Excursions require extra planning for those with mobility issues

Trips with my family require more research now that I have MS

Mike Parker avatar

by Mike Parker |

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Summer planning has started for my family, which means trying to arrange trips and time together. Before I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), we could simply book an excursion that looked enjoyable. But now, thanks to my mobility issues, planning is slightly tricker.

In the past, a typical day out consisted of walking around without worrying about how long we’d be out. Our plans were straightforward: get together, name places we wanted to go, and choose the ones that sounded fun to all of us.

These days, though, I rely on a wheelchair and assistance from family to get around. That means we must consider what’s possible for me and those helping me, as well as lots of additional research.

For example, we now look for places with flat ground so that using a wheelchair isn’t too taxing. I try to self-wheel, but that can quickly become tiring, requiring a family member to take over.

We must also consider accessibility. At a minimum, there need to be places to rest, disability-friendly toilets, and accessible parking spaces near the entrance.

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Types of places to visit

My family’s usual haunts are zoos, theme parks, and the seaside — all of which can be challenging for someone with mobility issues.

Zoos can sometimes have rough walkways, making it hard to walk and push a wheelchair. They do, however, tend to have lots of seating dotted around, as well as the odd coffee shop, allowing me to rest when needed.

Theme parks are fun, but I might be unable to go on some rides. However, I’d still enjoy attending because it’s a fun day out with family, where we’re all laughing and joking about how terrified people look coming off different attractions.

Seaside visits are very enjoyable on a warm, sunny day. I love seeing the water, feeling the warmth on my skin, and maybe even getting ice cream. If I’m lucky, the crown jewel is a hot doughnut covered in sugar, which can be found along the seafront in snack bars. Many seaside towns also have gaming arcades for the kids. (OK, for the “big kids,” too.) The only issue is finding accessible toilets, but that’s something we can research before the trip.

Accepting the challenge

All of these excursions bring challenges. But even though MS requires additional planning and considerations, it doesn’t have to stop us from having a good time. Yes, changes must be made, and now and then, some activities won’t be possible. But no matter what, my family will find ways around the challenges and enjoy making memories.

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.




Sage Travel is an excellent group for longer overnight travel.


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