TRAVEL TIPS

I want to write about a few tips I have picked up while traveling. These are tips for discounts while
traveling with the disabled and just tips in general.
My girls have been to Paris, the Caribbean, Mexico and many U.S.A. destinations. They are great travelers and anywhere we go we look for ways to enhance their trip or to help with the cost due to a disability.
Here is a list of a few places that have discounts for the disabled or seniors.
National parks. (Require National Park Disability Card which is free or senior card which is $10 a yr)

Zoos

Amusement Parks (Not Disneyland or other Disney Parks but they do sometimes give you a front of the line pass.

NYC Subway has a discount pass for seniors and the disabled but you have to fill out some paperwork and provide proof ahead of time. I choose to just pay for the 7 day pass but it is a good deal if you are going there for a week or more visit.

I read that Amtrak also offers a discount but not sure how much. Check it out if traveling by train.

Most city buses systems have a discount for their monthly pass or day pass. Proof may be required

Broadway Shows. There is a website for discount passes to some shows but it is mostly for Autistic Children. I checked it out but wasn't able to take advantage of it. Might be worth it because Broadway shows are so expensive. There is a great app for discounts in general. TODAY TIX. You can purchase up to 5 or 6 days in advance and the discount is good.

The best thing to do is to always ask. Ask everywhere you go.

While visiting New York we were offered the front of the line at the Empire State Building and the Ferries. It is a great help for both me and my daughters because of the long waits in line.

Airlines. I don't find them to be accommodating or even extra kind to the mentally disabled but have witnessed them helping the physically disabled.  My daughters are pretty good at handling themselves while traveling so maybe this is why I don't see any extra consideration. But then again airline travel is not what it used to be and I don't really see any extra consideration for anyone. Kindness is almost rare too so I usually go out of my way to be extra kind to them. I suggest cookies or some small eatable gift, but make sure it's store bought, to give to the help and usually that helps with extra kindness on their part. We were offered cocktails, gifts, cookies and much kindness.

Cruising is very accommodating to anyone because of the large hallways, elevators etc. If you want very special attention for your disabled child take a Disney Cruise. I was able to go on one myself and witnessed the kindness and consideration for a physically challenged boy at a table next to us. They also have wonderful child care and unlike other cruises they will watch your disabled child and even a child in diapers. They give you so many hours a day to do this. It's a wonderful trip. Somewhat expensive but worth every penny.

We traveled to France and there wasn't any consideration for disabled people. I didn't even see any disabled people. The trains and subways are mostly inaccessible to wheelchairs and physically handicapped and even to some seniors who can't get around to well. I think most of Europe must be like this. I have traveled all over the world and haven't seen many accommodations for the disabled anywhere else besides the United States. I have been to hotels with no elevators and had to walk up 3 flights of stairs with suitcases. So if you are traveling abroad research thoroughly if you have a physically challenged person with you.

This is an updated post and since we have traveled on a Mediterranean Cruise with land visits to Venice and London. The Norwegian Spirit treated us like VIP's. I had written a letter before the trip because I wanted one of my daughters to do a video dancing in each port. You can see this video in another post. They did not collaborate with us on this but gave us a VIP cruise. It was wonderful. We also found the Europeans to be quite considerate and kind to the girls. We got discounts on entries, discounts on souvenirs we bought, back door entries to avoid lines and special help in finding the right buses and trains. People were excited to meet the girls and showed every kindness. The previous information on France says differently but we were in the big city of Paris. At the time we were there Americans in general were not to welcomed. But things have changed and we were overwhelmed with kindness.

I also wrote Westminster Abbey and we received a free, private tour of the Abbey. It was a 3 hour tour designed for the girls.

Another place we visited and got a special tour was our nations capital. I wrote our Congressman and a special tour was arranged for our group.

So remember to always ask. Write letters and do research. There are many things out there to help us and to enable us to travel with our disabled family members.