Many popular travel guidebooks and websites fail to provide details on whether certain destinations or activities are accessible to people with disabilities. To help you plan a vacation that your entire family will be able to enjoy regardless of their specific needs, check out these online resources:
Lonely Planet’s Accessible Travel
This pdf is available for free download; they release a new version biannually. This guide contains country-by-country resources for travelers with disabilities, links to relevant travel blogs, general resources, a list of travel agents and tour operators that cater to people with a variety of requirements, and a list of adaptive sports opportunities. The authors do mention that unlike with their printed guidebooks, which only include destinations and establishments that Lonely Planet staff have visited, they have not personally vetted each resource in this guide. They advise readers to “make your own enquiries as you know best what your requirements are and only you know what questions to ask to make sure they will be met.”
Lonely Planet also has many destination-specific accessibility guides, which can be downloaded for free here.
This guide lists some top adaptive skiing destinations in the U.S. and Canada. They explain which types of skiing might be suitable for people with specific limitations, for example being unable to stand or having a visual impairment. The authors then go into great detail about different skiing facilities in North America, including information about the accessibility of nearby hotels and towns as well as the resorts themselves.
This is a website run by James Glasbergen, who writes about his experiences traveling the world with quadriplegia. He offers some general travel tips, and reviews trips he has taken to destinations such as Rome, Barbados, Montreal, and many more.
Mobility International USA (MIUSA)
This is a nonprofit organization with headquarters in Eugene, Oregon. There mission is, “To empower people with disabilities to achieve their human rights through international exchange and international development.” They support students studying abroad as well as international students coming to the U.S. They also offer tips to professionals on how best to advise travelers with disabilities.
Cruise Critic: Best Ships for Cruisers With Disabilities
This webpage reviews various cruises for accessibility. The author discusses not only wheelchair accessibility, but also whether there are sign language interpreters, Braille menus, staff experienced at working with children on the autism spectrum, etc.
This is a great travel blog, chock-full with information about traveling in a wheelchair. Cory provides wheelchair-friendly guides to many different places around the world. Check out “Trekking Through the Wheelchair Accessible Viru Bog in Estonia” or “Rolling in the Middle of the World in Ecuador” to read about his adventures.
We hope this guide has been useful! Once you’ve picked a travel destination, take a look at these pages from the CDC and TSA to make sure that you are prepared for your trip:
CDC: Traveling With a Disability
This page from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has information on international travel for people with disabilities. It is particularly relevant for those with immunocompromising conditions, who take medications that may interfere with certain vaccines, or who are likely to require medical care while abroad. The page also discusses some legal rights that travelers with disabilities have, particularly with regard to airplane travel.
TSA: Disabilities and Medical Conditions
This informational page from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) explains what people with disabilities can do to prepare for going through security at the airport. For example, they detail what to do if you require medications in excess of the allowed 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag.
Do you have any favorite accessible destinations or useful tips for traveling with a disability? Please comment below to share your experiences with others!
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