Romantic week away for a disabled traveller
August 15, 2006 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Disabled travel. Direct flight from Dublin for one week in any direction. Wheelchair user. Five star hotel and interesting things to do. Can you help?

It's difficult to find places that are genuinely wheelchair friendly. Many places say this but when you get there it's a question of them being "helpful" which really means lugging you around. Not conducive to dignity. Max. flight time from Dublin Ireland 7-8 hours. Two adults (one wheelchair) looking for a romantic but unusual destination.
This will be between October and December. We don't want to freeze but also not interested in very hot places. Links to disabled travel sites very welcome. Personal experience even more so!
posted by kairab to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help with personal experiences, but the ubiquitous Jim Lubin has a bunch o' links on disabled travel.

(I was about to recommend The Disabled Traveler forum, but it looks like its been taken over by spam. Still, you might get lucky.)
posted by Soliloquy at 7:01 PM on August 15, 2006

Have you considered South Beach, Florida? I was there a couple years ago and had a great time. I use a power wheelchair and found everything to be quite accessible. The path around the beach is a great place to walk/roll and I think there's a spot where you can actually get close to the water without getting stuck in the sand. The architecture is interesting, there are lots of great outdoor restaurants, and the Keys are a short drive away.

I have some pictures of South Beach on my blog here and here. Good disability travel sites here and here and here. Good luck!
posted by wintermute2_0 at 7:22 PM on August 15, 2006

I traveled around Spain with my mom, who is in a wheelchair. I posted a summary of my experiences in this Metatalk thread. In researching the trip, I found a couple of websites with more info on wheelchair-friendly travel; I posted this MeFi thread about them.

Generally, we found that Madrid was pretty accessible. Or, to put it more precisely, we found plenty of accessible things to do in Madrid. However, my mom can walk in short bursts, so that (for example) she could get out of her wheelchair and into a cab. Traveling around Madrid might be tricky if you can't do that.

We also found that it was fairly easy to get around on the high-speed AVE train, which is how we went from Madrid to Seville. Once you're in Seville, the historic center is compact and walkable/rollable. Some parts are pedestrianized and smoothly paved and very wheelchair friendly; in others, the sidewalks are too narrow and you have to roll in the street for sections; and there are cobblestone bursts where a wheelchair user might get a little bounced around; but on the balance there were no major problems.

I live in London, which is, in many ways, a very accessible city. If you live in Dublin, you've probably holidayed here already, but in case you haven't, here are my impressions:

Depending on what station you're going into and out of, the Underground can be very accessible or not at all accessible. But the modern bendy busses are supposed to be very accessible, and the taxis are all supposed to be wheelchair friendly as well. (Here's an article on wheelchair travel in London)

Some of the historical buildings in London have been updated very well and are very accessible; others, alas, not so much--but you'll have no problem finding a week's worth of fantastic accessible stuff to do. I recommend a book called Acess in London. It's a few years out of date but it's still a great starting place.

London can get pretty cold by December, but in October, it will be no worse than "brisk." I imagine Spain doesn't get freezing that time of year. And I think that London, Madrid, and Seville are all very romantic cities.

If you want more info on any of these cities (including specific hotel suggestions), let me know, and I'll see if I can dig it up.
posted by yankeefog at 8:43 AM on August 17, 2006

Oh, and I'm not sure if it's within 7 or 8 hours flying from Dublin, but if so, I recommend Washington, DC. Again, if you're interested, I can go into more specifics.
posted by yankeefog at 8:44 AM on August 17, 2006

Here's one I just discovered: Gimp on the Go.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:41 PM on September 2, 2006

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