Solo Travel As a Business and Lifestyle Phenomenon

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau
If the statistics are any indicator, many travelers agree with Thoreau. In increasing numbers, individuals are traveling alone rather than just waiting for others to join them.
Solo travelers in the recent past have totaled 21 million in just the US and UK combined. According to a New York Times article in Nov. 2012, Internet searches for “solo travel packages” were up 60% over the prior year. The US Department of Commerce’s Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (“OTTI”) reported that a staggering 42% of U.S. citizens/residents that went abroad in 2011 traveled alone. Of those individual travelers, 38% traveled for leisure or to visit friends & relatives (“VFR”) and 66% for business. Similarly, inbound solo travelers from abroad totaled 36.2%. Of those, 23.6% were on leisure trips and and 62.2% for work. This business and lifestyle phenomenon has been growing exponentially.
Who are solo travelers?
Solo travelers are a much broader group than just the single population. They may be:
• Two-career couples on business travel or “DINK’S” (Dual Income No Kids).
• Those with relatives or friends abroad.
• Family members pursuing separate sports/hobbies overseas.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Jill Fawcett has described their solo travelers as: “often… married or have partners, but the spouses don’t share the same interest… They want to travel with like-minded people and the small group gives them some interaction. Then they go back to the privacy of their own room… 25% of people who opt for our Extreme Adventure series are (also) solo travelers,” she said. “People feel a little more secure in a group if the destination is intimidating or there’s a language barrier.” Solo Travel Is Growing at a Rapid Rate | Phil Hoffman travel blog, 10/25/11.
According to Grand Circle Corp chairman Alan Lewis, “Women are a growing force in the solo travel market… where the solo market has grown from about 20% to 25% of [Grand Circle’s] overall bookings during the past five years.”
Single travelers do still continue to play an active role in solo travel. Their growth is clear in Europe and North America where people are marrying later and may be divorced, widowed or never married. According to a March 19, 2013 article entitled “The Growing Solo Travel Market”, average single households total as follows:
• 35% of all households in developed countries
• 40% in Finland and Norway (2011)
• 37% in the Netherlands (2011)
• 27% in the US (2010), 29% in the UK (2011) and 28% in Canada (2011).
How do solos travel?
Solo travel may not necessarily mean traveling as a “group of one”. Individuals may choose
1. Escorted group tours
2. Independent tours
3. Travel alone and select their own hotels/tours
What Issues Confront Those Traveling Alone?
There are two main challenges for individual travelers.
• Attractive pricing: Lodging, tours and cruises are priced routinely on double occupancy. Most cruises and tours require a single supplement for those traveling alone. Although this is not necessarily 2X, the price differential can be substantial. This is most pronounced in tour packages, particularly cruises that have “2-for-the-price of 1” early booking promotional. As a result, those traveling alone may pay 3-4X couples/pairs.
• Top quality access and service: In a busy holiday or tourist season, the unaccompanied traveler may be given less desirable accommodations or tables in restaurants. In fact, even 5 star hotels may be unwilling to take a dinner reservation for one even when the individual traveler is a guest of the hotel. This is particularly true on Saturday nights and holidays. The alternative may be sitting at the bar for dinner notwithstanding that the dining room has vacant tables. On cruises/river cruises or other tours with “open seating”, tables are typically set up for even numbers. The result? These travelers are faced with a “standup” buffet or engaging in sleuthing to find an available seat.
What is The Business Opportunity?
This travel phenomenon is growing exponentially and still represents an under served niche. The opportunity for the industry is substantial, prioritized as follows:
Leisure travelers: They are the largest percentage of industry revenues. However, a smaller percentage go alone for leisure trips. The beneficiaries: airlines, hotels, tours, car and concierge services.
Business travelers: Although a small portion of revenues, a greater percentage are on business. Moreover, they may have a larger budget than an individual on vacation. The same industry segments would benefit with the exception of tours except as potential additions to an international trip.
VFR: Those visiting friends and relatives may be met at the airport and have access to local transportation. While staying in a private residence, meals may not be taken out as frequently as hotel guests. Accordingly, such travelers will continue to generate new revenue primarily for airlines but are unlikely to augment the existing market for other travel services.
This sector represents a largely untapped market. Given the sheer numbers of affluent professionals and business executives, with the right mix of well-priced, top quality offerings, both sides benefit. The travel industry will increase their existing revenues while those traveling alone will achieve more competitive pricing and access to higher quality. It is a market whose time has come.

