Accessible Vacations

Travel is becoming more accessible to everyone. Research and planning are key components of any successful vacation and  especially true for individuals who face additional challenges. As Accessible Travel Advocate's we help make planning a breeze. We know which resorts, cruise lines, theme parks, and airlines offer special programs or have taken steps to have their staff trained in a variety of issues.  Because some providers require significant advance notice, please let us know how we can help early in the planning process. 


This page contains just a few of the things that you should consider when planning a trip if you or someone you are traveling with has mobility, sight, or hearing challenges, cognitive disabilities, or special dietary considerations. As we plan your vacation, we will touch on these as well as many other details.


  

Oxygen

Traveling with portable oxygen can be a challenge because many airlines do not allow passengers to carry it on board. We can arrange to have your oxygen needs met at your ship or at your resort. Keep in mind that:

  • ​Advance notice may be required (usually at least 30 days)
  • The cruise line or resort may be require that the oxygen be delivered by specific suppliers
  • The number of passengers on a cruise using portable oxygen may be limited
  • A traveling companion with knowledge of the equipment is normally needed or may be required.


Cognitive or Developmental Considerations

When planning your vacation, we can help you select a destination that offers special accommodations for guests who are on the autism spectrum, or have ADHD, dementia, or other developmental, physical, or cognitive disabilities that should be taken into consideration when planning to help everyone have a positive and memorable time. 


Considerations include availability of:

  • Priority check-in and departure
  • Sensory-friendly toys and entertainment
  • Available activities
  • Pre-vacation preparatory activities and/or practices



Mobility: Resort or Ship Selection

Things to consider when selecting a ship or resort:

  • Ability to transfer from device to a seat
  • Availability of a traveling companion who can provide assistance
  • Ability to walk minimal distances
  • Availability of lift equipped vans for transfer between the airport and the resort or ship
  • ​Whether ECVs are allowed
  • Whether there are steps, flights of stairs, and/or elevators or ramps available
  • The width of door openings
  • The width of corridors and hallways
  • Availability of hydraulic lifts for the pool or Jacuzzi
  • Whether activities such as casino tables are at an accessible height
  • Availability of sand wheelchairs.



Mobility: Room Selection

Things to consider when selecting a stateroom or room:

  • The width of the doors and whether or not there is a doorsill or the threshold is flat when entering the room
  • Turning radius in room
  • Closet hanging rod height
  • Whether or not the bathroom threshold is ramped
  • Bathroom and shower accessibility
  • Availability of grab bars, hand held shower-heads, and fold down shower stool
  • Height of toilet seat, sink, and vanity and availability of a commode chair or raised toilet seat
  • Availability of refrigerator, if needed for medications
  • Availability of accessible balconies. 

Mobility: Getting Around & Excursion Selection

We can arrange to have an ECV/scooter or wheelchair to meet you at the airport and at your ship or at resort. 


Things to consider when selecting excursions: 

  • Some excursions may require transferring to a boat (i.e., tendering) if your ship isn't scheduled to dock or can't dock because of water conditions. In such cases, guests in wheelchairs may be prevented from participating at the discretion of the ship's or boat's officers due to the difficulty and/or danger in transferring from the ship or land to the boat and from the boat to shore. 
  • Excursions come in all varieties from sedate to strenuous. We will provide you with information that you can use to decide which excursions will meet your needs.  



Dietary Considerations

Are you fearful of traveling because you or someone in your family has a dietary restriction or food allergy? We at Sail Away Adventures are very cognizant of the importance of feeling safe when traveling especially when flying or reaching your destination since it is difficult to avoid eating!


The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be an advocate for your own safety. But, of course, if you or a member of your family has dietary restrictions you already know that. Sometimes it is necessary to educate the people who are preparing or serving your food especially in other countries. But you may genuinely surprised at how eager they are to learn more in order to ensure that you have a safe experience. 


Another thing you can do before traveling is use a travel professional who is familiar with special diets. Whether you are celiac, diabetic, allergic to peanuts, or tree nuts, etc. a knowledgeable travel professional can help you plan a vacation where you and everyone you are traveling with will be able to enjoy mealtime. Knowledge about dietary restrictions and the resorts that have the facilities, allergy protocols, and trained personnel in place to make dining enjoyable are key criteria when selecting a travel consultant to help plan your vacation. 


Regardless of whether you use a travel consultant like Sail Away Adventures or not, always let the resort know in advance what your dietary restrictions are. Some resorts want this information at least 30 days before you arrive. Then when you arrive, let the Maître d' and your server know. Whenever you travel, we suggest that you carry cards that explain your restrictions in the languages you will likely encounter during your trip. And, of course, always carry extra of whatever supplies your "emergency plan" or "action plan" includes.  


If you are staying at an all inclusive or taking a cruise, having the same waiter throughout your stay will help your comfort level so you don’t feel like you are always explaining yourself. But it still never hurts to remind them! It is great when the chef comes out to meet with you personally because it gives reassurance that they understand the importance of safe food preparation. It is wonderful when you can sit back, confident that the person who is preparing your food is knowledgeable about cross contamination issues and the possible effects of serving something that you will have a reaction to.

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Additional Considerations

Sign Language Interpreting

If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.

Visual

Availability of: 

  • Braille signage and menus
  • Communications in large print

Service Animals

Please let us know if you will be traveling with a service animal so, we can provide you with the necessary information (e.g., immunization requirements) and help with the necessary arrangements.

Wheelchair/ECV Selection

  • Manual (folding or non-folding) 
  • Power (type of battery: gel cell, wet cell, dry cell) and extension cords for charging. 
  • Weight and size
  • Selecting an authorized vendor


Hearing

Availability of:

  • Visual-tactile alert systems
  • Teletypewriter (TTY)
  • Assistive Listening Systems 
  • Close-captioned televisions

Sharps Container

Many cruise lines and resorts will provide a sharps container for your convenience. 

CAPD

If you or someone you are traveling with requires continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis, most cruise lines require at least thirty days notice of the vendor delivering supplies. 

CPAP/BIPAP Machines

Availability of:

  • Distilled water
  • Extension cords

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