Accessible Travel

Travel in the region is relatively accommodating.

  • Most public buildings are wheelchair-accessible and have appropriate restroom facilities.
  • Telephone companies offer relay operators, available via teletypewriter (TTY) numbers, for the hearing impaired.
  • All major airlines, Greyhound buses and Amtrak trains will assist travelers with disabilities; just describe your needs when making reservations at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Some car-rental agencies, such as Budget and Hertz, offer hand-controlled vehicles and vans with wheelchair lifts at no extra charge, but you must reserve them well in advance.
  • Most cities have taxi companies with at least one accessible van; you'll have to call ahead.
  • Cities with underground transport have elevators for passengers needing assistance. Washington, DC, has the best network (every station has an elevator); NYC's elevators are few and far between.
  • Many national and some state parks and recreation areas have wheelchair-accessible paved, graded dirt or boardwalk trails.

A number of organizations specialize in the needs of travelers with disabilities:

Flying Wheels Travel (www.flyingwheelstravel.com) A full-service travel agency, highly recommended for those with mobility issues or chronic illness.

Mobility International USA (www.miusa.org) Advises travelers with disabilities on mobility issues and runs educational exchange programs.

Wheelchair Getaways (www.wheelchairgetaways.com) Rents accessible vans throughout the USA.

For further information, download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.