Information on Two Type of Taxis in Israel

Taxi services are a common way to travel through Israel. There are many benefits to using a taxi as your main transportation method when you visit the country. Some of these benefits include affordability, comfortable cars, frequent arrivals and departures and easy to locate. There are two different types of taxi service which are currently available in Israel and these two types will be discussed below.
Special Taxi (the private taxi)
When most people think of a taxi they think of the special taxi. Also known as a private taxi, the special taxi in Israel will pick up you and only you (and your friends if you so desire) and then transport you to your destination. The special taxi runs on a meter, as required by law, and has a price scale which makes payment issues much less common. When you get into a special taxi you can rest assured that you will only pay what the meter registers, no more and no less. The special taxi is easy to spot on the road as it is a bright white color with orange numbers which show the taxi registration number. If you need to get a special taxi, simply catch one on the street that drives by or call ahead. Your taxi driver may even provide you with a glimpse into the city but make sure that they are registered with the Ministry of Tourism (ask to see ID/photo badge) if they try to give you a full tour of the city.
Service Taxi (monit sherut)
The service taxi known as a monit sherut is a larger taxi which carries many people at once. These taxis are typically minibuses and can hold around 10 people on average. The monit sherut will drive around town picking up passengers as it goes. Since it is a larger vehicle and money needs to be made along the way, the monit sherut driver will usually wait a while until their bus is full. This may take a ½ hour at times so if you are in a crunch to get somewhere, it may be wise to settle on a special taxi. On the bright side, you are often able to find a monit sherut at all hours of the night which is great for those night owls. Service taxis are prevalent in most of the main cities such as Eilat, Haifa, Netanya, Nahariya and more. If you are hoping to travel on the holiday, keep in mind that service taxis often operate on these days. The monit sherut provides an affordable option and is the less expensive of the two taxi services.
Both the special taxi and service taxi will get you from your location to your main destination. It is just a matter of whether you want the privacy of the special taxi or the affordability of the service taxi. Also keep in mind where you have to go and what time of day you are traveling to your destination as this could make a difference as to which taxi service you choose to use.
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Why Travel Solo?

The wonderful thing about travel: it provides you with experiences that will remain locked forever in the scar tissue of your mind – Dave Barry.
Solo travel can be a daunting experience but well-worth the effort. When women travel alone, an entire world of new opportunities opens it’s doors! Unaccompanied women travelers have the gift of being able to focus on their travel needs instead of focusing on everyone else.
And solo travel also offers you the unique opportunity to strike up interesting conversations with people wherever your journeys may take you. Locals and fellow travelers will be impressed by and curious about your brave independence, which can lead to a great conversation and possibly a life-long friendship. So if you are without friends, spouse, family members or a co-worker to share in your travel experience, don’t fret — solo travel offers the opportunity for you to enjoy a trip on your own terms. And the hardest part just may be coming back home!
Women who take the plunge and travel the world alone can truly enjoy tasting the fruits of exotic places, shop for to-die-for fashions in the thick of the world’s most sophisticated cities and really take in ancient sites. The ability to visit the sites that interest you and only you, when and how you want to, allows you to find what truly satisfies you, mind, body and soul.
But how do you know about that out-of-the-way boutique with haute couture at wholesale prices, or how do you find that tasty trattoria in Florence when it’s off the beaten path? A travel agent, of course! A travel agent can not only direct a woman traveling alone to the best and the brightest travel spots to suit her needs, but the travel professional can also offer expert tips, advice and safety precautions. Your travel agent will help you determine the package that will be tailored to fit your needs, guaranteeing your happiness and safety.
A knowledgeable travel agent provides an added sense of security that will be necessary to help your trip run as smoothly as possible. Many women are skeptical of traveling alone due to safety concerns and a lack of time or savvy to plan the trip. A travel agent can schedule unique ways to fill your free time, develop a personalized itinerary, and, if necessary, organize a group tour at your destination. Whatever your travel needs, your agent will be a vital part of ensuring your enjoyment. Your travel agent will also help you understand your surroundings by providing trusted tour guides and helping you to navigate your destination to make sure you avoid potentially dangerous areas.
Safety is an essential part of any travel experience, and when women travel solo, it becomes even more important. Discuss your safety needs with your travel agent and she can offer pointers and tips that only a seasoned traveler would know, keeping you safe and sound as you explore the world. Your agent will offer advice on how to dress and observe cultural norms, helping you to blend in once you arrive at your destination, preventing you from being targeted for crimes or harassment.
A travel agent can also help you stay connected with your loved ones. In today’s high-tech world, your contacts are only a phone call, text message, or email away. Your travel agent can provide a list of cybercafés, phone services and other communications access points that will help you stay in touch with your family and friends back home, putting your mind and theirs at ease.
If you work closely with your travel agent and use good judgment, you will be equipped with the necessary tools to travel solo and enjoy yourself immensely. The new sights, sounds, locales, museums, restaurants and the possibility of new friends will combine to produce the most memorable experience of your lifetime. The wonders of the world await. So stop waiting for a companion to tag along. Contact your travel agent to create a travel package that you will remember forever!

