25 Of The World’s Most Disability-Friendly Cities

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Cities for All
Thes 25 towns are generally considered the most disability-friendly cities in the world. The list was compiled based on research from such respected disability publications as 101 Mobility, New Mobility, Access2Mobility and more.

Washington, D.C.
Surprised? Don’t be. With all of the amazing monuments and attractions, D.C. has done an outstanding job over the years of creating wide sidewalks and pathways for wheelchair users. Not to mention that the Metro is generally considered one of the best transit systems for the handicapped.

Berlin, Germany
Just know this – in 2013, Berlin won the European Union City Access Award for its efforts to create one of the most accessible cities in all of Europe.

Seattle, Washington
The home of the Space Needle has been widely praised for its implementation of a universal city design, allowing for more disability friendly restaurants, public spaces, transportation and more.

Milan, Italy
Like Berlin, Milan is a winner of the European Union Access City Awards, in 2016, for turning this classic city from virtually inaccessible to one of the best on the continent for the handicapped.

Albuquerque, New Mexico
The tremendous weather is an obvious advantage, but the city also has a bus system that is entirely accessible as well as a complementary Sun Van Paratransit Service.

Oslo, Norway
Not only is the transportation system handicapped-accessible, but numerous ferry options that explore the country’s fjords are also wheelchair-friendly.

Reno, Nevada
The Biggest Little City In The World is more than just a gaming destination. Reno has been noted for its plethora of accessible housing, rehabilitation centers and a strong public transportation system – with discounts for the disabled – that also includes a door-to-door paratransit service.

Vienna, Austria
As Billy Joel once sang, Vienna waits for you. This is another of the most accessible cities in the world, with drop-curbs, a handicapped-friendly public transportation system, and an added emphasis of making sure the historical sites are also accessible.

Portland, Oregon
The city has drawn kudos for addressing shortcomings with some of its most popular attractions, particularly trails and parks that can be difficult for manual wheelchair users. A task force has been assembled to assess the city for ADA compliance.

Dublin, Ireland
In addition to the many accessible areas of this great city, as well as its plethora of accessible hotel rooms, there’s this – the Guinness Brewery tour is handicapped accessible.

Chicago, Illinois
One of the best cities in the world known for its tight-knit disabled community, highlighted by the annual Disability Pride Parade. Taking it a step further, the city has commissioned the University of Illinois to identify the accessibility of buildings, facilities, sidewalks and stores to make its renowned shopping and attractions even more disabled-friendly.

Bridgetown, Barbados
Normally, wheelchairs and beaches don’t mix. But this Caribbean paradise recently instituted its ‘Fully Accessible Barbados’ program, with a goal of making sure its tourist attractions are for all – and hotels followed suit by making their accommodations fully accessible, including beach wheelchairs that allow customers to enjoy the ocean.

Denver, Colorado
Arguably the best handicapped-accessible transportation system in the country, with its priority seating on the Metro and a paratransit system that offers rides seven days a week, 23 hours a day.

Sydney, Australia
High on the list of any handicapped person with a travel bug should be Sydney, one of the most accessible cities in the world. Many restaurants and stores have flat entries and even such iconic sites as the Sydney Opera House not only are accessible, but have special tours for the handicapped.

San Francisco, California
Another place that’s a bit of a surprise, especially given the city’s hilly reputation. But aside from the famed cable cars, which are not handicapped accessible, the city’s main hubs of transportation – BART, Caltrain and MUNI – most certainly are. And all the major attractions, including Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf, are as well.

Frankfurt, Germany
Better known for being a financial hub and not generally considered a huge tourist draw among German cities, Frankfurt nonetheless has an impressive ‘Museum Row’ on the banks of the Main River, all of which are handicapped accessible.

Las Vegas, Nevada
One thing you can count on in Sin City – arguably the world’s best collection of handicapped-accessible hotel rooms, featuring transfer showers, built-in seats in the tubs, and wide swaths of room to maneuver.

Jerusalem, Israel
Don’t necessarily be put off by the fact that this is one of the oldest cities in the world, with miles and miles of cobblestone streets. Its holiest sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Wailing Wall, are handicapped accessible.

Orlando, Florida
Now this is no surprise at all. With Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, this is one of the most handicapped-friendly cities in the world.

Warsaw and Krakow, Poland
It’s hard to talk about one without the other. Only two hours apart, the two cities are connected by an accessible train ride. Warsaw, especially, has many hotels with accessible rooms and roll-in showers, and even its historical areas have undergone improvements to be wheelchair-friendly.

Berkeley, California
It’s not a stretch to imagine that such a great college town would be part of this list. The city does a tremendous job, not only with transportation services but also offers emergency help for fixing wheelchairs.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Pedestrian-only tourist areas, dropped curbs, wheelchair ramps, accessible museums and attractions …. What’s not to like about this capital city?

Baltimore, Maryland
From its bus system to its attractions, Baltimore is one of the more disability friendly cities in the U.S. The National Aquarium is widely acclaimed as one of best venues for those in a wheelchair.

Scottsdale, Arizona
The city has taken progressive steps to develop its own code of practice for everything from tourist attractions to buildings and sidewalks.


10 Travel Tips for the 2018 Holiday Season

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Have a Holly Jolly travel season

No matter how hard we try, each and every year brings out the Scrooges of holiday travel. Use these tips to shed the ghosts of Christmas pass and enjoy a merry holiday season—for everyone.

Plan, Plan, Plan…
The less you normally travel, the more time and effort you need to put into planning your trip. No, I’m not talking about jampacking your itinerary so you have no time to relax. Instead, make sure you’re dotting all your I’s and crossing all your T’s.


…But Relax
Once you’ve planned, though? R-E-L-A-X! Anxious travelers are stressed travelers, and stressed travel is going to be hectic no matter how much you’ve planned.

Avoid Peak Travel Times
Pro-Tip: If your holiday plans are flexible at all, consider taking a little extra time off to avoid the days when everyone is traveling. A big bonus is if you can actually travel on Christmas where many airports will be open but very slow.

How are you getting to the airport?
Is your flight booked? It better be. What about your shuttle to the airport? Or, are you parking at the airport? If so, you need to make those plans—like, yesterday. Ask friends for rides, book a hotel close to the airport…whatever. Just don’t leave your initial travel moments unplanned until the last moment.

What about Gifts?!
I’m not saying you should pack your bag today. (If that’s your style, more power to you). What you should pack, however, is your unwrapped presents. Make sure you have room, and make sure they’re all able to get through the airport. If not, ship ahead. Or, be extra savvy and online shop with free shipping to your location.

Double Check TSA/Airline Rules
Haven’t traveled in a while? Don’t assume airlines or the TSA have the same rules they did last year.

Gas up/Charge Up
The last thing you want is a snafu en route. Gas up your car, charge your devices, check your air pressure levels, do it all. Murphy’s law says the worst that can happen is probably gonna happen when you’re at your most stressed. Don’t give it a chance.

Use a Travel Agent
Want to eliminate (almost) all of the stress of planning holiday travel? Use a travel agent. They can’t take care of the crazy extended family you’re going to see, but everything else? They got it.

Carry On Wisely
If the worst is going to happen with wintry travel woes, you’ll want to make sure you have things like medicine, batteries, a change of clothes, toiletries, etc in your carry on rather than packed away if you’re stuck at the airport.

Take Advantage of the Holiday
You know what? See your relatives in the summer! Find a spot that’s usually packed when you want to travel there and book your holiday travel. You’ll have more fun and exhale on a holiday like you haven’t since you were a kid. Thank me later.

Courtesy of Michael Schottey.