Travel Suggestions

How to Plan Wheelchair Accessible Trips

accessible trips

Planning accessible trips can be challenging. It’s even harder when you are planning for the entire family and are looking for inclusive activities. However, if you follow these accessible travel tips, you’re going to find the planning process much easier.

Identify Potential Accessible Trip Destinations

The first thing you need to do is think about the kind of places you wish to visit. For example, you might want to visit a zoo, park, amusement park, hotel, or museum. 

Narrow down your options by considering available attractions and the accessibility of the location. 

Check whether the location has ample parking for wheelchair-accessible vehicles, and consider other preferences such as accessible bathrooms, ramps, etc.. 

Also, consider the time it will take to get to the location and, if possible, book in advance. After all, you don’t want to spend the whole day traveling to a location only to have a few hours to visit your desired attractions.

accessible trips

Get Familiar With Traveling

Try visiting local destinations, like local parks or the mall, to experiment and build your confidence for accessible trips. 

Consider small trips around the town or outdoor picnics. This will help you learn the different needs of each family member so that when you go on long road trips, you won’t have as many challenges.

accessible trips

Choose Your Stops Based on Accessibility

You will probably want to make regular stops when you go on a road trip. For example, you might want to visit various towns, restaurants, or green spaces, among others, so plan the times and places you want to stop for. 

When identifying stopping points, make sure to consider whether the location is wheelchair-accessible. Most towns and cities in the United States are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, it’s always a good idea to check online to ensure that the place you’re visiting is easily accessible.

Remember to check on the parking spaces they offer, especially if you are traveling with someone with limited mobility.

accessible trips

Rent a Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicle

When going on a road trip with a family member in a wheelchair or scooter, you need an accessible vehicle. If your family car is not accessible, it’s a good idea to rent a wheelchair-accessible van.

These vehicles are spacious enough to fit 1-2 wheelchairs and allow comfortable seating for other passengers. They offer a way for disabled family members to travel in comfort and style, while providing them the opportunity to transfer easily in and out of the vehicle.

accessible trips

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Pack Strategically

Ensure you pack items that you’ll need and pack appropriate quantities. Strategic packing will ensure you have the refreshments, food, medicine, etc. you need. 

Most importantly, consider drinks, snacks, and meals that will limit the number of times you will have to stop to use the restroom. Not only does packing food in advance save money, it will help save time spent on going to restaurants while you’re on the road. 

Also, having packed food means you will not have to worry about finding accessible dining places along the way. It’s helpful  to separate your snacks and drinks as you pack in different bags by category or frequency of use.

accessible trips

Plan Your Route

Planning your route will help you identify stops, restaurants, and attractions you might want to visit. You should also make sure to check for any road closures or detours you might encounter along the way. In fact, having a backup route is a good idea, just in case you encounter something unexpected.

accessible trips

Be Flexible and Leave Room for the Unexpected

Be prepared for unexpected incidents and outcomes. After all, road trips are meant to be fun for the whole family.

For example, if you come across an attraction that you had not planned for but find amusing, don’t limit yourself. On a road trip, you should never hesitate to take a detour to a site you didn’t know about.

Similarly, be prepared for the worst. Sometimes a breakdown may occur, or the weather may take a turn for the worse. 

So, first, make sure to check the weather forecast on the day(s) you plan on traveling. It’s best to be prepared for inclement weather, like snow or rain, in advance. . Next, include an extra tire in your vehicle in case of a breakdown, as well as emergency supplies like flares, flashlights, etc. 

Finally, make sure you bring basic repair tools like wrenches, duct tape, bungee cords , and zip ties.

accessible trips

Call in Advance

Calling ahead may seem obvious,  but it’s an essential step toward a successful and stress-free road trip. Calling ahead allows you to ask questions and get clarity. If a website does not detail the information you need, it is best to call the hotel or site in advance.

When you call, request to speak to someone who understands the importance of wheelchair accessibility. Then, when you arrive, go in person to the visitors’ desk and inquire about the same issue on accessibility so that you can ensure you have the correct information.

Planning Accessible Trips With Accessible Vans of America  

A road trip is an excellent way to take a vacation, as long as you take the time to prepare in advance. With extra preparation, your road trip can be easily accessible and a great way to embrace your traveling dreams. 

A wheelchair-accessible van is essential for a road trip. At Wheelchair Getaway, we have rental vans that can help you plan and achieve a successful family road trip. Contact us for a tailor-made service.


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