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Save More Money on Purchases in Mexico!

By January 5, 2017 Cities, Countries, Destinations, For Your Journey, Products
save money in mexico

Everyone is looking for a deal, and appreciative when it can save some money. It’s Even better when an offer of savings can apply to purchases regardless if they are on sale, discount, or clearance.

In Mexico, foreign tourists can receive a tax refund valued to 8.96% on many purchases, as part of a tourism initiative that was started in 2008. Despite its nearly 10 years of operation, it is still fairly unknown, which translates into millions of pesos left unclaimed as a refund to tourists who had visited Mexico.

Don’t be one of those tourists who leave money behind! Here is what you need to know, so you can take advantage of this promotion.

  1. Only those departing Mexico by Air or Sea can qualify. If you are going by Land, sorry, you can’t participate.
  2. Have a photocopy of your passport, Immigration Document, or Cruise Pass and/or boarding pass to attach to your documentation. Private charter fliers can participate if they can present a flight manifest.
  3. Purchase only from Mexican retailers who display the TAXFREE or MONEYBACK signage. If in doubt, ask before your purchase, if the retailer is a participant.
  4. Current law in Mexico requires retailers to provide an invoice (receipt) to every international visitor with itemized details of your purchase. On the invoice should be the generic tourist code: XEXX010101000
  5. Only tangible purchases, that will be carried home in your luggage can qualify. No services, lodging, dining, online, or shipped purchases are accepted.
  6. Only 3,000 pesos worth of cash purchases can be claimed, but there is no maximum with purchases made on Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards. American Express credit cards are also acceptable.
  7. Retain all your invoices.
  8. Take your documentation, and invoices, to a refund kiosk located at the mall, cruise port, or airport. Additional paperwork will be completed and your refund submitted.

Mexico advertises that the refund will take 45-60 days, but some take over 9 months to process. The good news is that its money that was already calculated in the cost of the products you purchased, so the refund should be a benefit.

This promotion is available for use by retailers across Mexico, but you will likely only find it in destinations with many tourists. You will be able to participate in Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Taxco, Acapulco, Ixtapa, Merida, Loreto, Costa Maya, Cuernavaca, Queretaro, Puebla, La Paz, Puerto Chiapas, Ensenada, Leon, Mazatlan, Toluca.

I hope that this helps you save a little more money in your travels to Mexico.

If you send me an email, I will send you, at no cost, the brochure and submission document you will need to apply for the refund.

The Brochure is available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.

 

save money in mexico

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The Most Clever Way to Save Money at Universal Studios!

By December 13, 2016 Destinations, Family Travel, For Your Journey, Hacks, Products, Travel
Clever Way to Save at Universal Studios Florida

If you are planning to attend Universal Studios, you’ve probably seen some of the pricing, and likely taken a deep breath. I can imagine its more than you first expected! Wouldn’t you like to save money on your trip? Wondering what is the most effective way to save money at Universal Studios?

The Most clever, and effective way to save money going to Universal Studios, is to attend as a GROUP! Seriously, its that easy, and the group does not have to be a large group either! In fact, the larger the group, the better the pricing for park tickets, but group pricing can begin with less than 20 people! With day tickets exceeding $100, group ticketing gets the price under that threshold.

But the savings are not just for group day tickets! In fact, if you have interest in staying for multiple days, you can really save a tremendous amount of money with a group package at Universal Studios Orlando. Here is what to expect in savings exclusively for groups:

  • Savings on Park Tickets
  • Early Park Entry Passes
  • Special discounts on select merchandise
  • Free Discount Savings Booklet worth over $150 in savings
  • Group Leader complimentary meals and services
  • Reduced hotel costs

How to Qualify as a Group

By now, you may be thinking – gee that’s nice, but its only my family, how is that going to help?

This is how easy it is to get group discounts – get a few families together, and commit to travel at the same time, and stay in the same hotel. 10 paid hotel rooms will qualify for the exceptional rates available. That’s 10 couples, and maybe less if  large families are booking 2 adjoining rooms.

A family of 4, could have the families of their children’s friends invited. Now you have 3 rooms booked. They all ask grandparents to come, and you have 9 rooms done. If every family just invited one more family or person, that would be 13 rooms, and the family organizing the trip get extra perks to offset their trip, such as free meals for one adult, and the room for free!