Travel Insurance for Canadians – Get The Right Policy

Canadians are well known for their unique sense of humor, their hospitality, their smiles, their generosity and of course, their habitual extravagance for travel. It is not unusual that some of the world’s most well traveled people are Canadians. These beautiful Canadians love the sun, culture and food. They are into so many activities that they long to search for new adventures both domestically and locally. Locally, they tend to travel to Canada’s most visited tourist destinations like the Montmorency Falls Park which has a beautiful frozen waterfall whose water plunges up to 83 meters to the river. Other favorite Canadian destinations include the Kananaskis Valley of Adventure and the Watipi Lodge, Campground and Teepee Village. These destinations appear to be always attractive all year round. They are Canada’s pride and the Canadians love them too.
Internationally, Canadians love to travel to places where they could find adventures. They seek countries which have an equal mix of ethnicity and exciting activities. They go to the United States, several parts of Europe and even Asia. Basically, they spend a certain percentage of their earnings in traveling. This is why travel agencies love Canadian clients so much. They are generous and they are always flexible. They can travel even as much as twice a year or they can always get a way to have an escapade from all their doubts and worries.
These travel agencies, however, have also thought of the security involved. Canadian travelers can be subject to several unexpected accidents while on travel. Thus, many travel agencies are now offering travel insurance for Canadians as part of the whole travel package.
Travel insurance for Canadians is something that is always kept an eye on. The government health insurance plans pay only a small part of the expenses incurred during a trip outside Canada or outside the province of residence. Health expenses when traveling are always very expensive with some hospitals charging up to one thousand dollars a day excluding the doctor’s professional fee and the diagnostic laboratory fee. All of these high costs will be charged directly to the patient and his family. These high costs are the least thing a traveler would want. The family will be in charge for the payment of the bills and so, without emergency travel insurance, the person will find it hard to survive.
Take for example, Blue Cross Member Plans, whose members operate on a ‘not-for-profit’ basis which are also independent Members of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans. They are all into commitment of quality service and excellence all rolled into one. They assure that for every Canadian, there is always a suitable travel insurance that depends on his or her personal needs. They are aware that many Canadians are fond of traveling so they have carefully outlines several travel insurance for Canadians. These travel insurance are always a click away from their web site which is always accessible twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Getting travel insurance for Canadians is the first step in ensuring the enjoyment and safety of the trip.

