Accessible Travel Tips, MS, MSGladiator, MSLiving, MSWarrior, social distancing

Travel Tips, Part 2

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I am ready for some water therapy, now. I would have said beach therapy but I figured I needed to expand my horizon this year. So, I am including lakes, rivers, bays, reservoirs, steams, creeks, and marshes with my favorite beaches this year. Everything is different this year, but I must be on the water. Everyone ready for a semi normal break? Ready to try someplace different? Gather your place requirements and let’s go plan!

This year my requirements are: no or very few steps; a walk in shower; a main floor bedroom & bathroom; a porch or deck to watch the water with coffee; an easy way to get to water (smoothish gentle path); swimming allowed; paddle board friendly; on the water; in my budget. I mentioned water, right? Have your list ready?

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Now, the place. I made a list of beaches, lakes, and river towns within a few hours. I usually want a place with lots of restaurants, but I figured I should table that this year. Coastal beaches need to have handicap access and beach wheelchairs available for rent. I will wait until you have your possible destination list and related needs.

Have your trip dates? Here I was pretty flexible. I looked at possible long weekends and two possible weeks. Be prepared for a little wiggle room. Some places will require a minimum number of nights or whole weeks if it is peak season. With whole weeks the rental agent/owner may have a preferred check in and out day of week. Or, someone may have your start or end date. A slide of a day fixes that easily.

Next, figure out if you are looking for a house rental, condo rental, campground; RV park; forest, or hotel/motel. Is there a backup lodging option? This time I am looking for a house rental. My backup is other destinations.

Now, we can apply the tips from my Travel Tips, Part 1 blog. I Googled “vacation rentals” plus the destination to identify local rental agents/websites.

Then I started exploring the pictures, written descriptions, and prices. My daughter helped. She is an adult and has a big interest in our top destination. We flagged a number of favorites.

You have to be very detail oriented combing through the pictures and descriptions. Not everyone has the same definition for handicap accessible. To be fair, “handicap accessible” covers a broad range of ability types and ability severities. Are we looking for mobility accommodations, or accommodations for low vision, no vision, a hearing impairment, low strength, or another or even a combination of impairments?

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Wheelchair accessible can mean a smooth path in and all around with any needed fixture accommodations or mostly all that with a “we can help 90lb relative with ‘x'” added. Some places may have your needed accommodations but did not add the accessible label. So, read the descriptions and itemized details carefully and search for what is reflected in photographed mirrors. Staggered stepped paths may require zooming in to see. Then contact the renter to confirm or answer any questionable points! You might learn that what you saw reflected in the mirror WAS a walk in shower or darn it, the front entrance, not pictured nor described, has 3 steps without a railing.

Using these steps I booked a house at our top destination choice that we all should enjoy. And there are no elevators to break down! Good Luck on your search! 

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