Not all destinations are easy to travel in a wheelchair, but these 10 wheelchair accessible vacations stand out as some of the best. Click here to learn more.
According to the U.S. Census, there are 56.7 million people with a disability in this country. That’s nearly 20% of the population.
For many, a physical disability can be seen as a hindrance — a barrier that keeps you from doing what you love, especially when it comes to travel.
But this isn’t true!
Okay, maybe you can’t climb Mt. Everest (or maybe you can). But with so many countries passing legislation demanding wheelchair accessibility, finding wheelchair accessible vacations is easier than ever before.
The 10 Best Wheelchair Accessible Vacations
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most wheelchair-friendly vacation destinations on the planet. Your options are boundless.
1. Disney World
There are few places in the world more friendly than Disney. That’s especially true if you’re are in a wheelchair. Disney World has done a fantastic job of making sure that all of their parks have the required elevators, ramps, and other equipment required to get around the park and onto the rides.
If you come with a doctors note, Disney will even offer you a fast-pass to skip the lines for nearly all of Disney’s wonderful attractions.
2. South Africa
If the African Safari at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom wasn’t enough, how ’bout checking out the real deal?
It might have seemed out of the question for those of you with limited mobility, but the South Africa-based group Access 2 Africaoffers safari vacation packages specifically designed for wheelchair accessibility. They also have tours catered towards the hearing and vision impaired.
Germany is leading the way when it comes to wheelchair-friendly travel. Germany’s federal tourism board has made it easy to find wheelchair accessible vacations in their country with their Accessible Germany initiative.
On their website, you can find a map of the country with all of their wheelchair-friendly cities clearly demarcated. They also break down all of the best tours, restaurants, and museums you can check out while you’re there. It’s a great resource for those of you that have been yearning to slap on some lederhosen and try some schnitzel.
4. New Zealand
Marina Hanger established Ability Tours in 2008 after working as an occupational therapist for over 30 years. Her tourism company specializes in creating New Zealand-based vacation packages for people with all sorts of disabilities.
If you have a physical disability, Ability Tours can create a hand-tailored vacation that includes kayaking, rafting, flying, and all the other thrilling outdoor activities New Zealand is famous for.
5. Barcelona, Spain
Cities as old as Barcelona don’t have a great track record when it comes to wheelchair accessibility. After all, it can be tricky to update a 12th-century church with a wheelchair elevator or ramp.
Barcelona, however, has made great strides in this regard. Nearly all of Barcelona’s bus and metro stations are wheelchair-accessible. Their beaches, which provide walkways to the water, lifting cranes, and wheelchair-friendly changing rooms, are particularly friendly to those with disabilities.
Italian cities can fall victim to the same accessibility issues Spanish cities do. With their ancient ruins, old cobbled roads and sidewalks, and small living quarters, Italian cities can be hard to traverse.
Luckily an Italian tourism company called Accessible Italy is here to remedy the situation. They are a non-profit organization that formed in 1995 and have been providing expert wheel-chair friendly tours of Italy ever since.
They offer a ton of wheelchair accessible vacations that take you to different cities all over the country including Naples, Rome, Florence, Venice, and Tuscany.
7. Vienna, Austria
Despite its history, Vienna feels incredibly modern, and luckily for you, it’s almost entirely flat! All of their public transportation is wheelchair friendly, and their streets are wide and well-maintained.
In the center of the city, is a particularly accessible pedestrian walkway called the Stephansplatz. Here, you can glide by ancient churches, designer clothing stores, and fantastic restaurant and cafes.
A trip to Vienna is one of the most wheelchair accessible vacations you can go on.
8. Sydney, Australia
Sydney is famous for its stunning beaches, and the city tries to make sure that even the physically impaired can enjoy them.
Many of the lifeguards on their beaches can provide sand-ready wheelchairs and Coogee Beach provides an accessible walkway for wheelchair users to take in all of the beautiful views and wildlife.
The famous Sydney Opera House has also committed itself to maintaining its wheelchair accessibility.
9. Rocky Mountain National Park
Hey, maybe it’s time to buy one of those wheelchair vans for sale, and take a trip to the Rocky Mountains. Why leave the country?
You can enjoy all of the bountiful wonders of nature with a quick trip to Estes Park, Colorado. At this section of the park, there are walkways, campsites and nature trails designed specifically for people with limited mobility.
The park also has shuttles that take you all around the park and can accommodate any type of wheelchair.
The National Park Service was even kind enough to provide an online resource detailing all of the different sections of the park you can visit.
10. The Louvre
Paris has so much to explore, but the first thing on your list should be The Louvre. Not only is it the most famous art museum in the world, it’s also the most accessible. The museum’s labyrinthian corridors are equipped with 18 elevators and 20 chairlifts that can take you to where you need to go.
Inside you can find every collection of art imaginable: renaissance paintings and tapestries, Picasso’s greatest works, post-modern sculptures, and so much more.
You can find out more about the Louvre’s dedication to accessibility here.
The World Is Yours
Hopefully, this list of wheelchair accessible vacations has helped you decide upon your next getaway destination.
If you’d like more helpful travel information, check out our site’s travel tips section, where we’ve got advice on everything from maximizing your phone’s battery life to managing your asthma.
The world is wonderful and your limited mobility shouldn’t stop you from exploring, so get out there and enjoy it!