As a writer who has spent the last 20-some years visiting and writing about wheelchair access in our US national parks, (and just released a book about accessible national park lodges — www.BFNationalParkLodges.com), I’ve seen a lot of changes in the parks over the years. Some of the changes are due to the availability of new technology and equipment, but the bulk of them have been spurred on by increased visitation to these national treasures. Continue reading
What exactly are the ingredients of an accessible hotel room? That’s a question that I get asked a lot – from both travelers and people in the hospitality industry. And to be honest, there’s not one simple answer to that question. Continue reading
Imagine the following scenario. It’s the middle of the night and you are sound asleep. Then you hear a loud noise – a fire alarm. You jump to attention and sit up in bed, and then you realize that you are not at home. You are in a hotel. You think you are on the second floor but you are not sure – you’ve been on the road for a week and all the rooms kind of meld together.
Oh yes, did I also mention that you are in a wheelchair and traveling alone? Continue reading
Thanks to modern technology it’s now possible to share your travel photos with friends and family with just a few swipes and a tap or two. And I absolutely love seeing those smiling faces enjoying cruises, beaches and luxury resorts. But lately I’ve also been seeing another kind of travel post – it usually features a photo of an obviously inaccessible room, with the caption “Really? This is an accessible room?”
And the truth is, well, maybe it isn’t. Continue reading
Finding an accessible hotel room can sometimes be a chore, but imagine trying to find one with a ceiling track lift. Now if you live in the US you may be surprised to learn that such accommodations exist; however they are more common over in the UK. And that’s because of CHuC – the Ceiling Hoist Users Club. Thanks to their advocacy they have encouraged many properties to install ceiling track lifts. And they created a website that lists them all at www.chuc.org.uk.
This handy resource lists properties by location, and includes useful details – like if you need to provide your own sling – about the listing. The bulk of the hotels, self catering properties and B&Bs are located in the UK, but there are also a few in the US, Mexico, Australia and Continental Europe. There’s also a spot for visitors to leave comments or reviews about the listed properties.
Sadly the founder of this site passed away in 2008, but thankfully her works lives on today. So check out this site if you’d like to stay in a property with a ceiling track lift – especially if your travels will take you to the UK.
I’ve been getting a fair share of mail from travelers who booked an accessible room at a US hotel, but then arrived to find that the room had been given to another guest. Basically the all ask me “How can we get hotels to actually save the accessible rooms for people who need them?” Continue reading
I’m often asked if the number of disabled travelers has increased in the 20-plus years that I’ve been covering accessible travel. Well, from an anecdotal view of things I usually answer that question with a enthusiastic yes. Of course it’s not like I’ve done a survey or anything. Continue reading
Matt Anderson had every reason to believe his Cape Verde vacation would be a relaxing retreat for him and his partner Shelly Grainger. After all, Anderson booked a wheelchair-accessible room through Thompson Holidays. The British travel operator was quick to take Anderson’s £2,800, but when the couple arrived in Africa they were informed that the accessible room was only “requested” and not “reserved” for him. Continue reading
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a long-time favorite of mine. There’s something to be said for a town that actually prohibits street addresses — a law that was enacted by the founding fathers because they feared the village would become too citified if mail delivery was allowed. And to this day, the downtown area is still bereft of addresses, parking meters and street lights. I just love simplicity. Continue reading
In celebration of the upcoming Olympics, Lonely Planet just released their Accessible Rio de Janeiro e-book. And according to the cover, all of the Paralympic athletes also received a copy. Continue reading