CHARLOTTE, NC, February 25, 2018 – Now that Baby Boomers are becoming more like firecrackers, there’s an increasing number of disabled travelers among them. The reality is that travel with a disability is getting easier. Tour operators and cruise lines are recognizing a huge market of potential travelers, 60 million and growing, that are ready to wander.
Accommodations and services for the disabled are rapidly improving.
Some tour companies are designing special tours that eliminate or minimize troublesome itineraries. A great place to start is the internet with information detailing the best ways for disabled travelers to see the world with everyone else.
Legendary English writer and poet J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote that
“Not all who wander are lost.”
He could not have been more accurate. In fact, Tolkien died in 1973, long before the internet was a major source of information so his observation was prophetic.
Consider if Tolkien had observed the possibilities of today with the added conveniences of GPS, internet, Twitter, Facebook, text, e-mail and, yes, even telephones.
In an effort to offer as much information as possible regarding disabled travel, following is a list of websites in which disabled people wishing to remain active in their wanderlust can access.
Travel websites for disabled travelers
The following list is alphabetical, not by preference; the list is by no means definitive or complete.
Accessible Journeys: A tour operator who designs tours for slow walkers, wheelchair travelers and their companions.
Accomable: A specific reference guide that informs disabled travelers about lodging throughout the world that caters to the needs and comforts of handicapped guests.
In many ways cruises are an ideal form of travel for wheelchair travelers, but there can be inconveniences as well. Crowded stairways, for example, can be a hazard and similar problems can arise due to large numbers of people in public areas with congested seating.
The advantage of a cruise, however, is the ability to minimize the amount of moving around that is necessary, along with the ability to see multiple ports in a single journey.
Food is readily accessible and plentiful, and many onboard services add to comforts and conveniences that are frequently missing during land-based trips.
Barrier-Free Cruising: This is a good resource (among many that are available for cruisers) with plenty of tips for disabled sea-goers.
Cruise Critic: Chances are a disabled traveler will be going with a caregiver who is also capable of traveling by themselves. Cruise Critic is a good site because it combines information for both categories of traveler, which means that caregivers can obtain pertinent information as well as their patients.
DisabledTravelers.com: A comprehensive list of tour operators around the world who specialize in travel for disabled passengers.
For me, I find this site to difficult to navigate due the clutter. It does offer a wealth of information.
Disabled Traveler’s Guide to the World: Though it may sound the same as the site above, this is more of a guidebook and a reference that provides tips for disabled travelers to avoid unexpected pitfalls and how to anticipate potential problems.
One of the best features of this site is a listing of what you can expect in individual countries. It also includes some of their most popular destinations.
Emerging Horizons: Though this publication only comes out quarterly, the gap allows researchers to discover more in-depth materials and learn about the latest advances for mobility-impaired travelers.
Gimp on the Go: If nothing else, you have to be intrigued by the title which alludes to the fact that the author is writing from experience. Therefore, the insights are extremely relevant with the added benefit of reading information provided by someone with a sense of humor.
Limitless Travel: This UK based company is a tour operator who opens the world to disabled travel by listing an unimaginable number of itineraries to virtually any destination on the planet.
TravelGuides.org: This is one of the few sites on the list that I personally cannot recommend. It requires the skills of someone more adept with computers than the average person and therefore is, for me at least, not easy to navigate.
The print on this site is too small. You can enlarge your text if you are willing to take two or three more steps. But for this baby boomer audience, squinting becomes a turnoff. Tekkies might enjoy this site, but I will defer to simpler fare.
Travel on the Level: Another favorite because the title says it all in just four words. Anyone who has ever gone abroad is all too aware of numerous steps, hazardous cobblestone streets and any number of other inconveniences that retain the history of a destination. All those can become major inconveniences for disabled or even, for that matter, stout-hearted travelers.
This blog “levels the playing field” making it worth its weight in gold for anyone looking for an even path on which to get travel.
World on Wheels: You don’t have to be disabled to use this site. It also has good information for slow walkers and seniors with special needs.
For planning a trip, use one of these sites or check them all out. You are almost guaranteed to find a solution to any travel problem here.
The world is a big place just waiting to be discovered. Take advantage of a new world of access and opportunity.
As one veteran travel writer once said,
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”
Image: Photo by Valentin from Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-compass-691637/
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up