Trying to figure out which of your dream destinations is the best vacation for wheelchair users?
Let me help you out with that!
Below, you’ll find an amazing list of places that I’ve either visited myself or that my fellow wheelchair travelers recommended.
Let’s dive right in and prove that yes, you really can travel with a wheelchair!
Explore the World of Adventure
Adventurous trips are one of my favorite ways to have fun as a wheelchair user.
Personally, I love adventures because I get to meet and interact with people outside my circle, experience new cultures (depending on where I go), and just soak in all the beauty that the world has to offer.
But how do I go about finding a great destination for an adventure vacation for wheelchair users?
What I do is research places I would love to visit that have adapted their facilities for my ease of access.
One good way to do that is to check out the UN’s list of countries with disability acts. You might be surprised to find out how many there are (although some are a bit better than others, honestly).
Don’t have time for all that research? No worries, that’s what we’re here for!
Today, I’ll be showing you some of the cool places I’ve searched out, each with interesting scenery and lots of places to visit without any hassle.
Let’s check them out. Stay tuned after the list for some tips and frequently asked questions- like things you need before traveling.
Top 5 Spots
Let’s start with my top 5 favorite vacation destinations for wheelchair users. Then we’ll look at some “runner ups.”
1. Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C is home to several American monuments including the White House, Capitol Building, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, museums, and many other amazing historical attractions worth exploring.
The great thing about these monuments is they are completely accessible for the disabled.
One of the best qualities of the capital city is the number of the hotels and lodges which are fully accessible. The majority of these are also close to public transport spots, which are also wheelchair-accessible.
2. Denver, Colorado
The advantage Denver has as a top spot to visit is its accessible public transport – trains, ramps, buses, all have priority seats.
Once transportation is out of the way, you have ease of access to check out the city’s astonishing sights. Particularly, I love the availability of accessible taxi vans with lift gate entry.
To augment the ease of transport, the capital city of Colorado state is very rollable with sidewalks available across the state.
As far as attractions go, you’ll find everything from museums to state buildings and public squares. Plus, the scenery can’t be beat, with those gorgeous mountains in the backdrop!
Notable places you should visit include the Larimer square, the Botanic gardens, the Art Museum, and if you’re down for it, top it all off with a visit to the state capitol building.
3. London, England
Even though London is a metro city with ever buzzling crowds, the underground transit system makes the city a choice site for disabled visitors.
London is rife with historic sites. Chief of all is Buckingham palace. With a proper travel guide, a visit here is one you would enjoy.
In all of Europe, London has the highest number of accessible hotels. These accommodations have varying qualities and different price points.
In making a selection, be sure to check in with the hotel staff to provide you with details of the lodging.
Another major perk of the British city is its rollability. The sidewalks are well spaced and marked out. Even the crosswalks have visual and audio signaling to better aid safe crossing.
However, some wheelchair users vacationing in London do say that the sidewalks are a bit bumpy. That could be an issue if you experience pain when your wheelchair gets jolted a bit.
4. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas is known for its bubbling lifestyle; casinos, shows, vibrant lights and such.
Apart from those, the city malls, the Neon Museum, the Bellagio fountain, make up some of the beautiful scenery of Las Vegas. The good news is that all these are wheelchair accessible.
In terms of accessibility of the city, Las Vegas boasts a high tally of wheelchair taxis working round the clock.
The city literally never sleeps. You’ll find vehicles at any time of the day to go anywhere you want. Another top attraction in this line is the Grand Canyon bus tour which is wheelchair accessible as well.
5. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is a cool place to visit in the US if you’ve never been. The city has a high safety rating, a bus and rail system with priority accessibility.
The key attractions include the Space Needle observation deck and the Seattle Aquarium. To top it all off, Seattle hosts wheel-friendly ferries as well.
In terms of rollability, Seattle has a sort of steep topography for the most part. This might be a problem for wheelchair users not using a power wheelchair.
Apart from that, you can easily navigate the metropolis in the popular wheelchair taxis or the metro system.
Other notable places that are fully accessible in the Jewel City of Pacific Northwest include the Boeing factory, Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft headquarters.
You might want to book a reservation or pay a fee to access some of these facilities.
More amazing wheelchair-friendly vacation destinations
6. Oslo, Norway
The city of Oslo is an ancient city bordering Sweden. Its main attractions are historical sites like the Viking ship museum, the National Theater, the Oslo Opera House, and the Royal Palace, Oslofjord.
Of all these sites, only the palace is less-accessible in a wheelchair. The public transport is top-notch as well.
7. Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles Metro system is the backbone of the city’s smooth operation. Both the bus service and the Metro rail are disabled accessible.
A special feature is the LA FlyAway bus services that care for flight passengers – also fully wheelchair-friendly.
The prime place to check out in L.A. would be the Hollywood hills and the districts housing the big guns of the entertainment industry.
8. Sonoma Valley, California
Located in the beautiful city of California, the Sonoma Valley is known for its classic restaurants and wineries, as well as its incredible scenery. As the name “valley” implies, it’s surrounded by mountains.
