Making Reservations at a
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel

If you are making travel reservations online, finding a wheelchair accessible hotel may take some extra research before you can find lodging that meets your needs.

There are a many large, easy-to-navigate travel websites on the internet; however, not all provide a list of accessible accommodations and features for people with physical challenges. 

In some cases, a website reservations service may not be able to guarantee a specially adapted room. If this is the case, either request your online reservations agent contact the hotel on your behalf or ask for the phone number and call the hotel yourself. This will help ensure you will get the type of room you need for an enjoyable trip.

Despite the booking inconvenience, there are many hotels that have taken steps to comfortably and appropriately accommodate disabled travelers and their families. So, before booking accessible accommodations, consider the following factors.

1. Accessible Airport Transfer

One of the problems that may be encountered during travel is the lack of wheelchair accessible vehicles with the proper equipment to transport you from the airport to your hotel.

Before your trip, contact the hotel to see if the airport shuttle has a ramp, hoist or lift – and wheelchair tie downs or straps to ensure your comfort and safety.

2.  Specially Adapted Rooms

If you’re reserving a room at a wheelchair accessible hotel in a multi-level building, ask if there are wheelchair accessible elevators or lifts.

To ensure your wheelchair can easily traverse in and around your room, confirm the width of the entrance door and ask about the dimensions of the room and its features. This includes inquiring about the height of the bed, dresser, desk, lights/lamps, and wardrobe rails. Also, make sure the telephone is easy to reach and use.

For the bathroom, confirm the room you are reserving has easy shower access, reachable faucets and water controls, handrails, appropriate heights for the mirrors and sink, and bath grab bars.

3. Availability of Medical Help

Before you travel, find out about area health facilities and hospitals that are located close to your wheelchair accessible hotel so you have this information readily available in case of emergencies.

Depending on your specific circumstances, you may want to contact a doctor's office in advance to introduce yourself and see if there are health care professionals on call in the event an urgent need arises.

In addition, always carry your insurance card and a list of your medications with you when you travel. In addition, keep handy the emergency contact numbers of loved ones or friends.

4. Accessible Nearby Attractions and Public Areas

You can't call a vacation a "vacation" if you can't enjoy the tourist areas. As you plan your trip, ask about the accessibility of nearby attractions. You will want to find out if there are adequate entry ramps to buildings, wheelchair-friendly sidewalks, handicap parking availability, adapted toilets and/or facilities in restaurants and other public places.

These are the most common factors that travelers with disabilities should bear in mind when booking a wheelchair accessible hotel. When the accommodation of your choice has met all of your requirements, then you can spending your time focusing on having an enjoyable vacation.

This article was written by Phil Leonor of

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