Don't let the things you can't do  Stop you from doing the things you can Travel with a Disability

Information for people traveling with a wheelchair or other mobility devices or disability, from airlines to cruise ships we have the information to help you with your vacation planning, then just sit back and enjoy the trip.


Tour Options



Now you want to venture beyond the area you can get to on your own.


1. Can you get out of the mobility device?, what type of vehicles can you get into on your own?, and what type can you get into with a little assistance from an able bodied person.? This often depends on rather you are traveling with an able bodied companion or if the person providing the tour can assist.

2. What is the terrain like at stops during the tour?

3. If using a bus as a tour vehicle - does it have under floor storage? Can you get up the 3 or 4 steps into the bus?

4. Is there any assessable restrooms where you are going?

5. Know your mobility device well to know what kind of terrain it can safely handle.

Group Tours as opposed to Private Tours...

Group Tours

Group Tours

The cheapest tours are almost always group tours, where you get on a tour bus and go sightseeing or to an attraction. There is no flexibility in these tours, they run on a fixed schedule, and if you because of mobility restrictions cannot see something as fast or it is not accessible you will have to wait near the bus or not see as much. So if taking a group tour make certain you try and find out in advance as much as you can about the areas in which you are stopping.  Some tours are mostly sightseeing with few or no stops, others have scheduled stops for a specific fixed duration.  Bear in mind that an able bodied description of what you can or can not do is not always completely accurate.

One note you will see on websites in regards to accessibility of group tours is that the tour operator is not allowed to assist you in boarding and un-boarding the vehicle due to insurance provisions., this seems to be the standard, some however will still assist some but according to insurance provisions that are not suppose to.  They will however usually help in loading your mobility device into the storage area of the vehicle.  Some mobility devices break apart into light enough sections that one person can lift it others are not so light and require 2 people to carry into the storage bin under the bus and the mobility limited person is usually not much help in this regard, so you may need at least one fully able bodied person in addition to the driver to perform this task., according to who is in your group someone may offer to help but never count on that. 

I have also experienced that even though I was able to get the front seat at the beginning of the tour, after one of the stops, some able bodied persons took the front seat and I had to go towards the back to find a seat, some of the other passengers mentioned among themselves that I should be able to sit at the front but the driver would not ask the ones that took over the front seat to move.   

Restrooms stops will be at the designated scheduled stop points would have to check in advance if those locations offer accessible restrooms.

The stated duration of a group tour may include pick up and drop off at several locations / hotels, therefore you burn up some of the allotted tour duration before you even start the actual tour.

Private Tours

Private Tours

Offers you the flexibility to spend more time at one location and less time at another, can modify locations to where you go as the driver only has to please you and your companions not the masses.

Restroom stops can be requested as needed not to a schedule. If a meal stop is part of the tour you can sometimes request a different location unless the cost is included and the tour guide has a deal worked out with a particular establishment, if the food cost is not included then you can usually pick your own location to eat.

The driver of a completely private tour, the driver will often offer assistance in pushing a manual wheelchair in my experience but never count on that unless asked in advance. 

You will be catered to and enjoy private tours far better than group tours.  Some private tour operators can arrange for a wheelchair accessible vehicle if you require it.

If you wish to stop and a take a picture you can (as long it is safe location for the driver to stop), that would never happen on a group tour.

The duration of the tour is from the time of pick up to drop off, there is no wasted time in picking up and dropping off the masses at multiple locations / hotels.

The down side is a private tour will cost more than a group tour. However consider the benefits of a private tour.  If you have traveling companions with you, the costs will approach the group tour rate if your split the cost among your own private group. If you are traveling with your family and consider the cost of you, your spouse and children, then the cost of everyone on a group tour will become closer to the cost of a private tour.

So which do you choose...

What I have done in the past...

If taking a cruise, I will look at what the cruise line listed tours are first to see if there is anything listed that would be suitable and doable for me.  In the event there is nothing suitable then I research the costs of private tours and what attractions are in the area of the cruise port, that I can just take an taxi or an accessible taxi to and from.  Be sure to read the article on Cruises on this website.

If I come by air and staying in a local hotel  (be sure to read the article on hotels and what how to select which hotel to book), I will take a good look at private tour options. 

If you are intending on traveling to areas that I have traveled please browse the trips I have been on, there is pictures as well as descriptions and comments about the tours there.

There is nothing like hearing an able bodied description when it comes to accessibility and finding out from disabled person?s opinion that it does not match the opinion of the able bodied person.

By: Donald Kerr

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