Or perhaps you belong to a youth sports program, club, or church group. Just about any group can qualify.

Next is to contact your Travel Professional, and work with them in arranging your group with Universal Studios. They’ll know the ins and outs of the many benefits to groups at the park, and advantages to the many options that are available. They will know of blackout dates, and when group travel is not the best savings available.

They can also offer additional options and tours to experience while in the Orlando area.

Tips for Extra Savings

One more way to save, is by booking your air travel or ground transportation as a group. It can be done on your own, Shrek 4-Dbut the easiest way is to work with your travel professional. It usually doesn’t cost you anything if this person is booking your entire package,  so you not only save money by group booking, but you’ll save lots of time and frustration too!

Traveling by motorcoach is an excellent way to save money on ground transportation. and can cost less than traveling by auto if the group is 15 or more passengers. And you’ll enjoy less hassle, have better comfort, and how cool is it to not stop every time a little one needs a potty break?! (Motorcoaches have on-board lavatories)

If you decide that you want to book your own ground travel, contact ANGL. Tell them Shawn at East-West Global Traveler sent you, and they will take good care of your needs.

PS

If you book this winter, but wait to go to Universal Studios until after June 2017, your group ticket package will include Volcano Bay – Universal’s newest theme park, That’s 3 parks for the same price as 2! Just more more way to save!

 

 

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Are you looking for Over-the Water Bungalows?

By December 12, 2016 Countries, Destinations, Travel
Sandals Over-the-Water

For many years, Tahiti has held the market for Over-the-Water resort stays, but options for other destinations is rapidly expanding!

Sandals recently debuted the Caribbean’s first-ever Over-the-Water Villas at Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Dec. 1, 2017. These are the first of their kind in the region, and are designed to “convey an intimate connection to the Caribbean Sea.”

With these new Over-the-Water Villas already in high demand, it was no surprise that Sandals Resorts has announced they are creating additional Over-the-Water suites at new locations throughout the Caribbean. These new suites will be unveiled at select “Luxury Included” resorts throughout 2017 and 2018, including 12 additional Over-the-Water Bungalows at Sandals Royal Caribbean slated to open in March 2017.

In a recent press release Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman and Founder of Sandals Resorts said, “I have always said that being out on the water is where I am happiest, and with these suites, guests can experience a direct link to the Caribbean Sea.”

Each of the five villas has a different design, representing the Feng Shui elements: Wood, Water, Fire, Earth and Metal. The interior and exterior spaces are merged through expansive glass doors, facilitating couples’ opportunity to admire the beauty of the ocean from their private infinity pool, on an over-the-water hammock, or through glass floor panels.

Beyond the majestic ocean views, guests staying in the Villas have access to unparalleled services and exclusive resort amenities; from 24/7 butler service, and personalized in-room dining, to private yoga classes and direct resort access via a “Royal Duffy” luxury boat.

Additional villa features will include: “personal airport greeting with expedited immigration; private luxury resort transfers; House of Marley sound system; welcome gift, including a branded beach tote and towel set; Molton Brown bathroom amenities, free Wi-Fi and more.”

These Villas are built along a beautiful wooden boardwalk, and are connected to land at Sandals Royal Caribbean’s offshore private island, Sandals Cay. The island features a signature pool-bar; two restaurants- The Jerk Shack, offering authentic rustic cuisine and Royal Thai, capturing the flavors of the East; and a number of nestled hideaways.

Sandals Cay is a 10 minute transfer from Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport. The hotel features over 200 rooms and suites and in addition to the Over-the-Water Villas and Bungalows, there are also recently renovated “Romeo & Juliet Suites” and “Windsor Beachfront Club Level” rooms. The “Luxury Included” resort also features eight on-property restaurant and bars, with access to 12 additional five-star Global Gourmet dining experiences at Sandals Montego Bay and Sandals Inn through Sandals Resorts’ “Stay at One, Play at Three” program.

Rates for the Over-the-Water Villas begin at $2,870 per couple, per night, while the Over-the-Water Bungalows are available for booking ahead of the 2017 debut, will begin at $2,200 per couple, per night.

But it doesn’t end there! Sandals will be developing additional Over-the-Water lodging on its other properties, and we will share those details as they become available, so “Stay Tuned!”

Ready to book? Contact your Travel Professional.

For more information on these villas, visit sandals.com.

