An empty wheelchair on a rocky seashore.

How to Plan the Best Accessible Road Trip

Did you know that nearly 22 percent of U.S. travelers plan to take road trips in 2022? This number is expected to rise as the travel type becomes more popular. If you’re looking to plan a wheelchair accessible road trip, keep reading to find out how you can plan a barrier free getaway. 

How Do You Travel with Someone who has a Disability? 

Traveling when you or someone you know has a disability can take a significant amount of planning. You’ll want to take into consideration multiple factors before leaving home, to ensure a successful trip. 

Handicap Van Rentals for Road Trips 

The first step to creating a barrier free road trip is to decide how you will get to your destination. If you’re traveling with someone who uses a wheelchair or other mobility aid, consider renting a wheelchair accessible vehicle. Your local BraunAbility dealer has multiple wheelchair accessible rental vehicles for you to choose from. Before renting a handicap accessible vehicle, be sure to take into consideration your needs while on your trip. How many people will you be traveling with? How much space do you need for luggage? And most importantly, how much space will you need for a wheelchair or other mobility aids? The answers to these questions will help you find the right vehicle for your trip. If you’re not sure which accessible vehicle to choose, contact your local mobility dealer, or, use this quiz to determine what kind of handicap accessible van is right for you.  

Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Rooms 

For those using wheelchairs or other mobility aids, an accessible hotel room can make all the difference in ensuring a relaxing, enjoyable trip. Wheelchair accessible hotel rooms typically feature lightweight doors, additional floor space, and an accessible bathroom with a roll in shower, and grab rails for the toilet and shower. Some accessible hotel rooms may even have automatic doors, and light switches near the bed for easy access. 

Wheelchair Accessible Travel Destinations 

Common wheelchair accessible travel destinations include places like national parks, museums, amusement parks, and historical or national landmarks. 

Many tourist destinations have planning and accessibility guides on their websites. These guides typically contain information regarding wheelchair access, service animals, audio/visual assistance, and other accommodations for visitors with disabilities. 

Consider calling ahead to any hotels, parks, museums, attractions, and restaurants to ask about their accommodations for people with disabilities. Are the buildings wheelchair accessible? Is adequate parking available? 

Consult a Travel Agent Who Specializes in Accessible Trips 

Travel agents who specialize in planning trips for people with disabilities can provide accessible travel information for you. They know about the best accessible travel destinations, places to stay, and available accommodations. They will help you prioritize safety as well as fun.  

What are the Top Tips for Traveling with Disabled Travelers? 

  • Add extra time to your itinerary: People with mobility-related disabilities may need extra time to get to and from road trip destinations. Add extra time in your road trip itinerary to avoid feeling rushed. 

  • Map out rest stops on the way: If you are traveling with someone whose disability affects their mobility, stamina, or fatigue, you may want to add rest stops or rest days to your road trip itinerary.  

  • Pack extra medical supplies and medications: People with disabilities and their caregivers tend to know that disability and medical needs can change from day-to-day. To avoid any unforeseen or emergency medical situations, pack extra medications, and bring multiple types of mobility aids as needed. 

  • Check accessible travel apps and websites: AccessNow is an online website and app that serves as a database for finding accessible locations worldwide. Users can search their desired destination and see how the location ranks in terms of accessibility features like accessible parking, handicap accessible bathrooms, and automatic door entrances. The app also caters to those with other physical disabilities, allowing individuals to see if locations have ASL interpreters, braille, and large print accommodations. 

Although planning a road trip with disabled travelers may seem overwhelming, know that it is possible with a bit of extra planning. Whether you’re looking to go camping, visit the beach, or see a local tourist attraction, accessible travel can be safe and fun with these travel tips.  

Looking for more resources on accessible travel destinations? Check out our articles linked below to find your next road trip destination. 


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