Accessible Travel
Around the World

Traveling around the world is accessible to everyone, even if you are mobility-impaired. More hotels now offer facilities for disabled guests, and even if public transport can sometimes be too difficult, renting a vehicle with a driver might not even be that expensive. Traveling with an able-bodied companion is a sure way to ease the stress if your mobility is considerably restricted.

A little planning goes a long way. These country guides for accessible travel around the world will help you plan your dream trip and achieve your travel goals!

COUNTRY GUIDES FOR ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD

ARGENTINA
4 | Patagonia, Chile & Argentina
Explore the largest series of waterfall in the world, Iguassu Falls, Argentina

Travelers with disabilities will find things quite difficult in Argentina. Many cities have narrow, busy and uneven sidewalks that are difficult to negotiate. Crossing streets is also a problem, since not every corner has ramps and Argentine drivers don’t have much patience for slower pedestrians, disabled or not.

Still, visitors with limited mobility do go to Argentina. Except for 4 and 5 stars hotels, accommodations do not have wheelchair-accessible rooms. Bathrooms at mid-range and budget hotels are sometimes very small. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Buenos Aires has a few buses described as piso bajo – which lower to provide wheelchair lift – and the subway has a few accessible stations, especially the newer ones.

As for visually-impaired travelers, little effort have been dedicated to giving accessibility except than the use of Braille on ATMs.

In Buenos Aires, ‘QRV Transportes Especiales’ offers private transport and private tours in vans fully equipped for wheelchair users.

Click here for the complete Argentina Travel Guide

BELIZE
Belize_Blue hole

A lot of buildings in Belize are on stilts or have uneven wooden steps, since this country lacks accessibility regulations. There’s not many ramps for wheelchair access. There’s also a lack of footpaths, and there are plentiful rough and sandy grounds. With assistance, bus travel is feasible, but small planes and water taxi can be a problem.

Still, visitors with limited mobility do go to Belize. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Click here for the complete Belize Travel Guide

CROATIA
45 | Dubrovnik, Croatia

Croatia gives more and more attention to the needs of disabled travelers, partly because of wounded war veterans. Public toilets at bus stations, train stations, airports and large public venues are usually wheelchair accessible.

Large hotels are wheelchair accessible, but very little private accommodation is. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Bus and train stations in Zagreb, Zadar, Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik are wheelchair accessible, but the local Jadrolinija ferries are not.

Click here for the complete Croatia Travel Guide

EL SALVADOR
El Salvador 1
El Salvador_Coatepeque lake, Santa Ana

There are quite a lot of disabled people in El Salvador (most victims of war-related violence), but there are still limited amenities or services to make their life easier.

There are few well-maintained handrails and ramps. Also, there is not a lot of services for the visually and hearing impaired.

On the other hand, Salvadorans are extremely friendly and eager to help. So traveling in El Salvador can be possible.

You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

FRANCE
11 | Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
44 | Mont St Michel, France

France is not well equipped for travelers with disabilities: cobblestone streets are a nightmare to navigate with a wheelchair, kerb ramps are often lacking, older public facilities and budget hotels frequently lack lifts, and the Paris metro (built decades ago) is hopeless.

But travelers with disabilities who would like to visit France can overcome these difficulties. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

‘Tourisme et Handicaps’ (in French) lists tourist sites, restaurants and hotels that comply with strict accessibility and usability standards.

Details on rail access for people with disabilities appear in the SNCF’s booklet (Guide des Voyageurs Handicapés et à Mobilité Réduite – in French), available at train stations. You can also contact the ‘Centre du Service Accès Plus’ (in French) to check station accessibility or to arrange for a wheelchair or to receive help getting on or off a train.

Click here for the complete France Travel Guide

GREECE
Oia, Santorini, Greece

Disabled people do go to Greece, but you have to know that most hotels, museums and ancient sites are not wheelchair accessible. This is due in part to the uneven terrain of much of the country, which is a challenge even for the able-bodied people, with its abundance of stones, rocks and marbles (which can get extremely slippery).

Visually or hearing impaired people will not find much help in Greece as the current infrastructure has not seriously tackled their needs yet.

Still, you can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Click here for the complete Greece Travel Guide

GUATEMALA
cheapest countries 2016

Guatemala isn’t the easiest country to negotiate with a disability. Even if many sidewalks in Antigua have ramps and little inlaid tiles showing a wheelchair, the streets are cobblestone, so the ramps are anything but smooth and the streets are even worse!

Many hotels in Guatemala are old, converted houses with rooms around a courtyard; such rooms are wheelchair accessible, but the bathrooms may not be. The most expensive hotels have facilities such as elevators, ramps and accessible toilets. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Transportation is the biggest hurdle for travelers with limited mobility: you might want to rent a car and driver, since buses lack the space.

HAWAII
2 | Maui, Hawaii
23 | Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

Many of the major resort hotels and tourist areas have elevators, TTD-capable phones, wheelchair-accessible rooms and other features to smooth the day.

If you want more information on airlines, transportation, medical and other support services for each island, visit Disability and Communication Access Board’s website.

Also, seeing-eye and guide dogs are not subject to the same quarantine as other pets, if they meet the Department of Agriculture’s minimum requirements.

You can rent wheelchair-accessible vans on all the islands with Wheelchair Getaways of Hawaii.