 

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Excellent Source for Travel Brochures!

By December 7, 2016 Adventure Travel, Cities, Countries, Cruising, Destinations, Family Travel, Fishing, For Your Journey, Products, Solo Travel, Tours, Travel, Wild Places, Wildlife & Safari
source-for-travel-brochures

If you travel at all, you appreciate the value of good travel brochures that inspire, and educate you about great destinations .

It does get frustrating when I lose them, or want to review one while I am abroad, and don’t have access to them.

Ah, but technology can fix this! If you have internet access, I have found an online source for hundreds of up-to-date travel brochures. They update regularly, and I don’t need to re-order or carry around glossy copies. I can download those that I really like, to keep with me on my laptop, or tablet.

And look, you can even sort them by location and other parameters. I’m always discovering something new in these brochures!

You can see the entire selection by clicking the image or get your Brochures Here.

Enjoy over 100 Travel Brochures provided by East-West Global Travel

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Should you Use a Travel Professional?

By December 5, 2016 For Your Journey, Hacks, Travel
bnk2aep_li4-khurt-williams

 

What a Travel Professional Can Provide You

Expert Guidance

With years of industry experience, a travel professional has both the knowledge and firsthand experience to help you decide which destination or resort is best for you. A travel professional can provide you with a wide variety of travel options from a number of different travel suppliers to countless popular destinations. Plus, travel professional has all the travel information you need – from the best attractions to see, the most exciting activities to do, and the most affordable way to get there…they’ve got it covered!

Value

It’s understandable that you may feel limited by your vacation budget. That’s why a travel professional is dedicated to helping you receive the best possible value. Best of all, you’ll receive all of the professional guidance at no extra cost!

Personalized Service

As your personal travel professional, they can devote time and effort to making sure you’re happy with your travel options. If you need any assistance, a travel professional is just a phone call or e-mail away, so you’ll receive the immediate attention you not only need, but also deserve.

Customer Advocate

In the rare case that something on your trip doesn’t go as planned, a travel professional will be there to resolve the problem, so you can relax and enjoy.

Time Savings

A travel professional know exactly where to go to get the information that you need and can find your travel options within seconds. Planning a vacation with a travel professional will save you both time and money because with some effort and organization, and handle all your travel arrangements.

Unbiased Information

You can be assured that a travel professional will do their best to make your travel experience as wonderful as possible. When you book travel through a travel professional, they work for you – not the travel supplier, so their main concern is always you and your unique needs.

Prior to booking online, you may want to contact a travel professional to utilize their professional advice and firsthand experience with many of the most popular destinations, resorts and cruise lines. A travel professional is dedicated to offering you the best prices and advice, while maintaining an emphasis on customer service, so don’t hesitate to contact a travel professional so they can start planning your next travel adventure!

bnk2aep_li4-khurt-williams

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Do you really need a Passport?

By December 2, 2016 For Your Journey, Products, Travel
passport

Knowing which documents you need when traveling internationally is essential to having a stress-free vacation. Prepare yourself by learning about the latest travel requirements and important information you need to know before traveling.

 

What documents are required when traveling internationally?

You are required to have a U.S. Passport Book when traveling by air to any international location.

If you are traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean Region (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos), you are required to have a U.S. Passport Book or Card.

Please note: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a government issued photo identification, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). Please be aware that you may still be required to present a passport to enter the foreign countries your cruise ship is visiting. Additionally, if a problem arises on your cruise, or you are injured, and must be flown back to the US for treatment, a passport is essential, and not having one can delay the process. I suggest you have one whenever leaving the US.

You can no longer get additional pages to add to your passport. Since a passport lasts 10 years, if you plan on traveling abroad at least twice a year, I would opt for the larger 52 page passport. This should be ample for most casual travelers.

What is a U.S. Passport Card?

The U.S. Passport Card can be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry and is more convenient and less expensive than a passport book. The passport card cannot be used for international travel by air. I recommend just getting a full passport, or opting to have both.

How long does it take to get a passport?

Processing times can vary depending on workload and occasional unforeseen circumstances. During busier times, such as the summer travel season, customers are encouraged to expedite their applications if traveling in less than 10 weeks.

If you need to expedite a passport, I strongly suggest using a service that can make sure all the requisite items are completed, and can push your application through. My preferred service is aptly named Rush My Passport

How long is a passport valid and when should I renew my passport?