Gay Travel Info For South America

Gay people who want to have a great vacation in South America now have a lot more destinations to choose from. The continent has a massive variety of places to go and things to do and increasingly vocal gay rights movements have ensured that it is safer than ever. There are lots of companies now offering gay vacations to South America.
Brazil is still the top gay destination in South America. Rio has long been popular with gay travelers as has Sao Paulo the two largest cities in the country. Now there are more destinations north of the cities, along the coast from Salvador to Fortaleza so gay travelers can get out of the cities and explore.
Buenos Aires has been an increasingly popular gay destination for some time and no wonder. This most European of South American cities has tons of gay bars, clubs and cafes. Palermo has some very chic gay friendly hotels and a wealth of top quality shopping and eating opportunities. San Telmo, the neighborhood for tango is also a great place to hang out and you can even take a gay tango class. The residents of Buenos Aires like to think of themselves as modern and liberal and it is possible to have a same sex civil union in the city.
Bogota, the exciting capital of Colombia is no longer associated with drug lords and terrorists and is a safe destination for anyone. Colombia is a rising travel destination and thanks to some recent laws same sex couples have the same rights as straight couples. There is a gay neighborhood in Bogota called Chapinero Alto which is full of bars, clubs and some hotels. In June, Bogota hosts a growing gay pride event. All in all Bogota is a great destination for gay travelers looking for a great time. Colombians are friendly folk who like to have a good time and these days anyone can join them.
Santiago is the other rising destination in South America. There are some great places to stay and some opportunities for a top night out. The country is moving towards legalization of gay marriage thanks to a vociferous LGBT movement. Outside the capital there is an amazing array of things to do in Chile. The natural beauty and changing landscapes are unique and you can travel from desert in the north, through the central valleys of vineyards through the Lake District to the fjords and ice fields in the south. The country also has some great ski resorts.
Other South American countries offer travel which is a bit more off the beaten path. This does not mean that gay travelers cannot find great trips to Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador. All the capitals have gay friendly places although not established scenes. However the real appeal of these countries is more adventurous pursuits such as jungle exploration, climbing, trekking, ancient ruins, traditional cultures and unique landscapes.
There are now many travel agents organizing trips for gay people to South America. Some are dedicated to gay travelers but other mainstream travel agencies are realizing the opportunities and providing gay trips.
If you want a trip full of adventure and variety check out gay travel to South America. You will find places with friendly people and amazing opportunities.

Why Taxi Service is Better Than Your Own Car

Taxi services serve people. The fleet of yellow-checkered cabs is the pride of the New York City. For years, these legendary cabs have been taking people to their destination. Roads look incomplete without these taxis.
Ways To Hire A Cab Taxi
There are two ways to hire a taxi:
*Take an empty taxi right off the street. The cab services have taxis in various parts of the city for people who need to use them.
*Dial a number of taxi service. These are call-in services. Tell them the address from where you want to be picked and the place to be dropped. The dispatcher connects to the special radio system of the taxi company and finds a taxi that is the closest to your address. The taxi reaches you in 5-10 minutes. It is far more convenient. You can book a taxi service without leaving the comfort of your home.
Certain taxi services accept advance reservations. One such is the limousine service. If, you have a wedding to attend next week, you can reserve a limo a week prior to the occasion.
Taxi Rates
Rates depend on the standard initial fare of the particular area. This includes the cost of hiring a taxi, tariff rate, travel distance, waiting time in traffic jams, and at the curbside for you.
If you do not own a vehicle, you can find numerous taxi cabs at airport terminals or outside hotels. You must know the base air taxi rates to and from the airport to important places of the city, to the heart of the city and suburbs. The general rate is $45. A taxi service will usually charge according to the miles traveled. This keeps the dealing clear.
Benefits Of Hiring A Taxi
Most of the taxi drivers are knowledgeable about the city. They are familiar with the traffic situations and know how to get you to your destination quickly and safely. You might worry about how you will reach the far end of the town. But for a taxi driver, it’s no big deal. You save a lot of trouble and time by hiring a taxi service.
Besides, in a metropolitan city, taxis are a good Eco-friendly option to travel. It’s best to park your car in the garage and hail a taxi. You can also car-pool. You can travel with your friends or colleagues in one taxi.
Another benefit of hiring a taxi is that you are saved from the headache of finding a place to park. Parking space is fast emerging as a big problem. Although taxis may not match the luxury of traveling in your own car, they offer a convenient and quicker traveling solution within the city. With the regulation of taxi service industry, taxi fares have become higher but they ensure that the driver has a valid license and permit for his cab. You only need to raise a hand while standing on the sidewalk and a taxi will arrive!

