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Wheelchair Accessible Travel Guide

Today, individuals confined to a wheelchair can travel by nearly every mode of transportation to virtually everywhere in the world. But whether traveling two hours or two thousand miles away, traveling with a wheelchair still requires a lot of thought and careful planning. Wheelchair uses must not only consider how to get from point A to point B, but what they need to do to prepare for the trip, whether they’ll find wheelchair accessible accommodations and attractions at their destination, and even little ways to make travelling with a wheelchair easier. Without proper planning, wheelchair users may find travelling more frustrating than accessible.

General Travel Tips

Many of the tips designed for individuals with disabilities also apply to wheelchair users. From making sure they understand the types of accommodations available to them to how parking and handicapped identification works around the world, these tips help lay out what wheelchair-bound travelers should expect and how to access the resources that they need to make their trips successful.

WorldonWheelz: Travel Tips – Find advice on flying, hotels, cruises and other general wheelchair travel.

The Disabled Wheelchair Traveler: Holiday Tips – If traveling during the holidays, use these tips to help with accommodations, transportation, and other travel considerations.

FIA Guide for the Disabled Travel – Find all of the information on parking and identification that you need when traveling with a wheelchair.

Travelers with Disabilities – Discover general tips to keep in mind when traveling with a wheelchair or other disability.

Traveling By Air

With all the rules and regulations, traveling by air can easily become a frustrating method of travel for anyone. Add in a wheelchair and the chance for frustration increases. Understanding the specific rules and guidelines that apply to wheelchairs and taking time understand all that flying with a wheelchair entails can help reduce the stress and frustration at the airport.

How to Travel by Air with a Wheelchair – These tips make flying with a wheelchair a less stressful experience.

Flying with a Wheelchair and Other Mobility Aids – Gain an overview of what happens when flying with a wheelchair.

Flying Tips for Wheelchair Users – The AARP offers some flying tips designed particularly with older wheelchair users in mind.

Air Travel Tips for Wheelchair Users – A short video outlines steps wheelchair users should take when they fly.

Wheelchairs and Scooters – Make sure you review the TSA guidelines for traveling with a wheelchair before heading to the airport.

Information About My Wheelchair – Use the placard to provide information about your wheelchair to airline or other transportation employees.

Making Travel Easier

While tips for disabled individuals may be helpful for wheelchair users, they experience some challenges that do not apply to all disabled people. Simply carrying a suitcase or getting in the door of the swanky hotel they booked can be a challenge. When ramps and other accessibility features fail to appear, travel can become downright impossible. Learning what challenges may arise and how to handle those challenges or effectively complain about them can make traveling with a wheelchair much easier.

Traveling with Disabilities – Adam Lloyd, a notable speaker on accessible travel, discusses ways to make traveling with disabilities easier.

Luggage Tips for Wheelchair Travel – Managing bags can be difficult for wheelchair users, but these tips help make sure they have what they need.

When Your Accessible Travel Plans Go Awry: How to Effectively Complain – Sometimes things don’t go as planned; these tips help you handle those situations.

5 Things You Can Do to Help Your Wheelchair-bound Travel Companion – Those traveling with wheelchair users can also help make traveling easier.

Attractions and Accommodations

Wheelchair users can travel virtually anywhere in the world, but some places make it easier. From wheelchair-friendly cities to special tourist experiences designed specifically with wheelchairs in mind, wheelchair users can plan a vacation they will enjoy. They may even discover some trips they never thought they could take, such as kayaking the world’s greatest rivers or exploring the beaches of the Caribbean.

The Most Handicap Accessible Destinations Around the World – Being wheelchair-bound does not have to limit where people go, as this list of handicap accessible destinations shows.

Accessible Trip Experts- Learn about wheelchair accessible locations from others using a wheelchair and discover the best places to visit.

Disabled Travel Trends – Discover some new travel trends and, perhaps, get ideas for a future trip.

Tips on Finding the Right Wheelchair Accessible Hotel – Not all hotels have highly accessible rooms, so it pays to check them out in advance.

Traveling with Your Wheelchair – Four wheelchair users share their experiences during four unique trips.

Cruise Hints and Tips – Even taking a cruise is not out of the question for wheelchair users.

Cruising with a Disability – Find practical advice to help plan and enjoy a cruise while using a wheelchair.

Best Ships for Cruisers with Disabilities – Not all cruise ships are ideal for people with disabilities, but this article helps you know what to look for.


Swedish Independent Living Center. Vacation Home Swap
Providing accessible vacation home exchange for people around the world with disabilities.

Emerging Horizons
A consumer oriented online magazine covering disabled friendly travel, Emerging Horizons’ primary focus is travel for people with mobility disabilities; everybody from wheelchair-users to slow walkers. Information covers resources, news and travel tips.

World on Wheelz
Originally created to be a helpful tool for disabled travelers who were planning their own trips, World On Wheelz now works with a travel agency to arrange and book accessible trips for disabled travelers.

Access Travel Center
This site features a broad array of travel related information including links to discount travel information, cruises, hotels providing access for disabled guests, transportation and more.

Travel Access Services (TASC)
TASC is an international organization that offers a database to assist individuals with travel planning by matching travelers’ accessibility needs with disabled friendly travel and hospitality providers.

Gimp on the Go
A web site filled with travel reviews, tips, photographs and resources on a wide range of travel-related topics.

Travel with a Challenge
Provides information about cruise and land vacations specifically designed for mature travelers and those who are mobility

Global Access News
Accessible travel reports and free e-zine.

Travel Planning

Travel Companions



Air Travel

Toll-Free Hotline For Air Travelers With Disabilities

The hotline will provide general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities, respond to requests for printed consumer information, and assist air travelers with time-sensitive disability-related issues that need to be addressed in "real time." The line is staffed from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern time, seven days a week. Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. As in the past, air travelers who would like DOT to investigate a complaint about a disability issue must submit their complaint in writing or via e-mail. Click here for details.

Camps for Children

Books! Books to Buy! Available in association with



Accessible Hotels

Information compiled from multiple resources including: Mobility-Advisor , Makoa

Vacation Home Exchange

image of palm tree and beach with text, Accessible Vacation Home Exchange for people with disabilities

Swapping homes with other persons with similar needs, in other parts of the world, is a low-cost and practical alternative. You can find out in advance how accessible the vacation home is, since you can ask your swap partner relevant questions.

After having established contact with a potential exchange partner you will need to share much more information, set up a contract and check your home insurance. Here, we provide you with the first step, the rest is up to you.

The following listings are likely to change over time.  VISIT the following sites for current listings

Vacation Home Exchange: with 8 homes to choose from!
 CountryType of ExchangeLast Updatedsort icon
Accessible Lakehome in Cable, WI United States Swap and/or Rent 2012-02-10
House in Abruzzo Italy Italy Swap and/or Rent 2011-06-09
Suburban home just outside Raleigh, NC, USA United States Swap and/or Rent 2011-04-10
Cozy house in Stockholm Sweden Swap and/or Come and stay 2010-09-10
House in Victoria, BC Canada Swap and/or Come and stay 2010-09-07
Apartment, Jerusalem Israel Swap only 2010-08-31
Individual villas in Chiang Mai Thailand Come and stay and/or Rent 2010-08-23
House, Lake Okanagan, BC Canada Swap and/or Come and stay 2010-07-16