Traveling for someone with a wheelchair or other disabilities is possible, but isn’t without some challenges. One of the biggest issues a person with a disability has is being able to travel on a budget. Their conditions require them to need special requests and/or additional services that tend to cost more. That being said, there are ways around some of the common issues disabled travelers have with saving money on travel. Here are some solutions listed below:
When it comes to saving money on travel, it’s all about selecting the right destination. Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, it’s often a lot more expensive to travel to large cities and capitals. While you would think it would be easy to simply travel to smaller cities, it’s the larger destinations that are the most accessible for those with a wheelchair or disability.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t travel to large cities on a budget, it simply means you have to be smart. When deciding on an affordable destination, look for places where the tourism rate is high. These are often the places that will have several hotel chains, car rental companies, airports, and accessible tourist attractions all vying for your business. Essentially, this means they’re going to be willing to give you a discount.
When traveling long distances, you’ll need to book a flight, but as those with a wheelchair or disability are aware, flying can be a pain. There are all kinds of deals and comforts for the average traveler. Yet, when you are a wheelchair user or have other disabilities, finding deals often means sacrificing certain comforts. The more economically-friendly airlines have small or uncomfortable seating options for wheelchair users. Believe it or not, there’s also the issue that some airlines don’t allow wheelchair users to travel by themselves.
The best thing to do to save money on accessible airfare is to keep your eye on the current rates leading up to your vacation. Deals are constantly being offered on airlines that are comfortable and accommodating to your needs. You can sign up for travel sites and put in your specifications for airline tickets or you can download an app that can keep you up to date on the latest prices.
Another area wheelchair users have difficulty saving money on is transportation. Getting around requires special devices and enough space for you and your chair to fit comfortably. These accommodations often cost more.
There are a few ways you can save money on accessible traveling. If you’re traveling with friends or relatives, you can rent a large SUV or handicap-accessible van from companies like Lotus Car Rental and have your travel companions be the designated driver. You can also opt to look into rideshare services programs offered by the city for wheelchair users.
Most travel destinations also have public transportation systems including buses, subway stations, and trains that are pretty affordable. They’re also accessible means of transportation. You can purchase passes online to avoid the confusion upon boarding. If you’re traveling to a city or destination where things are located close together, you may also choose the free route and just use your wheelchair as transportation.
Though the American with Disabilities Act mandates that all hotels provide the proper accommodations for wheelchair users, not all hotels are created equally. Often, you’d have to pay more in order to get a comfortable room with all the amenities you require to make your stay a pleasant one.
There are some ways to save on hotel stays. The first, of course, is to make sure that you book well in advance. You also want to consider the location of the hotel. Hotels that are located in the center of the city tend to be more than those that are on the outskirts. As long as you have accessible transportation to get around, it may be best to save some money by reserving a room further away. You can also look at popular budget hotel chains as they often have a good balance between the distance from tourist attractions and accommodating hotel rooms. A final option might be to look into handicap accessible vacation rentals.
It’s true that the special requests and needs required for wheelchair users and disabled travelers to vacation comfortably and safely can cost you more. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. With a bit of savvy research, you can find ways to save on everything from airfare to your hotel stay.