October 31, 2014

Adaptive Travel Opens Vacation Options for Travelers with Unique Needs

The need for alternative equipment or accessible accommodations should by no means prevent travelers with disabilities from enjoying fulfilling vacation experiences. With thorough research and the selection of the proper venues, affordable adaptive travel is possible.

Transportation: Savings coupons for rental cars are just as applicable for adaptive travel as they are at any other time. According to Mark Mannell, CEO of the online booking service Car Rental Savers, most major car rental agencies offer free hand controls and will allow a designated driver with no additional charge. Advance notice of 24 to 48 hours is typically required to ensure availability.

Accommodations: Itís no secret the hospitality industry routinely provides wheelchair-appropriate rooms for business travelers, but new ground is being broken in terms of what excursionists can expect for leisure travel accommodations. For example, Wyndham Vacation Rentals has begun offering vision villas equipped with specialized lighting, adaptive equipment and on-site gardens where guide dogs can romp and relax. One of them is located along Lake Veluwe in The Netherlands, offering a waterfront European getaway for both families and individuals who may not previously have had the option.

Tours: To book an adaptive vacation, choose a tour agency that specializes in them. Accessible Portugal for instance, arranges tours that ensure accessible lavatories, restaurants and transportation while vacationers explore the picturesque Portuguese countryside. Candy Harrington, author of 22 Accessible Road Trips, is a big fan of traveling by car to enjoy wheelchair-accessible travel. One of her favorites is a stretch of historical Route 66 in Arizona which runs from Seligman to Kingman. Her favorite stop is Hackberry General Store, which features a vintage gas station, fun pin-up posters and a 1957 Corvette. The store offers level access and contains an authentic soda fountain.

Organizations: The National Ability Center in Park City, Utah coordinates a variety of adaptive sporting activities for travelers, including a winter ski program at Park City Mountain Resort, water sports, archery and even cycling programs. Discovernac.org has further details. Similarly, the Adaptive Sports Association based out of Durango, Colorado offers year-round fun, such as winter snowboarding lessons at Durango Mountain resort, rock climbing and summer river rafting and more.

Photo Credit: Trek Hound