country or area to find information for mobility-impaired travelers in the Special Laws & Circumstances section. Many countries do not legally require accomodations, as does the United States.
Know Before You Go
Preparing for your trip is critical:
- Consult your travel agent, hotel, airline or cruise ship compnay to learn abour services during your trip and your destination, including those for your service dog.
- Call the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions at toll free at 855-787-2227 (toll-free), or check TSA’s website, TSA Cares. They can answer questions about screening policies, procedures, and the security checkpoints.
- Check websites such as Mobility International USA to find overseas disability organizations.
- Read Section 6 of the State Department's Human Rights Report for information of the human rights and social service framework protecting citizens with disabilities in your destination country.
Before traveling, you should research taking a service dog abroad:
- Contact the U.S. embassy or consulate of your destination country for information on possible restrictions and cultural norms about service animals.
- Find out about any quarantine, vaccination, and documentation requirerments.
- Talk with your vet about tips for traveling with your service animal.
- Make sure your hotel will accommodate your service animal.
- Find out if there are specific policies for devices such as wheelchairs, portable machines, batteries, respirators, and oxygen.
- Research the availability of wheelchair and medical equipment providers.
- Consider manual vs. power wheel chairs, including:
- Voltage of electricity
- Type of electrical plug
- Reliability of electrical system 24/7
Consult with your physician before traveling overseas to identify health care needs during your trip. If your health insurance plan does not provide coverage overseas, we strongly recommend supplemental medical insurance and medical evacuation plans.
- Visit our webpage, Your Health Abroad.
- See the Travelers’ Health page of the Centers for Disease Control website.
- Carry medical alert information and a letter from your health care provider describing your medical condition, medications, potential complications, and other pertinent medical information.
- Carry sufficient prescription medication to last your entire trip, including extra medicine in case of delay. Some prescription medications that are legal in the United States are illegal in other countries. See travel.state.gov/destination for the specific area where you will be traveling, and contact the foreign embassy or consulate for more information.
- Always carry your prescriptions in their labeled containers, not in a pill pack.
Learn About Your Destination
Check your overseas medical insurance coverage: Ask your medical insurance company if your policy applies overseas, and if it covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider supplemental insurance.