Planning a Hassle-Free Vacation

Planning a Hassle-Free Vacation

It’s that time of year when people get tired of living in the cold and decide to head somewhere warm and sunny. For some, this means visiting a tropical climate closer to the equator, while others choose dry heat and head for the desert. No matter where you’d like to go, it’s a good idea to check before you leave and make sure that you’ll be staying at a resort that accommodates disabilities and is wheelchair-accessible. For guests with limited mobility, vacations aren’t as relaxing when you have to worry about the accessibility of the places you’d like to visit. We’ve done some research and came up with a few tips about accessible vacations and vacation destinations!

  • Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands are always good options for accessible travel, for one very good reason: they are part of the United States, which means they must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wheelchair ramps, lifts, and accessible restrooms are all required by law in hotels, as well as other public places like museums.
  • Did you know? Cruise ships traveling in United States waters are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. That means that cruise ships are a great vacation option for guests with mobility and accessibility concerns. About Caribbean Travel notes that “cruising is one of the most disability-friendly ways to travel…” because they “traditionally serve[d] older clientele – who tend to have more mobility issues.” Look closely at the itinerary before booking, however, because you’ll want to choose a cruise that involves port calls with docks for large cruise ships. It can be difficult for guests with disabilities to tender from ship to shore.
  • Another thing to double-check before booking: the airports you’ll be stopping at. Larger airports are better, as it is more likely that they will have wheelchair-accessible jetways. Otherwise, passengers may have to climb down a set of stairs to leave the airplane, which poses logistical concerns for passengers who use a wheelchair.
  • AbilityTrip.com offers detailed reviews of various travel destinations on (almost) every continent. Valuable information has been shared by reviewers, including measurements of bathrooms, doorways, etc.; options for accessible rooms in hotels and resorts; availability of “off-road” wheelchairs; passport requirements; service animal requirements; and accessibility information for various businesses and activities.
  • Expert tip: consult with a travel agent who specializes in accessible travel. They will be able to advise you on which airports, resorts, and activities are best for travelers with accommodation needs. If they plan your trip for you, they will be able to contact the resort to make sure they are prepared for your arrival, and can also arrange transportation accommodations, if necessary.

Lots of information on accessible traveling is available on the Internet or by contacting a travel agent who specializes in travel arrangements for clients with disabilities. By doing a little bit of research and planning ahead, you can make sure your tropical vacation is hassle-free and tons of fun!

This post was written by a guest contributor for Global Lift Corp., manufacturers and distributors of ADA-compliant aquatic access equipment.