  • If you were over age 16 when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 10 years.
  • If you were age 15 or younger when your passport was issued, your passport is valid for 5 years.

The Issue Date of your passport can be found on the data page of your Passport Book or on the front of your Passport Card. If possible, you should renew your passport approximately nine (9) months before it expires. Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six (6) months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. If you passport has already expired, you may still be able to renew your passport by mail.

How do I purchase or renew my passport?

Detailed information about passports and international travel requirements, along with instructions for applying for a passport can be found at travel.state.gov.

*For more information about passport requirements, please contact the U.S. Department of State. 

Visas

Do I need a visa if I am a U.S. citizen?

U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad they may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. When planning travel abroad, learn about visa requirements by country by visiting the U.S. Department of State’s Country Specific Travel Information.

*Find out more about both the immigrant and non-immigrant visa process at the State Department’s visa main page. U.S. Passports and International Travel.

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Travel Apps for Serious Travelers

By November 30, 2016 Family Travel, For Your Journey, Travel Apps
AirlineAPP

After installing, using, and deleting dozens of apps, a few have become “Legacy apps” that I’ve come to use while I travel. These aren’t booking apps, or itinerary apps, but apps I use while traveling and facilitating better travel.

I have not listed them in any particular order, but I would recommend that you install all of them, if  you are a serious travel.

 

Google Maps

This app is linked to the incredibly robust map data and satellite imagery with the famous online company – Google. The maps are highly detailed, major map information updates very quickly, and if you have data coverage, it will give you real-time traffic information. Since Google purchased Waze, even waze-user accidents are noted on Google Maps. Couple this with the excellent GPS directions, and transit details, Google Maps can get you anywhere. If you need to see specific details of a location, to check if your RV can fit etc, Streetview images and Satellite images are incredibly helpful. I love to use it with the wifi on a flight to see where we are flying and what is out the window.

So here are the specific reasons this app is outstanding:

  1. Real-time GPS Navigation.
  2. Real-time Traffic – with color coded severity.
  3. Real-time transit details for rail and bus services.
  4. Auto-rerouting in severe traffic.
  5. Easy search features for fuel, shopping and more.
  6. Quick restaurant search, with menus.
  7. Save places for future.
  8. Integrates with your Google Maps online.
  9. Streetview, Interior imagery, Building maps, and Satellite images
  10. Can be used offline!

 

Parkmobile

Have you ever driven to a destination, and find your parking is metered, and you are out of quarters, or it requires you to walk half a block to secure paid parking? There is an app for that! Many municipalities are moving to app integration, where you can pay for parking from your phone. If you see the app symbol on the meter, payment is possible. The app is feature rich. Here is why I like it:

  1. Pay for parking from the app.
  2. Extend time from the app – no more walking back to add more money.
  3. App alerts you when time is about to expire.
  4. Locate available parking.
  5. Locate your car with the app GPS feature.
  6. More than one vehicle can be associated with the app.
  7. I have used it to pay for multiple spaces for an oversize vehicle.

 

 

Glympse

There are times while traveling that people want to know where you are. Perhaps you have a teen driver and want to know where they are, and how fast they are driving. Coordinating the arrival of multiple people? this is the app for you. It does require gps and data. Here why I like it:

  1. Share your location in real-time, on a dynamic map.
  2. You can set the shared location to expire at 15 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  3. You can share with anyone – even if they don’t have the app.
  4. Runs in the background – Share and forget about it.
  5. Extend the time shared with a simple click.
  6. Use it to share your location with emergency personnel.
  7. Your location can be shared with anyone that has internet or data service.

 

 

 

Zello

This app has been incredibly useful to me both in travel and business applications. The app effectively turns your phone into a walkie talkie. No phone service is needed, as long as you have data, and will work over wifi as well as cell data. Speak to your friends and family from anywhere in the world.  Here is why I like it:

  1. Real-time Push to Talk communication.
  2. Missed messages are still available to review.
  3. If recipient loses data, they can still get messages later.
  4. one-one communication.
  5. Private or Public group communication via channels up to 1000 people.
  6. You can map the PTT features to specific buttons on your phone.
  7. Bluetooth compatible.
  8. Works over wifi and 2G, 3G, 4G + connections
  9. Great for use in theme parks, and on cruse ships.

