May 27, 2024

Weather News Road Conditions

Weather News & Forecast

Tips on How to Plan an Accessible Road Trip

5 min read

Planning an accessible road trip is getting a little easier for people with disabilities. There are more resources created by and for the disability community, and the tourism industry is starting to recognize the value of accessible travel. As a disabled, chronically ill, neurodivergent person, I take road trips every year and have learned some tips and tricks along the way.

Most major car companies offer adaptive driving devices for their vehicles at no additional cost. Enterprise, for example, offers hand controls, left foot accelerators, pedal extenders and spinner knobs to facilitate steering. Budget can provide hand controls, spinner knobs, a panoramic mirror, swivel seats and transfer boards. Be prepared to request adaptive devices at least three business days in advance.

For a wheelchair-accessible van with a ramp or a lift, rent from a mobility company like BraunAbility, one of the largest builders of wheelchair-accessible vans in the country, with rentals at many locations. MobilityWorks, an accessible-vehicle and adaptive-equipment dealer, has rental locations in 34 states. AccessibleGO, which offers a one-stop shop for adapted rental cars and wheelchair-accessible vans, has agreements with 100 wheelchair van rental locations nationwide; request a quote on their website. For accessibleGO’s rental cars, you can request hand controls and a spinner knob at checkout.

You can use Google Maps, Waze and MapQuest for initial accessibility research using photos and street view. Google Maps provides directions for some wheelchair-accessible pedestrian and transit routes.

Sites such as Roadtrippers and Furkot can plot an entire itinerary. While these websites are not disability specific, they are invaluable tools. (Roadtrippers does have a wheelchair-accessible check box in the search function.) You can filter by types of destinations such as national parks or museums, and search for hotels and campgrounds. Furkot allows you to input how long you want to drive each day, whether you want to travel on Interstate highways or take more scenic roads. The app will determine the best route and length of time between stops, and suggest where to stay overnight.

While hotels and other accommodations are required to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, many hotels do not meet all accessibility needs. Most of the booking sites list hotels with accessible rooms for those with mobility, hearing and vision needs, but this information is not always verified. Do additional research on review sites and look for photos. Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and Fairmont hotels offer allergy-friendly and scent-free rooms in some locations. Call the hotel to verify accessibility and to make sure a specific room is reserved for you.

Vacation rentals are typically not required to be A.D.A. compliant, but some do provide accessibility information. Airbnb recently rolled out an adapted category with accessibility search features and homes that have been scanned for accessibility. Review photos and contact the host for more information. Some hosts will make accommodations, such as changing the cleaning supplies or shifting furniture, but document your request using the in-app messaging system so that customer service can help if you run into issues.

Wheel the World is an accessible travel agency offering bookings at over 3,000 verified accessible hotels in the United States. The hotels have been reviewed in person by trained assessors; only those that meet the criteria are listed. Sign up as a disabled traveler or a companion and complete a personal profile that includes options for a variety of disabilities and accessibility needs. The site will provide listings that match your profile with partial, adequate and outstanding match options.

There are a variety of options to keep food or medication cold while traveling. Electric coolers can plug into your vehicle’s 12-volt outlet, but pay attention to the type of cooling mechanism — the less expensive versions are usually thermoelectric and will cool only to about 30 degrees below ambient temperature (if it is 70 degrees in the car, it will cool to 40 degrees). Compressor coolers are more expensive but maintain normal refrigerated temperatures.

Many hotels provide mini-refrigerators. When you know you will be stopping somewhere with a fridge almost every night, layer large ice packs and supplies in a cooler, then top them with another insulating layer like a cooling bag. This keeps everything cold for a couple of days at a time.

It’s also a good idea to travel with a single-burner cooktop — electric to use inside, or propane to use at rest areas and campgrounds — and a camp mess kit so that you can safely cook meals.

Some of the best apps to find food, restaurants and grocery stores that accommodate dietary needs are Fig for allergy-specific options, Happy Cow for vegan-friendly options and Find Me Gluten Free for celiac-safe spots. Add your favorite options to the route-planning app so that you know where to stop.

In addition to the apps mentioned in the route-planning section, state and local tourism organizations are good sources for accessible destinations.

National parks and monuments, which are required to meet federal accessibility guidelines, typically have visitor centers and recreation sites with accessible features. Each park website has information, as well as programs and services within the park. While accessibility varies, you can usually find information on wheelchair-accessible trails and campsites, tactile and audio features, assistive listening devices, and American Sign Language interpreters.

At state parks, accessibility features may not be consistent, but you can usually find some information on each park’s website.

Apps like AllTrails list wheelchair-friendly trails across the country, but the information may not be verified, so contact the park or land manager for verification. Among the parks with notable accessible trails are Redwood National and State Parks, North Cascades National Park, Badlands National Park, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Syren Nagakyrie, the founder of the nonprofit Disabled Hikers and the author of “The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Western Washington and Oregon” and “The Disabled Hiker’s Guide to Northern California,” among other guidebooks, leads group hikes and conducts assessments throughout the United States.

Syren Nagakyrie

2024-04-12 09:00:16

All news and articles are copyrighted to the respective authors and/or News Broadcasters. eWeatherNews is an independent Online News Aggregator


Read more from original source here…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *