Wheelchair Travel Newsletter: Top Destinations for First-Time Disabled Travelers
Are your nondisabled friends avoiding travel with you? Plus a new hotel review that features an accessible bathtub rather than a roll-in shower.
Hey, everybody and Hello, December!
The past week has been a frantic one for me, as I find myself up against multiple deadlines while the hours tick down until my next flight — tomorrow morning, I am traveling to North Carolina for a weekend of college football and soccer.
New date and time for the Accessible Travel Chat
Yesterday, I had planned to host an Accessible Travel Chat to answer your questions, but registrations were uncharacteristically low and many readers wrote to say they could not attend. I decided to reschedule the chat for next week and used the extra time to make this fancy announcement:
I’ll go live on Zoom to answer your accessible travel questions on Wednesday, December 6 at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT. As it happens, I’ll be broadcasting LIVE FROM LOS ANGELES (International Airport) at that time, so I encourage you to bring your air travel questions (though you’re free to ask anything). To register, please visit the Accessible Travel Chat registration page. See you Wednesday!
Holding me, or rather the DOT, accountable
On Wednesday, I received an email from a reader asking to see the airline wheelchair damage statistics “released in November by the DOT.” He reminded me that “In your October 31 article, you promised to provide a monthly update.” Hat tip to that man, seriously, however this one isn’t my fault. The DOT failed to publish an Air Travel Consumer Report in November, which means I’ve got nothing to report. Funny enough, the article I published on Halloween criticized the department’s failure to release critical data in a timely manner.
Final opportunity to respond have your voice heard in the 2024 Accessible Travel Study
Last month, I invited you to complete a survey about your accessible travel preferences — the data will be used to guide my work and to provide valuable insights to the travel industry. The survey will close on Tuesday, December 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Thank you for taking the time to respond!
Where I’m going this month
My December travel schedule is fairly light, with this weekend’s trip to North Carolina and next week’s trip to Portland, Oregon being the only trips currently on my calendar. I am a spontaneous traveler, and often set off at the last minute, but I am looking forward to enjoying the start of winter and the holiday season in New England. Depending on the results of Saturday’s football games, I may find myself ringing in the New Year in New Orleans or Los Angeles. I’ll be sure to keep you updated!
Have a great weekend,
Accessible Travel Articles
Easy Accessible Destinations for First-Time Disabled Travelers
These 5 cities are among the easiest and most accessible destinations to visit for your first trip as a wheelchair user in the United States.
Do Nondisabled People Avoid Vacationing With Their Disabled Friends?
Inaccessibility impacts both disabled people and their nondisabled travel companions, but does it impact their desire to vacation together?
New in the Shop: “Return Wheelchair to Aircraft Door” Embroidered Tag
With this bright tag attached to your wheelchair, airline baggage handlers won't be able to say they didn't know where to return your mobility device.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room at Home2 Suites by Hilton Atlanta Airport
Opened in 2023, the Home2 Suites by Hilton Atlanta Airport College Park is one of the most accessible hotels near the world's busiest airport.
In Case You Missed It
Why I Blocked a Bus in Fort Lauderdale With My Wheelchair
My principled stand wasn’t nearly as dramatic as those taken by the earliest advocates for accessible public transportation, but I did delay about 50 passengers who, like me, were trying to reach the airport.
Check out these articles too:
American Airlines Agent Tosses Wheelchair Down Baggage Chute, Violent Crash Ensues — "That's not what I would call handling with care," a TikTok user wrote after filming airline staff tossing a wheelchair down a baggage chute.
Watch: Accessible Travel Chat with Jake Steinman, Founder of the TravelAbility Summit — John Morris interviewed Jake Steinman, Founder of TravelAbility, to discuss how destinations can be more involved in advancing accessibility.
How to Visit the Golden Gate Bridge as a Wheelchair User — Apart from the White House and Statue of Liberty, the wheelchair accessible Golden Gate Bridge is surely America's most recognizable landmark.
Tips for Riding a Roller Coaster as a Wheelchair User — Are roller coasters wheelchair accessible? Make decisions about whether to try theme park rides based on your on physical abilities. People with disabilities can ride roller coasters too!
What I’m reading
I’m still working on one of the books I picked up last month, David Grann’s The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder. Grann is the author of Killers of the Flower Moon (which was recently adapted by Apple TV). Once I’m finished with that, I plan to start Suzanne Heywood’s Wavewalker: A Memoir of Breaking Free, which has received rave reviews in the British media. I expect Heywood’s story will reveal that travel may not be as freeing as we think it is, a feeling that I have certainly grappled with after years of non-stop exploration.