Eight Tips for a Perfectly Accessible Road Trip


Contact: Candy Harrington, 209-599-9409, candy@EmergingHorizons.com

RIPON, CA – July 10, 2012 – People with disabilities are often reluctant to fly  because of intrusive TSA searches, lost or damaged equipment and the lack of accessible restrooms on airplanes. One expert though, says that road trips are an excellent vacation option for disabled travelers.

Candy Harrington, author of 22 Accessible Road Trips; Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, says that with proper planning, just about anyone with a  mobility issue can enjoy a relatively stress-free road trip.

“Road trips are a great choice because you can travel at your own pace, pack as much equipment as you need, and stop for a restroom break whenever you want,” she says. “That said, a number of special issues need to be considered before you fire up the GPS and hit the road.”

Here are Harrington’s top tips and resources for planning an accessible road trip:

  • Emergency road service is essential, but very few towing companies have wheelchair-accessible tow trucks. To avoid being stranded, check out ADA Nationwide Roadside Assistance, (800-720-3132, www.americandriversalliance.com) which provides lift-equipped transportation to garages.
  • Pack along a can of Fix-A-Flat tire inflator. It’s a quick and easy way to repair a flat, and it beats waiting for the tow truck.
  • If you have an adapted van, carry along the phone number of your van conversion facility, in case you have any problems with the electronics or the lift. Although they probably can’t fix the problem over the phone, odds are they can recommend a qualified repair facility near you.
  • Look to newer fast food restaurants for the best accessible restrooms. Most fast food restaurants are consistent in their restroom design; so find a chain that has the access features you need, and stick with it.
  • If your hotel bathroom wasn’t as accessible as expected, stop by a Pilot — Flying J truck stop (www.pilotflyingj.com). Most have accessible shower rooms with roll-in showers; and although there is a charge for using them, it’s a good alternative in a pinch.
  • Get your America the Beautiful Pass (www.nps.gov/findapark/passes.htm), as it’s good for free admission to national parks and monuments across America. The Access Pass is free to people with a disability, while the Senior Pass is just $10 for people over 62.
  • Pack smart and leave your big suitcase in the car. Just roll up an entire set of clothes for each day when you pack; then simply remove one set at each stop. Couple that with a small overnight bag with your toiletries and you’re good to go.
  • Last but not least, don’t leave home without your accessible parking placard, as it’s valid throughout the US, except in New York City. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult the FIA World Parking Guide (www.fiadisabledtravellers.com/en/home/) for disabled parking regulations in different states.

22 Accessible Road Trips; Driving Vacations for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, is the world’s first inclusive road trip book; with detailed access information about sights, lodging options, restaurants and roadside attractions on 22 driving routes across America. Available from your favorite bookstore or at www.22AccessibleRoadTrips.com, it’s a must-have resource for Baby Boomers, couples, families, or anybody who wants to hit the road.