Accessible tourism is one of the greatest improvements that has happened in the accommodation industry. It is a type of tourism that enables guests with access needs such as vision, mobility, cognitive dimensions of access, and hearing, to function with dignity and equity. Their independence is accomplished by delivering tourism products, environments, and services that are all universally designed. This definition includes senior citizens, people travelling with kids in prams, and people with disabilities. Take note of the following if you want to know more about accessible tourism:
- a) Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Here, your personal information is secure. It enables the U.S. Consulate, the Department of State, or the U.S. Embassy to reach you, your friends, or your family during an emergency, based on your preference.
- b) To avoid accommodations that are inaccessible to you, you should learn to make calls and do research on the places you want to visit. You need to be certain that the places can provide your special needs, including wheelchair accessibility. Remember that your vacation does not need to be a struggle, just because you need special care.
- c) Secure your bookings months ahead. It is more economical if you book your accessible accommodations months in advance. Remember that hotels located in European City Centers have only up to two rooms that are accessible. The best rooms are usually booked weeks in advance. If you want to leave for your summer vacation, complete your reservations as early as December.
- d) Stay in parts of town that are accessible. Also, make sure that the areas outside your accessible hotel are also accessible. Research the hotel’s neighborhood by using apps like Google Map Street View, so that you can ask your chosen hotel anything you need to know about it.
- e) Plan your route with care. Doing so allows you to see if there are accessible entrances, bus routes, sidewalks, train stations, and certain establishments.
- f) Keep your back up plan. Every vacation has surprises. If there is an unpleasant surprise, be sure that you can deal with it. You can choose to travel with a person who can help you if ever there is a crisis. Be sure you remain calm and flexible, so that small setbacks do not ruin the trip. Back up plans make you enjoy your vacation despite the crises that happen.
- g) Do you want a tour? Look for a company that specialized in accessible tourism, so that the tour you get is the smoothest and flattest ever. Here are some of the questions you can ask the driver or the guide:
- What route will the guide choose?
- Is the guide licensed and qualified?
- Is the tour a personal one or will you be part of a group?
- Have there been other disabled guests that the guide handled?
Always remember that you are having a vacation because you deserve it. Accessible tourism paves the way for accessible accommodation. Accessible accommodation is key in helping your stay become pleasant and comfortable despite your special needs. You need to be certain that everything is in order way before you pack your bags. So, do your homework and be prepared to enjoy your coming vacation.