 

 

 

 

With these 4 apps, you can be the master of logistics for your next big travel, or coordinating the reunion next year. I’m certain that you will find value with all of them, and once installed, they will be excellent resources for your travel.

 

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Traveling with Birds…

By November 28, 2016 For Your Journey, Travel Apps, Wild Places

Many years ago, I took a 400 level college course in ornithology. I figured it would be an easy extension of my love for birds, and the outdoors. While the course was not easy, and much to be learned about these fascThe Big Yearinating creatures, there was at least one major takeaway- maintaining an accurate “lifelist” or list of bird species sighted and identified.

Not too long ago, my family enjoyed watching “The Big Year.” Its an entertaining movie on the competition of three birdwatchers seeking the title of the most species sighted in one year. I wondered how many I could find in one year…

And with that, I decided to abandon my almost 300 strong list, to start anew. With all the traveling, and opportunities to be among the American fly-ways during migrations, it seemed like a achievable, exciting challenge. Could I get at least 150 in one year, without specifically going birdwatching? Could it be achieved as a casual traveling observer? Time to find out!

I did want to make some adaptations to this endeavor. No books, or paper field guides. No paper lists. If I discovered a species out of place, or rare, could I report it without making a call, or visiting social media? Tough expectations for birdwatchers!

I began doing some research on possible applications. Then testing and evaluation for a few months. Gradually, I narrowed my choices down to possibly the finest options available from my needs, and likely they will suit yours as well.

BIRD INDENTIFICATION

Far and away, the best app for bird identification within the United States was created by Cornell University. Any birder will appreciate the value of this product coming from Cornell, as it is highly regarded in avian research.

The app is called Merlin. Its a wizard of sorts, that is useful to bird watchers of any skill. While its database is limited to a total of about 400 species, that’s more than most folks will find in a lifetime, so its robust enough for many users.

Watch this video for details on Merlin:

Now the app is easy to use, has photos, range data, and even audio, but to take full value of its features, you should probably download and install at least one region – which will take almost 200mb of storage.

The app allows you to verify which bird you identified, and that information is geotagged and anonymously sent back to Cornell, to assist them in updating flight patterns, reductions in species localities, etc. But it doesn’t allow you to keep a list for your own records. Hopefully this will change in the future. You can install Merlin here.

BIRD RECORDS

Since Merlin does not yet have a record feature to allow personal sightings to be kept in a file, I had to do much more trials on software that would work for my needs.

Ultimately, I decided on an app, that has worked wonderfully. It allows me to log a wide range of information with each sighting, geotag, and I can even export my list, which could be used to save, or submit to other organizations such as Audubon, who are always looking for sighting information.

My choice is Bird Jar.

Bird jar can be used worldwide, as it maintains a list of 10,000+ birds, which you can narrow to regions you travel if you wish. It also allows  you to note the location, and details of a bird you cannot identify, so later, that information can be researched to make a positive ID.

You can download Bird Jar here.

Added value? Both apps are free!

I have been able to identify 120 species do date. All of them were confirmed through Merlin, and logged in Bird Jar. I hope that you will find value in these apps, as birdwatching can enhance travel to any destination. The species you will see just around a big city, or new state, will make your trip more enjoyable. And honestly – its more exciting than Pokemon Go.

 

Be sure to share your experience, or other information you might have on this topic. In the meantime, I have a few more birds to find!

Laughing Gull sighted in November 2016, Bimini, Bahamas

Laughing Gull sighted in November 2016, Bimini, Bahamas

 

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The World is Now More Accessible Than Ever – Explore and Enjoy It!

By November 27, 2016 For Your Journey, Products, Travel
You can journey anywhere!

The world is now more accessible than ever before. Twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. These people need to, want to, and can travel. If you’re part of that twenty percent, a world of travel awaits you.

Travel professionals such as myself who are accessible travel advocates certified by Special Needs Group, the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, have unique, specialized knowledge about how to help individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip.

Here are a few tips from Special Needs Group to ensure that when your next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.

 

Outline your travel needs

Take time to evaluate the logistics of your trip in relation to your ability to keep pace. What modes of transportation will you be using? Airplane, motor coach, train, ship, transit vans for ground transfers? Make a list, referring to relevant brochures, your trip hotel-alleyorganizer or travel agent to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Now, make a list of your specific requirements. Be honest: what types of special needs equipment do you depend on at home? What do you use or need (or wish you had!) when shopping, sightseeing locally, dining out or going to the movies, attending concerts, the theater, street fairs or sporting events at home?

