Recently I’ve received a lot of e-mail from people who have already booked their flights and hotel rooms to some foreign destination, inquiring about accessible transportation in that locale. More specifically they are looking for self-drive accessible (lift-equipped) rental vans. The problem is, most of these travelers are visiting small Caribbean destinations, which for the most part don’t offer many (or any) accessible transportation options.
There are a few private tour operators throughout the Caribbean who do offer tours in accessible vans, but that’s about as far as it goes. I also have to say that when their van breaks, many of these operators just get rid of that adapted vehicle. They are very expensive to maintain and it’s hard to find parts for specialized vans in the Caribbean.
But outside of Puerto Rico, I don’t know of any place in the Caribbean where you can actually rent a self-drive adapted van.
When I share this information with these would-be travelers they all seem to say the same thing, “I thought it would be easy to find an accessible rental van there.”
Well, it’s not. In fact, in most cases it’s impossible as accessible vans are non-existent.
So remember that, the next time you plan your vacation. If you require accessible transportation, make sure to inquire about the availability of it before you purchase those air tickets. In the long run it will save you a lot of frustration.
Remember, destination selection is an essential element in planning an accessible vacation.