How does someone who has written more than 50 articles on travel and disability plan his own vacation? Probably just like you do - talking to people he trusts and dreaming.
Eric Lipp, founder of the Open Doors organization, studies that organization's regular surveys of US travelers with disabilities. His 2002 survey revealed that, as a group, we are diligent and resourceful travel planners who weave elaborate webs of relationships to expand our worlds through travel. We typically seek out the personal experience of other travelers with disabilities as we make travel decisions.
In March my wife & I will travel to
Sharon Oldham is a colleague specializing in travel to
One of her recommendations, Eurobound Tours, came through with unique accommodations. In
Tour operators Elisa and Claudio promise unforgettable
private tours of
Soheir Eskander at Eurobound recommended the Rota Suites in
Hand controlled rental cars are not available so we have arranged
private shuttles between
a bulletin board for travelers. Several members there offered helpful
suggestions on accessibility. At least one came from someone who has been
reading the Rolling Rains Report for
years. Their encouragement based on firsthand experience has me exploring ways
that I can tackle some of the sites that look more like mountain climbing than
a leisurely vacation from my vantage point in a wheelchair - Amalfi, Positano,
With ground arrangements nearly settled it was time to lock in the flight. United Airlines made redeeming frequent flyer miles painless. We will see if I can use the same adjective to describe the effect of an intercontinental flight in one of their Star Alliance partner Luftansa's cramped cabins.
The last bits of basic travel security were also straightforward - travel insurance with TravelGuard; unlocking my GSM-band cell phone to accept an Italian SIM card; double checking passport and entry requirements; and letting my creditors know that the pattern-breaking purchases on my cards will be legitimate and please not to shut them down on me mid-vacation.
At this point in travel planning, when the tickets are
purchased and hotel reservations finalized, I like to shift gear. Dreaming
takes over and it's time to discover
Paul Hofmann begins his book That Fine Italian Hand, with a chapter on the two Italies. His
engaging writing style, probably honed during the years he was chief of the New
York Times bureau in
Netflix offers a treasure trove of films on
A travelogue I rented at Netflix, Visions of Italy: Northern Style & Southern Style, offered privileged
aerial views of hilltop towns and cliffside villas. I can see that
Even before I arrive I still have hours of couch potato travel left with Rick Steves' video; Rudy Maxa's advice, Italian language learning programs; and more travelogues with spectacular photos in my video queue.
A Ticket to Travel
Christ Stopped at Eboli
A List of Italian Movies