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What questions should I ask for an accessible tour? – Sage Traveling December 2016 Newsletter




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Dear Sena,
You’ve been waiting a long time for the European vacation of your dreams. You’ve been looking at scenic destination photos, making a list of what you want to see and do, and saving for a while to make it happen.
Now what? How do you ensure that your European dream vacation turns out to be everything you’re hoping for? For disabled travelers and their families, good accessibility and memorable experiences are key!
One of our wonderful clients with our private tour guide at the Acropolis in Athens.
At Sage Traveling, we’ve successfully been conducting accessible tour research for many years, and we’re excited to share some of our best tips with you in our very last newsletter of the year!
Here are my Top 7 questions to ask for an accessible tour
  1. Was a wheelchair user or mobility scooter user involved in the designing of this tour? If not, a well-intentioned able-bodied tour guide may have missed that the bathroom doors are too narrow or parked cars often block the sidewalk ramp.
  2. Have tourists who use wheelchairs or mobility scooters done this tour? You don’t want to be the first guinea pig for the accessibility of the route. You could end up wasting your valuable vacation days instead of enjoying a hassle-free time.
  3. How recently has someone with a disability taken this tour route? Has the accessibility changed? Many European cities, due to their age, are constantly under construction etc. Things change within days and months, which means that accessible routes will, too.
  4. Will this be a private tour where I can easily ask the guide questions and we can move at a pace comfortable to me? Or will I be stuck in a group where some people want to move faster than others? Many people ask us why we have chosen to focus on private accessible tours. The answer is simply this; it is the most relaxing, comfortable and fun way to do it! No need to stress about other people waiting, not being able to keep up, or being left to handle accessibility challenges on your own. A private guide who can tailor the tour pace to your needs and give your party his/her full attention is guaranteed to give you a much better overall experience.
  5. Have you already identified the accessible bathroom locations along the route or will the guide have to spend part of our touring time to find them? You don’t want to spend half of your valuable tour time searching for accessible bathrooms. Your tour provider should know where they are located beforehand, and that they are in fact accessible!
  6. I am visiting multiple cities. Do you provide accessible tours in the other cities or will I need to find a different tour company? It can be time consuming and stressful having to do accessible tour research – especially if you’re dealing with multiple tour operators. To make the process easier, I suggest finding one that can assist you with all aspects and destinations for your trip.
  7. How far in advance do I need to book your accessible tour? Accessible van supply is limited in many destinations and once they are booked, you’re out of luck. Also, the tour guides who are most experienced in conducting accessible tours get booked months in advance. Book your accessible tours at least two months in advance if you have flexibility on dates. If you are on a cruise ship and will only be in port for one day, you should book 6 months in advance.
Another great photo of some of our our wonderful repeat clients and our tour guide at the British Museum.

Think about this… how do you determine whether or not something is accessible? Do you simply take someone’s word for it? Do you look at photos? Do you read reviews from other (disabled) travelers? From experience, I know that a combination of all of these can be helpful. At Sage Traveling, we go beyond all of these items and inspect accessibility firsthand before we offer an accessible tour. That’s why our accessible tours get  rave reviews from disabled travelers!

Travel Wisely,
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling


Sage Traveling, 3319 Stoney Brook, Houston, TX 77063
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