Everyone deserves the chance to see the world and experience other cultures, including individuals who are living with physical or mental disabilities. While being disabled comes with its added challenges, it doesn’t have to mean resigning yourself to the life of a day-tripper.
Although some countries are more accessible and disability-friendly than others, with enough planning, preparation and positivity, disabled individuals are free to travel nearly anywhere and have any worldly experience they wish. Here are some tips for planning your next vacation as or with a person with a disability.
Consider using a tour company
Many people prefer to travel on their own to avoid being tied to a schedule or bogged down by other travelers who may have different goals than you. It’s perfectly understandable to want to travel solo, but if you’re concerned about having your individual needs met abroad or you’re overwhelmed by the planning and research stages, consider going with a tour group that specializes in travel for people with disabilities. There are numerous agencies and groups that provide services for any and all types of disabilities. Mind’s Eye Travel is a company that specializes in cruises for the visually impaired, offering trips to anywhere from the British Isles to Alaska. New Directions is a non-profit organization that organizes trips for people with brain impairments such as cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome and autism. For those with difficulty walking, Flying Wheels Travel offers group and individual adventures to a number of destinations around the world.
If you prefer traveling without a group but still want help in planning your vacation, consider booking through a travel agent. You may even be able to find one with experience in booking travel for people with your specific disability.