Travelers with Disabilities

Research Your Destination

Each country has its own standards of accessibility for persons with disabilities. Before you travel, visit and enter a country or area to find information for mobility-impaired travelers in the Special Laws & Circumstances section. Unlike the United States, many countries do not legally require accommodations for persons with disabilities. 


Know Before You Go

Preparing for your trip is critical:

  • Consult your travel agent, hotel, airline, or cruise ship company to learn about services during your trip and your destination, including those for service animals.
  • Call the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) helpline for travelers with disabilities and medical conditions 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.

Service Animals

Before traveling, you should research taking a service animal 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 requirements.
  • Talk with your vet about tips for traveling with your service animal.
  • Make sure your hotel will accommodate your service animal.

Assistive Equipment

  • 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

Medical Consideration

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 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. 

Stay Connected

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier for the U.S. embassy or consulate to help in an emergency.


The U.S. Department of State assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or integrity of the private organizations whose links appear above. The inclusion of the websites above on does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of the U.S. Department of State.  Additionally, the Department of State has not verified the veracity of information included on those websites nor is the Department of State involved in updating the information on websites maintained by private groups or organizations.

Last Updated: November 6, 2019