Since 2012, my husband Patrick and I have traveled to 21 countries together. I use an electric scooter for mobility and a ventilator for breathing, and Patrick, who is nondisabled, is flexible and supportive. We prefer adventuresome and authentic travel experiences, so we have stayed in people’s homes from Tahiti to Iceland to Greece, that are offered through peer-to-peer lodging websites like Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey and HomeExchange.
Carole Zoom and Patrick in Paris.
We have met hosts who offered extraordinary hospitality, and everything from delightfully wheelchair accessible homes to impossible to access toilets, houses with steps where none should have been, and monumental misunderstandings that led to unnecessary difficulties. Access is a highly personalized concept — what works for me might not work for someone who has my same disability but a different personality. So while we would not exchange our travel experiences for more accessible and sanitized touristic hotel stays, we do have minimum requirements that we have to work within. What we have learned through our extensive travel experiences is that we, as travelers with disabilities, have to ask numerous detailed questions, and we have to be prepared with plan B if a lodging turns out to be just too hard to manage.Potentially more affordable than hotels, peer-to-peer lodging is becoming increasingly realistic for wheelchair users. But you should ask detailed questions and have a plan B.
Read the full article at New Mobility.