In an ideal world, traveling with aphasia would be easy. The front desk staff at every hotel and waitstaff at every restaurant would be well-versed in aphasia. They would know how to communicate patiently, and give customers the time they need to ask questions or give answers.
Since we don’t live in that world (yet), we’ve pulled together a small set of tips for traveling with aphasia.
Traveling with aphasia means doing a little extra research. Get familiar with the TSA’s guidelines for people traveling with aphasia. Print out the TSA’s notification card beforehand and give it to the TSA agent when you get in the security line. The card also contains helpful phone numbers you can use before or during your trip to ask questions.
If you’re driving, plot your route and know where you’re stopping along the way. Have someone speak to the hotel staff before you arrive to make check in easier. Taking a few extra steps before your trip means that travel will be easier during your trip.
Take Some Company
Make your vacation relaxing by taking along someone who can do the majority of the communication work along the way. Navigating the unknown can be stressful, and bringing someone with you ensures that you can unwind.
Write it Out
Think about the various places you’ll go and things you’ll see along the way, and then print out a paper with important phrases you’ll need. Place a simple explanation at the top of the paper about your aphasia, but then write down questions you’d want to ask in the moment or answers you’ll have to give along the way. You may never need this sheet of paper, but it will make things easier if you have the words at the ready.
Most restaurants post their menus online. Read the menus before you leave for your trip so you don’t feel rushed in the moment. You can write out what you want to order and show the waiter so you don’t have to find the right words.
Don’t Tire Yourself Out
Travel is not the same as being home, and it’s easy to get exhausted when you’re on the road. Tiredness can affect communication, so make sure you set a reasonable pace for your trip. Even though you may not need any help getting around while you’re at home, use any means necessary to conserve your energy.
What are some other tips you can give for traveling with aphasia?
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash