flexible and always come up with a plan to suit the
individual.” Safaris start at about $1,800 for eight
days and seven nights, plus airfare.
Meet your needs
Though the world is increasingly accessible, people
with MS may want to avoid certain destinations.
Less-developed countries tend to lack established
tourism industries, Nayar says, so you’ll need to be
proactive in making sure your needs are met there.
If you do travel to an emerging nation, see a doctor
beforehand to discuss vaccinations and any other
medical requirements (see “Medical matters,” page
19). If your dream trip isn’t workable, consider
alternative plans. For instance, summiting Mount
Everest may be pretty ambitious, but Leh, a town in
India, also offers splendid Himalayan vistas.
No matter where you go, keep your limitations in
mind. “Try to match the times when you have the
most energy to the times that are most demanding.
Pace yourself so you don’t plan a lot of really
physical or mental activities in a row,” says Shelley
Peterman Schwarz, author of Multiple Sclerosis:
300 Tips for Making Life Easier. “Noise,
bouncing colors, lots of people moving and talking
18 Momentum • Summer.2012
can deplete your energy. Give yourself breaks,” she
advises. Even if you can’t go back to your hotel or
cabin to rest, look for a quiet space—the bus, car or
even a toilet stall.
No secret: get an agent
While many people enjoy planning a trip almost
as much as taking it, people with MS have more
factors to consider.
Nayar recommends using a travel agent
experienced in assisting people with disabilities.
“Agents will know how to put your trip together,
once you tell them your needs,” she says. “They do
all the legwork—you won’t have to call each place.
They usually have negotiated rates for rooms and
cruises, so you might get a better deal. And you
don’t pay anything extra for having an agent book
Agents can also help you stay up to date on the
various laws intended to ensure that travelers with
disabilities receive equal treatment. Kris Graham,
an information specialist at the National MS
Society, points out that different government
agencies are responsible for different sets of
ADA applies to Amtrak
trains and to buildings,
including hotels, while
the Air Carrier Access
Act (ACAA) regulates
plane transport. In
other words, if someone
is not able to get into
the airport because the
building lacks ramps,
it’s an ADA issue. But
it’s an ACAA concern if
someone can’t get onto
the plane. Federal rules
also apply to foreign air
carriers that operate in