The majority of these tourist attractions have been remodeled to be wheelchair-accessible. This is a top spot for a romantic get-away.
9. Western Wall In Israel
In Jerusalem, Israel, the western wall is one of the sacred monuments pilgrims visit. It is considered a holy site and welcoming to all persons of any religion.
This contributes to the peaceful setting. This historic site presents no hassles with wheelchair accessibility.
10. Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
While Rehoboth Beach might not be the go-to location for a beach vacation, the structure makes it a top site for wheelchair users.
The beach has a long boardwalk on the beach and to nearby stores, ramps that reach the beach sand, and free beach wheelchairs.
There’s not a beach that beats Delaware’s when it comes to catering for wheelchair visitors.
11. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin is a historic city with several stone-built monuments and cobblestones. But in all this historic richness, the city has taken a new shape with wheelchair accessible public transport systems.
The major attraction centers like the theatres and shopping venues are also well accessible. Might I add, the people also are very friendly to wheelchair users as accounted by those who have visited.
12. St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
St. Simon’s Island is an old “town” located in Georgia. The main attraction for tourists here is the beach which is wheelchair accessible with its flat terrain and tightly-packed sand.
The lodges around are mostly condos which surprisingly have elevators making it perfect for disabled visitors to lodge.
13. Tasmania, Australia
Here is another Island on our list of top sites for wheelchair travelers. It’s located in Australia near the river Derwent and Mount Wellington. Tasmania is big and has a lot of monuments worth seeing.
The Museum of Old and New Art is one of the major attractions.
Considering the distance to Australia from the US, it is often a big concern for wheelchair users to travel down.
But with airlines like Jetstar, accessibility, and comfort are less of an issue. And locally in Tasmania, the majority of public transport, buses, and cabs are wheelchair accessible.
14. Hawaii, USA
Hawaii is a popular vacation region for many people around the world, disabled and wheelchair users inclusive. The different islands have their peculiarities.
Waikiki is known for its busy life, Maui for laid-back vibes, Kauai for a feel of nature, and on and on.
The main attraction for wheelchair users to Hawaiian islands is the compliance with the US ADA which makes it obligatory for each establishment to build with accessibility in mind.
The same goes for the public transport system. The buses and vehicles are largely wheelchair accessible.
What Do You Need Before Travelling?
Apart from the regular travel pack, everyone takes when they are going on a trip. Stuff like a cardigan, a flask, a hat, a guide, lots of money, among many other necessities.
As a wheelchair user, you must be even more proactive than this.
1. Plan Ahead for Comfortable Travel
Anticipating your journey happens in your planning. The success of your trip depends on how well you have planned the details of the journey.
This starts from booking a flight if you would be needing one. Make sure to choose an aisle seat. Be sure to call again to confirm your flight details a day before take-off day.
2. Arrive Early
As I explained in a previous post, pre-boarding would give you an advantage for your flight. But to do so, you have to arrive at the airport early enough. This way, your wheelchair can be carefully stored away and you’ll settle into position comfortably.
3. Use a Seat Cushion for Comfortability
Always remember that the more comfortable you are, the better you’re going to enjoy your travel. That’s the main reason I go with a seat cushion for my travels.
With a seat cushion, you can ease off the pressure of sitting in position for long.
4. Plan Your Transportation Upon Arrival
One thing you don’t want to do is leave your transportation to chance upon arrival at your destination.
As a wheelchair passenger, you might not be able to compete for available pick-up transports at the airport. Sorting your pickup beforehand relieves you of this stress.
5. Arrange for a Backup Wheelchair at Your Destination
In case of damage or any malfunction to your wheelchair while in storage, you should have a backup arranged. You can do a search online to find one or ask vendors within your reach.
Outfits for Travel
Finding the perfect outfit for travel can be a difficult decision to make. I mean, everyone wants to look their best when appearing in public.
For travel outfits, the most important to consider is your destination. Here are some questions that should help you in making a selection:
- What season are you making your trip?
- What is the weather like over there?
- How do visitors often dress in that region?
Alongside these, you should also consider clothes that are free on your body. Get tops that are long and loose around the waist. Choose short pants alongside a nice shoe to match.
Where can I go on holiday with a wheelchair?
You can holiday at any of the top destinations we have listed in today’s compilation, or any place that has accessibility laws. Plenty of spots in the US, Australia, UK, and Ireland.
Which cruise line is the best for wheelchair users?
An expedition on the sea is one experience to have. Being in a wheelchair is not a hindrance from going on a cruise.
Here are the best cruise lines accessible for wheelchair passengers; Royal Caribbean’s Oasis, Princess 7-Day Alaska Inside Passage, Disney Cruise Line’s Dream Class, and a handful of other premium cruises.
Which country is wheelchair friendly?
If you’re traveling from the USA, there are quite a handful of countries with excellent accessibility for wheelchair users.
To mention a few, we have Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Canada. You can also use that UN list that we mentioned earlier.
Now that you have all the information you need to make that adventurous trip. What’s stopping you?
Decide on a destination and work towards having a nice time during the next vacation.