Travel requires careful planning, particularly when you have a disability. Figuring out where you can go and what you can do involves a lot of thought and research, but hopefully this list will a) save you some time and b) give you some inspiration for your next trip. Here are four potential destinations suitable for disabled travellers.
1.Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
In need of some sun, sand, and relaxation? Head to Playa Del Carmen, where disabled visitors can enjoy everything the seaside resort has to offer. The beaches are fully accessible and you can transfer to a beach wheelchair, which is designed to roll across the sand as smoothly as possible. The ocean is filled with an abundance of marine life, including sea turtles and stingrays, so make the most of the specialist snorkelling equipment available — it’s even suitable for non-swimmers.
Once the sun starts going in, head to the city’s hub for a bite to eat. There are lots of restaurants on ground level serving authentic Mexican cuisine like tacos and fajitas. Visit BBC Good Food for a list of ten must-try Mexican dishes.
2.Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington is mostly flat and many of the main city attractions, such as the Portrait Gallery and Wellington Museum, are within a short distance of each other, so getting from place to place should be no trouble — you can even hire a mobility scooter (they’re free to borrow for up to four hours).
If you do need to travel further afield, there’s an excellent transport system, with accessible buses and trains making regular trips around the area. There are also wheelchair spaces on the cable car up to the museum and Botanic Gardens. Make sure you pause at the top to admire the stunning panoramic views across the city from Kelburn Lookout.
Barcelona caters especially well to disabled visitors — all the buses are wheelchair accessible and there are ramps leading down to Barceloneta Beach, where you can also request assistance getting in and out of the water.
Why not start your trip with a tour? There are guided tours of Barcelona created especially for disabled sightseers, which will give you an idea of the best routes to take when you explore by yourself, plus you can learn more about this fascinating city.
You won’t be stuck for things to see, but special mention must go to La Pedrera, the last house designed by architect Antonio Gaudí, which won an Accessible Tourism Award for its interactive art exhibitions (click here for a list of all the steps they’ve taken to welcome disabled guests). Sagrada Família, the church widely regarded as his masterpiece, has wheelchair access, audio guides, and sensory displays.
Consider visiting outside of summer, though – as suggested by Insurance with, the hot climate could become quite a challenge for disabled travellers, and Barcelona can get quite warm at peak times of the year.
Dublin is a capital city full of character and you should have no problems experiencing all the history, art and culture it has to offer. All levels of the National Gallery are accessible, there are wheelchairs available for guests to borrow, and service dogs are welcome, so you can take your time as you admire the enormous collection of paintings and other artwork. The National Museum of Ireland is also accessible and it’s free to enter, with the exhibits split into three zones: archaeology, decorative arts and history, and natural history.
As for making your way around the city itself, there are accessible bridges across the river and drop kerbs everywhere, so crossing the road is easy, and although some streets have cobblestones the main pedestrianised areas are normally smooth enough for wheelchairs. The low-floor buses all have spaces for wheelchairs and you can also catch taxis — vehicles with disabled access have a wheelchair sign on the roof and equipment like ramps and adapted seatbelts.