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Planning an Accessible and Enjoyable Family Vacation

  • Published: 2012-05-18 (Revised/Updated 2013-06-04) : Author: Michelle Seitzer
  • Synopsis: List of resources that provide information and accessible travel bookings for persons with disability.

Quote: "Unfortunately, even with all our technological advances, there are still many places that are not disability-accessible"

Main Document

A successful family vacation is often the result of good planning. Plus, if you've ever tried to book a flight or hotel room at the last minute, planning ahead also means you'll save money - which means more to spend on souvenirs and meals.

A little spontaneity never hurts (and sometimes the best memories happen when you do things on a whim), but if you or a family member has a disability or mobility impairment, planning is definitely essential. Unfortunately, even with all our technological advances, there are still many places that are not disability-accessible, making planning very difficult for families with a disabled member(s). However, resources are available online and in your community to help you plan a mobility-friendly trip. We'll share a few here:

Resources for Accessible Travel Planning:

Abilitytrip.com: Touted as a "centralized resource for accessible travel information," abilitytrip.com was co-founded in 2008 by Darren and Faith Brehm, a husband and wife team who knows how hard it is to plan an accessible vacation. In 1993, the Brehms sustained serious injuries in a car accident; Darren suffered a spinal cord injury resulted in quadriplegia. Knowing well the importance of accessible vacation destinations, the Brehms have created a valuable (and free) resource for others like them who don't want to let their disabilities hinder their travels.

Find destination-specific information about "the current state of accessibility" all over the world. Traveling to the Caribbean? The Middle East? Asia? You'll find listings there and elsewhere regarding logistics, activities, emergency services, restaurants and accommodations. The site also provides a number of helpful travel tools, like a packing checklist (down-loadable as a customizable excel spreadsheet) and a place to share your experiences with others.

Frommers.com - Visit the renowned travel experts at Frommer's for several unique and accessible travel ideas (with links). The articles shared include such topics as accessible camping and new regulations that have made cruising easier for passengers in wheelchairs. Reference these and more at: www.frommers.com/trip_ideas/disabled/

Travelinwheels.com: Another excellent web resource is www.travelinwheels.com The site has a blog, an archive of stories and tips from other disabled travelers, booking tools, and an worldwide accessibility guide. You can also sign up to be an "ambassador" in order to regularly create/submit assessment profiles of accessible destinations, review other posted assessments, and share pictures and tips from your travels.

101Mobility.com: You may need a portable ramp or auto lift to make the trip a little easier. Check out the line of products available at 101 Mobility 101mobility.com the company also offers ramp rentals should you wish to use the ramp for your vacation only. Call 1.888.258.0652 (or peruse the site) to find a local office and get connected to a mobility professional who can advise you on the best solution for your specific situation.

Disabledworld.com: At this resource-filled site, you'll find reviews of accessible tours, vacations and cruises tailored to individuals with disabilities, helpful travel tips, videos, and access to an extensive library of articles published around the topic of accessible travel (with links).


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3 : Advice on Traveling with a Catheter : Aeroflow.
4 : Hotel Industry On Right Track to Full Accessibility : Open Doors Organization (ODO).
5 : UN Says Accessible Tourism Benefits Everyone : United Nations.
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