In our last blog post, we took a look at how you can plan a wheelchair-accessible vacation that minimizes your stress and ensures you’ll be able to fully enjoy your trip. One key element of this planning stage we only briefly covered is a pretty obvious one – where do you want to go?
To help you pick a vacation spot, we’ve selected five destinations from around the world that are known for being extremely accommodating to patrons with limited mobility.
Hanauma Bay in Honolulu, Hawaii
The word “vacation” tends to bring to mind postcard-like images of relaxing on a beach, cold drink in-hand while the sun sets over the ocean. If you’re looking for a classic “get away from it all and relax” vacation, nothing gets much closer than Hanauma Bay.
Located on Oahu island, Hanauma loans out free beach wheelchairs for visitors with limited mobility, eliminating a lot of stress if you have a wheelchair not suited for this terrain. The park also has a round trip shuttle from the nearby Waikiki hotels which you can book on its official website, or you can use your own transportation and park for only a dollar.
However you choose to get out there, Hanauma Bay is a great place to take a tour, get a look at some exotic sea animals or just relax.
Access 2 Africa Safaris
Who hasn’t dreamed of going on a safari? Access 2 Africa Safaris provides tours in South Africa for individuals with limited mobility, along with those who are hearing or visually impaired. The program runners provide a personalized travel plan for you, meaning that you won’t have to worry about how to navigate or access a tour location or find lodging – they’ll take care of everything.
Access 2 Africa Safaris allows you to discover the majestic animals on the continent, while also learning about the people, culture and history of a unique country.
You can view some video clips from their tours on their Facebook page by clicking here.
Disney World and Disney Land Theme Parks
It may not be as exciting as traveling across the world to go on safari or visit a secluded beach, but Disney’s theme parks in Florida and California are renowned for their wheelchair-accessibility. While there are a few rides that are inaccessible to wheelchair users (you can find the list for Disney World rides here and the Disney Land rides here), most attractions are fully accessible.
If needed, you’ll also be able to rent wheelchairs at locations spread throughout their parks. It’s generally recommended that when you first arrive at any theme park, you stop by the visitor’s center with a signed letter from your doctor so can receive a boarding or FastPass for most attractions.
Rocky Mountain National Park
A national park may not seem like the best trip for someone in a wheelchair, but Rocky Mountain National Park strives to make all of its natural beauty available to everyone – regardless of mobility.
Located just outside of Estes Park, Colorado, this national park features a wide range of accessible boardwalks, campsites and trails built especially for individuals with limited mobility. Here you can fish, camp or just wander the trails taking in all the sights and sounds.
To get around the park, Rocky Mountain features shuttles which are all accessible and can accommodate any wheelchair. The park also allows in any service animals visitors may need. Click here for a full list of accessible trails to plan out your visit, and be sure to apply for a free, lifetime access pass to all national parks – only available to individuals with permanent disabilities.
There are a wide range of museums across the world which accommodate limited mobility visitors, but you’d be hard pressed to do better than the Louvre. Throughout the world-famous art museum in Paris, you’ll find 18 elevators and 20 wheelchair lifts – though some can be hard to find. If you choose to plan your vacation around visiting this museum, be sure to ask for an accessibility map which points out these important markers.
Click here to learn more about their accessibility options.
There you have it, five trip ideas you can build off of to plan your next vacation. Remember, this is just a small sampling of potential destinations, and there are plenty of locations around the world which go out of their way to accommodate limited mobility visitors. So indulge in planning your dream trip – just be sure to reach out to your location ahead of time to be sure all your individual needs will be met.