FAQ’s about Disabled Travel in Europe
Many Europe disabled travelers have the same questions. Here are the most common questions that we receive.
Which European cities are the most accessible?
Accessibility of European cities varies greatly, but with enough preparation accessible vacations are possible in nearly every city. View accessibility reviews of Athens,Berlin, Bruges, Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, Istanbul, London, Normandy, Paris,Rome, Venice, and more.
What should I bring with me?
Our disabled travel supplies page lists all the items we recommend you bring on your trip.
How accessible is train travel in Europe?
It’s one of the easiest ways to travel in Europe with a disability. On many of my trips in a wheelchair, I have traveled between cities exclusively by train and have not rental a car or wheelchair accessible van. View our Accessible Train Travel page.
How will it work to travel with my wheelchair on a plane?
Our Accessible Plane Travel page describes what it is like to travel on a long flight with a wheelchair.
What accessibility challenges am I like to encounter on my trip?
While there can be numerous challenges, if you plan enough ahead you can generally avoid them. Potential challenges include cobblestones, hills, long distances, stairs-steps-curbs, finding accessible restrooms, accessible public transportation, finding accessible hotels, and language barriers.
What is the biggest mistake that people make with disabled travel in Europe?
Without a doubt, it’s that most people don’t do enough planning before the trip. Many people find an accessible hotel and figure they will just “figure the rest of it out as they go”. These types of travelers generally end up with frustration or disappointment on their trip. Before you leave on your trip, you should know that everything you have scheduled on your trip meets your accessibility needs. This way you’ll be spending all your time enjoying your vacation rather than “figuring it out as you go”.
What are John Sage’s favorite accessible destinations in Europe?
Some of my favorite destinations are actually small towns that many people have never heard of: Rothenberg ob der Tauber in Germany and Bayeux and Annecy in France. Of the more popular tourist destinations, my favorites are Florence, Berlin, and Bruges.
Does John Sage live in Italy/France/Belgium/etc…?
Nope, I live in Houston, Texas and am a European tourist just like you. I have visited over 60 cities in Europe and use what I’ve learned through my travels to create the very best travel experiences for disabled travelers. Read more about John Sage
Where is your next trip?
I’m trying to decide between Spain and Austria/Hungary. I’ve been to Spain before but it was just on vacation and not with the specific intent of doing accessibility research.
How long have you been in a wheelchair?
I’ve been in a wheelchair since January 2001 when I hit a try snow skiing. I have a T-4 spinal cord injury and use a manual Ti-lite wheelchair.
Who do you travel with when conducting accessibility research?
Some of the trips I’ve done by myself and some I’ve done with other friends. My favorite travel companion though is definitely my wife Tiffany. She doesn’t mind if I drag her all over Rome visiting accessible hotel after accessible hotel, as long as we eat a good dinner and she gets to do a little shopping 😉
What services does Sage Traveling provide?
We provide essentially everything that a disabled traveler may need on their trip. That usually includes accessible hotel accommodation, accessible transportation, and accessible tours. In some cities we are able to provide home health care, nursing care, rental wheelchairs, and rental mobility scooters. Nearly all of our cities include detailed expert travel advice that transforms your disabled visit into an accessible vacation.
What cities do you arrange travel to?
We add cities all the time, but right now our list includes Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin,Bruges, Brussels, Dublin, Edinburgh, Florence, Istanbul, London, Normandy, Paris,Rome, Venice, and Versailles.
What are your most popular destinations?
Our most popular packages are London & Paris as well as Rome, Florence & Venice. While not as popular as the first two, another great accessible vacation is Brussels, Bruges, & Amsterdam (all flat cities!).
Do you provide guided accessible tours across Europe?
We have no problem planning a trip to multiple European cities, but we don’t actually escort you during your trip. Instead, we will use local expert guides and transportation services at each destination on your trip. In this way, you won’t be stuck in a group of disabled travelers with various accessibility needs and everyone wanting to move at different speeds.
Who has recommended using Sage Traveling?
We are recommended on the Rick Steves website. If you are unfamiliar with him, his books are the most popular travel guides for Americans visiting Europe.
How easy is it to travel in Europe with a disability?
I can assure you that it is entirely possible. We have planned countless trips for people with all types of disabilities – manual wheelchair users, power wheelchair users, mobility scooter users, and slow walkers. Your individual accessibility needs and the city you choose will be the biggest factors in how difficult your trip is.
We look forward to helping make your accessible European vacation a great one!