Any type of travel comes with its own set of challenges, but those challenges are multiplied if you are living with disabilities. Such needs come in many different forms and every traveler’s requirements are unique.
The most common issues that differently-abled tourists encounter include adapted hotel rooms, airport transfers, wheelchair access vehicles, adapted toilets in public restrooms, and accessible restaurants and bars. However, some places are better-suited for individuals with a disability than others without quite so many hassles and headaches.
Whether you use a wheelchair or a cane to improve your mobility, or just need a little extra time to get around, there are lots of exciting places that you can see around the world. Don’t let mobility stand in the way of your adventurous spirit! These are some of the most accessible travel destinations for people who are differently-abled.
Seattle, Washington (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Among all U.S. cities, Seattle, Washington is always ranked as one of the most accessible and disability-friendly places you can visit. The city has a reasonably sized downtown area and an accessible public transportation system. The city’s rail system is pretty new and compliant with ADA standards. Some of the top things to do in the city are also accommodating for people with disabilities, including the Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and the Seattle Museum. The features in many hotels are offered in Braille for the visually impaired and have audio-visual smoke detectors for hearing impaired individuals.
Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Many of us grew up reading Shakespeare in school and watching his plays throughout our lives. Literature and history lovers from around the world travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to see William Shakespeare’s birthplace and the quaint town this has become today. The pavement here is pretty flat, and the sidewalks have ramps instead of curbs in town. You can visit many of the Shakespeare attractions, take tours, and attend theater performances without issues.
Disney World – Orlando, Florida (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Disney World has really mastered the fine art of catering to guests’ individual needs. Personalized service has always been a specialty of the Disney brand, so make sure to call ahead to explain your needs and requirements. One recommended Disney hotel for people with special needs is the Disney Boardwalk Inn. You can easily find help with accommodations for impairments that range from cognitive, mobility, hearing, and visual when visiting the Disney Parks in Orlando, Florida.
St. Simons Island, Georgia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Many people don’t even realize that the state of Georgia has islands, let alone that they are disabled-accessible! This is a great place to take your wheelchair on the beach because the sand is hard-packed. There are some nice condos along the beach that are either single-story or have a personal elevator. Not every little shop in town can accommodate wheelchairs, but it’s easy to get around this little beach town and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere without feeling like you’re missing out.
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado (Hotel Prices & Photos)
A huge national park with towering mountain peaks might not be the first place you think of when planning an accessible vacation, but Rocky Mountain National Park is very accommodating to people with disabilities. If you like to camp, there are accessible campsites that you can book to make your stay more comfortable and convenient. Although you may not be able to travel down some of the more treacherous trails, there are lots of shorter trails that have boardwalks that can accommodate wheelchairs. And as with pretty much anywhere you go in this Colorado park, the views are nothing short of amazing.
Sydney, Australia (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Another wonderfully wheelchair-friendly place to visit is Sydney, Australia. There are ferries here that have loading ramps perfectly suited for wheels, and many of the taxis here can accommodate wheelchairs too. Many of the attractions and restaurants here are up-to-date and able to accommodate the extra equipment you might need for mobility impairments. Some top attractions that are easy to access include the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Aquarium, and Taronga Zoo.
A Disabled-Accessible Cruise Ship
Regardless of where you’d like to set sail from or see from the vast expanses of the ocean, there are many disabled-accessible cruise ships that provide easy access to everything you want to do while on vacation. Some cruise ships known for their top-notch accessibility include the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum, Freedom, Oasis, Radiance and Vision Class, Celebrity’s Solstice Class and Millennium Class, and Holland America’s Vista Class. Just keep in mind that cruise lines typically need to know about your needs in advance so they can accommodate your special requirements.
Montreal, Canada (Hotel Prices & Photos)
If you’re interested in visiting Canada and have a special need, then definitely put Montreal on your travel bucket list. There are quite a few wheelchair accessible railway stations in the city, which makes it easy to get around without driving. Some of the local attractions that are disabled-accessible include many of the cathedrals, the botanical garden, and art museums.
Sonoma Valley, California (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The top reason to head to California’s Sonoma Valley is the wonderful wineries and vineyards in the area, and you can visit this area regardless of your abilities or mobility. This area is romantic and accommodating at the same time, and the beautiful scenery will take your mind away from your everyday routine. Since the Sonoma Valley is located between the higher mountain elevations that surround it, it’s easier to walk and roll around the streets here. Many of the local wineries and restaurants, as well as the quaint inns, have been remodeled with ramps and elevators to accommodate disabled guests. With pleasant year-around temperature, you don’t even need to worry about bundling up in heavy winter gear to enjoy your trip.
Dublin, Ireland (Hotel Prices & Photos)
You might think of ancient (and unnavigable) cobblestone streets when you consider visiting Dublin, but this Irish city has actually become very disabled-accessible in recent years. Yes, Dublin is an old city, but it’s one that has but a lot of effort into accommodating everyone who wants to visit it. Overall, the city is pretty flat, and access to public transportation is easy. The curbs are dropped, and pretty much all the main tourist attractions are accessible in a wheelchair. Even better, the locals are generally friendly as well and willing to help.
Las Vegas, Nevada (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Las Vegas has a “Come one, come all!” friendly vibe that is very welcoming to people of all abilities. After all, the city’s economy was built upon tourism, so it would be silly to turn anyone away! There are some great ADA accessible transportation services here and most of the casinos have ramps and ample space to move around. You can catch a live entertainment show and dine at a wide variety of restaurants without trouble here. The centrally located Treasure Island resort is a top pick for people with mobility and hearing issues.