You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

HONDURAS
15 | West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras
3 | Roatan, Honduras

Besides high-end hotels and resorts, Honduras lacks facilities for disabled travelers. Poor-quality sidewalks and cobblestone streets make it difficult for wheelchair-bound visitors to negotiate towns. Moreover, public transport isn’t geared to less-able travelers. Only the ferries to Roatán offer wheelchair access.

INDIA
Meditate in front of the Taj Mahal, India
RTW On a Dime India

Even for the able-bodied person, India’s crowded public transport and variable infrastructure can test you. If you are mobility or vision-impaired, traveling this country can be a greater challenge.

Almost only top-end hotels offer facilities for disabled travelers. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Some restaurants and offices have ramps, but most tend to have at least one step. Staircases are often steep. Footpaths and pavements, where they exist, can be full of potholes, littered with debris and packed with pedestrians. If you use crutches, bring along spare rubber caps for the tips as they are likely to wear down quickly.

Hiring a car with a driver will make moving around a lot easier, and if you use a wheelchair, make sure the car-hire company can provide an appropriate vehicle to carry it.

Click here for the complete India Travel Guide

INDONESIA
7 | Bali, Indonesia

Indonesia can be a difficult destination for those with limited mobility. Even if some of the airlines flying to Indonesia have a good reputation for accommodating people with disabilities, the airports are not well set up.

Public transport, minibuses used by shuttle bus and tour companies are not accessible. Ramps and other disabled facilities at hotels and inns are uncommon. Your best bet is to find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

The footpaths, when they exist at all, tend to be narrow, uneven, potholed and frequently obstructed.

Click here for the complete Indonesia Travel Guide

IRELAND
Accessible Travel Around the World

Most sights in Ireland have access for wheelchairs. The Citizens Information Board provides information for the Republic, and for the North, Disability Action can advise on accessibility.

You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Click here for the complete Ireland Travel Guide

LAOS
Laos_Buddha Park, Vientiane

Laos is sadly unprepared for people with special physical needs. However, its main cities such as Vientiane, Savannakhet and Luang Prabang have generally decent pavements and disabled toilets in most international hotels.

Transport on buses is not a good idea because of its cramped conditions.

Still, visitors with limited mobility do go to Laos. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

MYANMAR (BURMA)
Take a hot-air balloon ride over Bagan, Myanmar

Myanmar is a tricky country for mobility-impaired travelers. Wheelchair ramps are virtually non-existent and public transport is crowded and can be difficult, even for the fully ambulatory.

Still, visitors with limited mobility do go to Myanmar. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

PHILIPPINES
Relax on Palawan Island, the Philippines

Apart from 4-stars hotels in Manila, Cebu and a handful of larger provincial cities, steps up to hotels, tiny, cramped toilets and narrow doors are the norm in the Philippines. Elevators are often out of order, and boarding any form of rural transport is likely to be difficult.

On the other hand, most Filipinos are more than willing to lend a helping hand, and the cost of hiring a taxi for a day, and possibly assistance as well, is not excessive.

Visitors with limited mobility do go to the Philippines. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Click here for the complete Philippines Travel Guide

SINGAPORE
39 | Singapore

Singapore has set up a massive accessibility project to improve life for the elderly and those with disabilities, and it did help. But still, travelers using wheelchairs can find Singapore difficult.

The pavements in the city are nearly all immaculate, MRT stations all have lifts and some buses and taxis have wheelchair-friendly equipment.

The ‘Disabled People’s Association’ has an online accessibility guide to Singapore.

You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Click here for the complete Singapore Travel Guide

VIETNAM
Cruise your way through Halong’s Bay islands and floating villages, Vietnam
RTW On a Dime Vietnam

Vietnam is not the easiest country for disabled travelers. The chaotic traffic, a lack of lifts in smaller hotels and sidewalks that are often blocked by parked motorbikes and food stalls all make it quite difficult for mobility-impaired people.

Still, visitors with limited mobility do go to Vietnam. With some careful planning, it is possible to enjoy your trip. Many mid-range hotels have elevators and disabled access is improving. You can find accommodations suitable for wheelchair users by checking the ‘Facilities for disabled guests‘ option in your Booking.com search criteria.

Buses and train travel is tough, but rent a private vehicle with a driver and almost everywhere becomes accessible.

The hazards for blind travelers in Vietnam are pretty acute, with traffic coming at you from all directions, so you’ll definitely need a sighted friend.

Click here for the complete Vietnam Travel Guide

MORE COUNTRY GUIDES FOR ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD COMING SOON

INFOGRAPHIC: 5 OF THE MOST ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL DESTINATIONS

For people with disabilities, travelling to specific destinations around the world can be challenging, owing to airports, infrastructure and transport links not being accessible. However, a number of cities across the globe have done brilliant work in becoming highly accessible to all tourists, regardless of any mobility issues.

This infographic from chronic pain charity Burning Nights highlights five cities which are particularly accommodating towards people with disabilities, in addition suggesting a suitably accessible hotel in each destination. Among the cities included is Seattle, which boasts a railway system that is ultra modern and complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sydney also makes the list due to its main tourist attractions, including Sydney Tower, Port Jackson and the world-famous Opera House, being wheelchair accessible. Local retailers and restaurants also go the extra mile to make allowances for people with disabilities.

See the infographic below to find out who else made the list and why. Thanks to Victoria Abbott-Fleming at Burning Nights for sending this great infographic to us.

accessible travel