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6 Tourist Traps to Avoid during Your Accessible European Holiday

Have you ever experienced tourist traps? You know those heavily advertised attractions that turn out to be a complete waste of your visit and excitement… Or how about booking an “accessible room” at a hotel only to find out there are two steps leading to the elevator? Planning international travel is hard enough as it is, but planning disabled travel abroad leaves even more space for errors and traps to spoil your vacation bliss.

The key point is that you are trying to save money and time while gaining as many lifelong experiences as possible. Tourist traps can easily leave your wallet lighter, the clock running faster and cause unnecessary worry and stress during your vacation.

To help you make the most of your vacation, I’ve decided to share my own 6 Tourist Traps to Avoid during Your Accessible European Holiday

1. Bus tours can be tourist traps if the commentary is poor… From my experience, bus tours are a hit or miss and definitely not a chance I would take if you have limited time abroad. While most bus tours are very affordable, the commentary can be poor and sometimes sounds more like Google Maps than in-depth information. “On the right is the Royal Palace.” Okay, when was it built?  Who lives there?  What historical events happened there?  What’s the point of taking a guided tour if you have to look up all the attractions in your guide book when you get home?

2. Paying for a city pass… In Europe, many cities offer “city passes” that allow purchasers to get free public transportation and free museum admission. However, many museums and public transportation companies already offer free or reduced tickets to disabled visitors. Some even offer it to companions as well. Make sure to check the sights that you plan on visiting before you buy one of the city passes!

3. Choosing the wrong cruise itinerary could be a major trap.Cruise lines love to publicize the incredible experiences available in their ports of call without giving you enough accessibility details to determine what you will be able to do in the port. If you choose the wrong cruise itinerary, you may be confined to the ship during half of your ports of call. Avoid this tourist trap by researching accessibility of the ports before you book your cruise.

4. Ignoring accessible public transportation… It can be cheap, fully-accessible and you won’t have to wait on an accessible taxi!

Berlin offers great accessible public transportation!
Ninety-five percent of the buses in Berlin are accessible via a ramp that the driver will lower onto the curb. Both the front and rear doors have ramps. 

5. Eating at a tourist trap restaurant is not worth it! Italian pasta is the best in the world… but not when microwaved out of a box! During one of my visits to Venice, I was in a rush checking out accessibility in a touristy part of town and was served microwaved pasta. As a matter of fact, the place didn’t even have an oven! Not exactly authentic Italian cuisine if you ask me. My best advice is to avoid places that have multi-lingual menus. Go for the authentic food to complete your memorable travel experiences!

6. Relying on neighborhood names to select your hotel might not be smart! Beware that many hotel booking engines group hotels by neighborhood and you might end up overpaying.  For example, if you’re willing to walk/roll over a bridge each morning in London, you can great value in hotels across the Thames River.

Did you know?

Planning your trip on your own may be the biggest tourist trap there is! In an attempt to find the most economical options, many travelers start planning on their own only to waste endless hours researching, miss out on accessibility expert knowledge and take chances on the accessibility features of the services they are booking. Don’t make that mistake! Did you know that we have experience planning hundreds of accessible trips and can help you avoid tourist traps?

“We had a fabulous time in Italy, and are all so appreciative of the wonderful experiences you planned for us!…We are huge fans of Sage Traveling, and are talking about a trip to France in a year.  Do you do France?  Let’s talk about that sometime!! “- The Meyers family


Contact us today to start planning your “tourist trap free” 2016 European adventure!


Travel Wisely,

John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling

Phone: US: 1-888-645-7920, UK: +44 20 3540 6155

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