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West O'ahu Sunset
Photo by: Matt Copps (Stock Exchange)

As the weather gets colder, tropical destinations are all the more enticing, especially for those of us in the north. Hawaii is one of the United States’ greatest natural treasures, and with most folks cutting back on vacations – disabled travelers included – it’s never been a better time to visit this little slice of paradise. Of course, accessibility can suffer a little bit when there are big crowds, but I have it on good authority that beaches that used to be crowded through much of the year are all but empty lately. That’s why I’m devoting most of today’s installment to Hawaii, and all the disability travel information about it. There’s a little more in this post than usual, since there’s so much valuable stuff to cover! [more]

Photo by: Laura Schreck

Pristine wilderness in Harriman Lake Park, Colorado.

Hello all, and welcome back to the Disabled Travelers blog, your source for the latest in disabled travel knowledge. This week it’s all about accessibility in outdoor adventures. Disability travel shouldn’t be limited to tourist destinations; there are plenty of beautiful sights out there in nature that disabled travelers have every right to enjoy. Luckily, there’s a slew of reliable disabled travel resources for those who want to see natural beauty with as little interference as possible from “civilization.” Among these are tour operators and travel agents devoted to disabled accessible camping in a variety of places.


Photo by: strakplan (Stock Exchange)

A cruise ship at the harbor of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands

Hello, everyone! I’m back and it’s time for more news from Disabled Travelers. Since the debacle I described last week about accessible travel problems with Canadian airlines, I’ve been thinking a lot about cruises. Cruises are a great way to get from place to place without the hassle of air travel; you get to explore at your leisure and enjoy luxury, wonderful scenery, and a whole slew of activities. So I’d like to spend some time in today’s post talking about wheelchair accessible cruises and disabled travel on the sea. I’ve had the good fortune to make a transatlantic journey on the Queen Mary II, and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade in for any airplane, no matter how nice it was!

To start with, know that though most major cruise lines are very proactive about making accessibility easy for handicapped travelers, many ports of call outside the United States are not known for much in the way of mobility impaired access. It’s always a good idea to check with cruise companies and find out about individual stops on the itinerary before booking a cruise. The AARP’s Peter Greenberg has a huge assortment of great articles on accessibility in cruises. Peter covers transatlantic cruises and visits to plenty of exotic locales, including Alaska, China, and many more. Definitely worth a look. On top of that, Cruise Critic has a detailed piece on Top Ships for Cruisers with Disabilities. [more]

Photo by: jnystrom (Stock Exchange)

Photo by: jnystrom (Stock Exchange)

Beautiful Niagara Falls

Hello, everyone! My name is Simos and I’ll be contributing to the Disabled Travelers blog from now on. I’ve been writing for the web here and there for over six years and I’ve journeyed around Europe and the world. It’ll be my pleasure to help you find the latest information on disabled travel and accessibility. And remember, you can always contact me through the blog if you want to share your own disabled travel experiences!

I’m on my way to New York City for New Year’s Day, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the region lately. I’ll be back later with a disability access report on Times Square, but for now, let’s start a little bit further north. Earlier in this blog, we reported that attendants for disabled passengers would travel free on the airlines Air Canada and West Jet. This would apply to handicapped travelers needing medical or mobility assistance, and obese passengers whose mobility is impaired by their condition.

Unfortunately, it’s gotten a little more complicated since then. Sources are reporting that passengers on Canadian airlines are to be tested to qualify for the free seat. Canadian doctors are up in arms – and rightly so – about all the implications of this. Requiring extensive medical documentation is a huge inconvenience to handicapped travelers and requires time and effort from doctors who already have a full roster of patients to attend to. As someone who’s suffered from reduced mobility and obesity problems at different times (you can see how one could be related to the other!) I’m alarmed. [more]