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Summer Travel Tips

by Lux Joseph 21. June 2014

With the 4th of July holiday weekend in the near future–and the start of the summer holiday travel season–rapidly approaching, Commercial Medical Escorts offers advice for travelers heading into the busy summer travel season.

 

At CME we encourage you to work with a professional travel consultant to plan your next trip, be it a grand tour of Asia or a long weekend. A professional travel consultant like the one we use can save you both time and money. Sky Cap Corp, our in-house travel management states, “Travel consultants are committed to making their clients’ trip the best travel experience possible. So while the summer travel season is always a busy one, this year if you work with a travel consultant to plan your summer vacations, it doesn’t have to be a frustrating one.”   

 

As part of Commercial Medical Escorts ongoing commitment to provide clients and travelers with useful travel tips, below are recommendations from its consumer Web site, TravelSense.org, to take the hassle out of summer travel:

 

Car Travel Tips 

  • Plan itineraries and arrange accommodations well in advance. Reservations for hotels, restaurants and rental cars get booked quickly during peak travel times. Your travel agent can help you get the lowest rate and make sure your rental car has room for your family, luggage and whatever souvenirs you bring home.
  • Get a tune up. Before any long-distance drive, make sure to have your oil changed and your brakes, fluids and tire pressure checked. The slightest deficiency in air pressure significantly reduces your car’s gas mileage
  • Get an early start to avoid holiday gridlock. Traveling during late night/early morning hours helps. The worst times to travel are after meals since most travelers postpone leaving until they’ve eaten with their families.
  • Choose public transportation. Many U.S. cities now offer public transportation. Chances are, if you are visiting a city this summer, it will be your fastest and most convenient bet for getting around your destination quickly and at low cost. Plus, it’s a positive step for the environment. Ask your travel agent about transportation options available at your destination.
  • Buckle up. Make sure all children weighing less than 80 lbs. are properly restrained in child safety seats at all times. Child seats should be placed in the back seat, and never in front of an airbag. If possible, get a qualified person to check whether your car seat has been properly installed–in many areas local police and trained nurses will check it for free.
  • Don’t forget Fido. Those who are traveling with pets should contact their local agent for pet-friendly hotels along the way. Pet owners should also be reminded never to leave pets waiting in parked cars– temperatures can soar quickly during the sizzling summer months.

 

Air Travel Tips:

  • Book your ticket ASAP. If you must book last minute, remember the key to securing the best deal is flexibility in travel dates–ask your travel agent to check into fares or consider flying into an alternate airport and renting a car. At CME, we are constantly booking last minute tickets due to the nature of our business, but having a dedicated travel team saves our clients a significant amount of money. If your holiday vacation includes international travel, make sure you have appropriate travel documents.  Travel agents can advise you on the new rules.
  • Arrive early. Difficult airport parking, long lines at security checkpoints and the possibility of the airline overselling the flight and bumping passengers, should all be considered when deciding what time to arrive at the airport. Give yourself plenty of extra time. Need some incentive? Keep in mind that those who arrive earliest for an overbooked flight stand the greatest chance of staying onboard.
  • Keep a close eye on all your belongings. Just as airports are extremely crowded during the peak period with travelers, they can also be fraught with thieves working the airports. Be aware of your surroundings and maintain a close watch over tickets, wallets, purses, and other belongings at all times.
  • Avoid getting bumped. 1) Get an advance seat assignment. Passengers with seat assignments are typically only bumped if they arrive late and their seat assignment is released. 2) Check-in online. Most airlines allow you to do so within 24 hours of departure. Seat assignments that were not available at the time of ticketing may be available when checking in online. 3) Don’t be late. If all else fails, get to the airport early.
  • Remember 3-1-1. Regulations limit the amount of gels and liquids passengers can take through security in their carry-on luggage to travel-size toiletries of three (3) ounces or less that fit comfortably in one (1) quart-size, clear plastic zip-top bag and the one (1) bag per passenger must be placed in the screening bin.
  • Know your limits. Pack light and know baggage limits. You cannot carry sports equipment that could be used as a weapon, such as golf clubs and baseball bats. All electronic items are subject to additional screening. Be prepared to remove your laptop from its travel case to be X-rayed separately.

 

At Commercial Medical Escorts, safety is a top priority for our medical escorts and our patients. Providing travel tips and tips surrounding our industry is important to us and we hope that you are able to use this information when traveling this upcoming summer season.

 

Medical Escort via Rail

by Lux Joseph 8. November 2013

Do you have a family member that needs to return home with a medical escort, but flying is not an option? Commercial Medical Escorts wants you to know that there are alternative ways in which we transport patients. A majority of our cases are patients who are transported home on a commercial airline, but each and every month we are faced with a case, in which the patient is unable to fly due to their diagnosis, maybe they have a fear of flying or potentially another obstacle. For these particular situations, CME is able to transport the patient back home by train, ambulance, bus, town car/limo, and even wheelchair vans.

CME will always explore each option available to ensure the best means of transportation has been selected for the patient to ensure quality patient care and comfort. You may have a patient that is 100% non-ambulatory that needs to go from Fort Lauderdale to New York. The patient needs to remain lying flat at all times. A flight is obviously not an option. An ambulance or limousine is a possibility, but you are looking at 20 hours of ground transport with a stop or two along the way to ensure quality rest of the drivers. Not to mention that the cost will be several thousand dollars. Why not consider Amtrak? A single train transport with no switching trains and generous accommodations can put you in New York in approximately 27 hours. The length of the transport may seem long, but your patient can be comfortably situated in an accessible bedroom for under $1,000.00 per ticket. Our clinician asked our patient that was recently transported by train what she thought of the experience and her reply was “This was easier and more comfortable than I ever would have expected. As a patient you have all kinds of concerns going through your mind, but having a smooth transfer and a clinician to provide the needed support, the process is effective and puts you at ease.”

CME’s travel department has a special working relationship with Amtrak and their special services desk. Whenever a patient is transport whether it is by plane or train, having a great relationship with the operator of the mode of transportation allows a smooth transition for the patient. Very similar to the airlines, Amtrak is able to provide wheelchair assistance, accessible cabin rooms, and other special services that are specific to the needs of the patients we transport. Those travelers that travel in a roomette or bedroom are served complimentary meals throughout the journey. This past week one of our clinicians transported a patient from Washington, DC back to Florida on Amtrak. The PT had an accessible bedroom and the clinician had a connection room adjacent to the patient. An accessible bedroom is large enough for standard wheelchair to fit without issues. All the amenities including the bathroom are designed to meet the needs of those travelers with disabilities.

Patient safety and comfort is our number one priority at Commercial Medical Escorts. Understanding the different resources and methods of transports available help us to better meet the needs of our patients. Amtrak could be the option for your patient and our medical team will determine if they qualify for rail transfer. Medical escort via rail can offer substantial cost savings and CME looks forward to assist you with making that happen.

 

 


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