Can you hear and see clearly without special auditory equipment or visual aides?  How far can you walk without a rest break? Are stairs difficult? Can you get in and out of the tub or shower at home without handgrips or other assistance?

Travel, whether solo or in a group, is no time for roughing it or trying to
“tough it out.” If a wheelchair, scooter or portable oxygen
will make your trip easier, place that item on your list. Many people who do not use wheelchairs or walkers at home feel more comfortable using these mobilscooter-standardity aides for tour and excursions. In fact, most of Special Needs Group’s wheelchair and scooter rentals are to individuals who only use such aides when traveling.

 

Plan Ahead

If you already own a scooter or portable oxygen, it’s important to know the policy and procedures for bringing that equipment onboard all the transport vehicles included in your itinerary, from planes to taxis to ferry boats. Does that transport have a wayairline-seats to stow your scooter or wheelchair? Is oxygen allowed on board? Some airlines prohibit certain types of batteries, such as wet cell batteries, or oxygen cylinders. Airlines operate under strict rules, so there may be packing procedures to follow if they do allow the equipment. Keep in mind, most airlines need at least 48 hours’ notice to make special arrangements, and be prepared to fill out forms.

Overall, cruise ships are more lenient in allowing oxygen, but some disallow certain types of oxygen. All require that the oxygen be delivered to the ship, and that you have enough for the entire voyage. Oxygen may never be brought aboard in your luggage. Requirements vary, so check your cruise line for proper instructions.  Again, documentation and paperwork are required.

Whether you are headed for a cruise ship, hotel or all-inclusive resort, double check for wheelchair access at that venue, plus any venues you will be visiting on the trip.  Confirm that accessible hotel rooms, resort accommodations or ship staterooms are available for your travel dates. The earlier you book, the better your chances of securing fully accessible accommodations. And early booking increases your chances of securing a ground floor hotel room or cruise stateroom near the elevator, if these issues are important.

Check on the o2_cylindersaccess to public rooms, restaurants, bars, toilets, the swimming pool, hot tub, beach area and other amenities. Are there TDD phone devices? How will you get in and out of the shower or bathtub? Are there flashing lights to accommodate hearing? Braille room numbers? Knowing in advance the scope of yo
ur needs gives you time to arrange advance rentals of any necessary equipment, scheduled to arrive when you do. Everything from scooters, lifts, ramps, TDD kits and special mattresses, including special needs cribs, is available for rental.

Will road travel or car excursions be part of the trip? Many car rental companies have vehicles that are modified for drivers or passengers with mobility limitations. Check ahead to makairport-sign-imagee sure a suitable vehicle will be available for your travel dates. If you will be hiring a car or van, make sure the company is aware of your special needs.

When traveling with a limitation or disability, full travel insurance for medical coverage abroad and trip cancellation insurance are even more important and strongly advised.

 

Ask the Right Questions

When making the final bookings, be sure you ask the right questions, even if the accommodations or cruise stateroom are categorized as “accessible.”

For example, are doorways wide enough for the largest wheelchairs? Do the doors open outwards or into the room?

Are all the public areas of the hotel, resort or ship accessible? Do you need to make special arrangements in the dining room to accommodate the wheelchair or scooter?

Will the bathroom facilities truly fit your needs? Is the bathroom large enough for the wheelchair or scooter? Is there a roll-in shower? Grab-bars?

Are there facilities for companion/assistance animals?

Are there shopping and entertainment facilities close by if you are staying at a hotel or resort?

On shore excursions or tours, does the van have a lift and method for transporting wheelchairs and scooters?

Simply stated, don’t take anything for granted. It’s easy to arrange for almost every situation, and the world is wonderfully accessible, once you know what’s needed, what’s available and how to find the necessary equipment.

Then What?

As a life-long learner, I have taken the time to receive certificatiomap-pinsn in special needs. If you have thoughts or concerns about your own travel, or someone with whom you travel, I would be happy to discuss options available to you. Don’t ever think that because you have an impairment or disability, that you are precluded from great travel experiences- because you are not.

 

Leave me your comments, please.

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