A Wheelchair-Friendly / Special Needs Vacation this Summer

Planning a summer vacation is difficult for any family, much less planning one that involves specific accessibility for a child with special needs. Too often, parents allow this to preclude them from trying and they instead opt out of trying. We feel strongly that being able to experience new and fun things, as a family, is crucial for making a child with Cerebral Palsy (or other special needs conditions) feel connected and part of the group. As such, we present a short overview of options for wheelchair-friendly and special needs vacations, knowing that these destinations assuredly represent the more open opportunity for those using a wheelchair.

Children in wheelchairs have unique needs that can, in some ways, parallel those of children using other adaptive equipment to get around. Planning a wheelchair-friendly or special needs vacation involves ensuring the travel is accommodating but also that the destination can meet your child’s unique needs. For travel, especially via air, be sure to check out our guide on flying for key phone numbers associated with various airlines to ensure your reservation matches your child’s needs.

That said, here are some awesome resources for wheelchair-friendly and/or special needs vacation ideas (and destinations) this summer:

Friendship Circle’s overview of “32 Vacation Destinations for Individuals with Disabilities or Special Needs”: We’ve often spoken about how great Friendship Circle is and this guide is top notch. Don’t fret that it is just a list of expensive jetsetter locales – this guide includes places ranging from Ludington State Park in Michigan to Kailua Beach Park in Honolulu. What’s more, the overview does include specialized tours and programs if you’re looking to truly get away, as well as a number of parks and museums worldwide that provide options for those with special needs.

Parenting Special Needs Magazine has “7 Special Accessible Vacation Spots” to consider that also look to highlight places considered ‘special accessible.’ Also going ‘coast-to-coast,’ this guide touches on some unique places that include Hershey Park and Dollywood!

The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association takes a broad brush to this question, highlighting 7 must-see wheelchair-friendly vacation destinations that include general cities and popular destinations. Did you know New Orleans is ranked “in the top 20 of the most wheelchair accessible cities” in the U.S.? Neither did we!

Speaking of wheelchair accessible cities, the Reeve Foundation’s list of 20 Most Livable US Cities for Wheelchair Users is a solid barometer for where you will be able to get around for a quick visit as well!

Special Needs Travel Mom dives into a wide variety of unique places that provide exceptional opportunities for children with unique conditions. From Disney to Florida, Utah to British Columbia, if you’re a family on-the-go, check out this list of special needs vacation destinations!

And if you’re not a family on the go and just want to sit back and relax? Check out this list from About Travel of Special Needs Family Resorts that include those with nanny programs and other Disney options!

Others sites to check out:

5 Accessible Summer Vacation Spots

Best Special Needs Vacation Spots

Seven Vacations for Families with Children with Special Needs via NY Metro Parents

Need help planning a special needs vacation? Consider contacting SpecialGlobe, who we have featured on this blog in the past!

For more information on activities and opportunities for your child with Cerebral Palsy, please do not hesitate to call us at (800) 692-4453(800) 692-4453 FREE or fill out our contact form on our Facebook or on our website!