Ready. Set. Go! There is a whole world waiting for you to explore. Today is the day to start a new adventure. There has never been a better time to take a trip. Resources, devices, accessibility, and specialized travel guides entice any user of a wheelchair to get out and explore!
My personal favorite weekend trip is any place on the coast. Every time I travel to the beach, I experience a feeling of tranquility and inner peace. The sight of the vast ocean and the hues of the turquoise sky gives me a greater sense of the beautiful world we occupy. The beach is a place where I don’t feel pressured in planning a full agenda. It’s a place where I can just be still and reflect.
Every trip I make to the shore, I make a point to reach down and sift grains of sand through my hands. The way the soft sand feels against my fingers (I imagine it’s much like the same sensation against bare feet) that melts away my stress. The beach is a place where I can connect with nature.
The coast is not just for summertime it transcends seasons. When I visit the beach, I often research destinations that have beach wheelchairs, beach mats and boardwalks that go right up to the water’s edge. This allows me to enjoy the vacation alongside my family without physical obstacles. As much as I adore the beach, there are still other places that incorporate barrier free accommodations.
If you crave sensory input, then a theme park vacation is the perfect destination. Many theme parks offer access passes for wheelchair users. It’s highly recommended if you choose to visit a theme park, contact them prior your visit and educate yourself on their disability policies. It’s worth pointing out that Morgan’s Wonderland is the world’s first entirely accessible amusement park. The park even offers free admission to those with special needs and every square foot of the park can be navigated by a wheelchair!
Maybe your perfect weekend getaway is in the mountains. Where the air is a little fresher and the breeze a little cooler. Search online for adaptive ski programs. Many popular ski destinations offer discounts and ski packages that include instructional training with adaptive equipment. I strongly encourage everyone to give adaptive skiing a try. (Perhaps it’s because I met my husband while skiing. There’s magic in those hills.)
Camping is one of my favorite activities! Did you realize that you can rent wheelchair-accessible RVs to take on a road trip? Modified RV’s offer accessible bathrooms, extra room for maneuvering with a wheelchair, and lifts instead of steps. When it’s time to head outside, many campgrounds offer wheelchair-accessible facilities and activities. The most enjoyable element of camping is taking in the sounds. The melody of nature will become the soundtrack of your trip.
Where ever you decided to go there are a couple things that can assist you in making your trip first-rate:
- Have a plan.
- Call ahead.
- Expect the unexpected.
- Utilize The Department of Transportation hotline. This service is a toll-free number that provides general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities, respond to inquiries, and assist air travelers with time-sensitive disability-related issues that need to be addressed in "real time."
The most important tip, have fun, relax, and get out there!