How Often Should I Travel?

I once found myself in London sitting on the floor of a friend’s flat, debating my next move. I had been traveling for a couple months and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to visit Morocco or Istanbul next. I had never been to either and both were well out of my normal comfort zone, a combination of criteria that should have insured a feeling of excitement no matter which route I chose.
Instead, both options felt boring to me. I knew, cultural differences and random unexpected experiences aside, what to expect from my next destination, wherever it was. No matter which location I decided on I would end up in a routine similar to the one I had been on while traveling the past couple of months. No matter how odd the destination I arrived at I knew I’d be able to find my way and do just fine for myself.
I realized I couldn’t choose between the two options because I quite frankly didn’t care to go to either of them. The growth I experienced on this trip seemed to be at a plateau and no amount of culture shock seemed like it would jolt me back onto the fast track of enhanced personal revelation.
Debunking the Myth of Eternally Vagabonding
After a couple months on the road I was tired of traveling and just wanted to go home. Though “going home” presented its own problems as I didn’t have a home to return to. I left with the aim of traveling indefinitely, yet even when I had been back in the States I moved often, leaving one location for another every couple months, sometimes within the same city, sometimes across the country.
Now, sitting in London, totally ungrateful for the opportunities at my fingertips, I wanted a real home. I thought endless traveling would be right for me but I was wrong, and it became clear the notion of vagabonding indefinitely wasn’t right for everyone. In fact, in all my travels I’ve realized the notion of constant, consistent, endless travel isn’t right for just about anyone. For most of us, travel is a special experience and not the way of life we desire for our day-to-day existence.
A Quick Caveat
If most of us weren’t made to travel indefinitely, than how often should we travel, and for how long should we leave home?
The answer to this question will always be intensely personal and depends on individual factors that are both ephemeral (personal disposition, relationships back home) and entirely tangible (money, work, mortgages and leases). For the rest of this article I’m assuming you’re in the fortunate position of being able to travel whenever you want, for as long as you want.
What’s the Point of Travel?
Before you can answer how often you should travel you need to first answer why you want to travel.
Do you get bored when you stay in one place for more than three months at a time? Do you love surfing and do you want to explore the world’s best beaches? Are you intensely interested in food and do you have a laundry list of native cuisines and restaurants you want to munch on? Do you simply want to see more of the world? Or do you simply want to expand your understanding of the world by experiencing as much of it firsthand as you can? Everyone has a different reason to travel, and knowing why you want to explore the world is a good first step towards figuring out how often you should leave home.
In my opinion there’s really only one reason for travel, a single reason that lies at the heart of every specific explanation you can give for your wander lust. People want to travel because they want to grow.
We travel to grow- to grow our ideas of other countries, to grow our ideas of the world, to grow our ideas of what it means to be human, and most of all to grow our conception of who we are and what we want out of life.
Thinking in Cycles
If we travel to grow then it makes a whole lot of sense why indefinite travel tends to lose its appeal over time. After a couple of months of traveling you will hit a peak. You will have learned everything you’re going to learn from the trip you’re on and you will have settled into a new routine, a new set of expectations, a new perspective that will eventually become just as rigid as the one you developed back home.
Humans are adaptable, and while the thought of being able to live out of a single bag in a country where no one speaks your language may seem like the height of adventure before you leave home, after a couple months backpacking in Cambodia you’ll settle in to a life that once seemed an insurmountable challenge.
Once you hit that wall in your travels you’ll return home and find home life to be challenging and foreign and filled with opportunities for growth and appreciation you never noticed before you left on your adventure. And then, after a few months pass you by, you’ll feel locked into a stultifying routine once more and ache to push yourself by hitting the road once more.
The answer to how often you should travel sits within the rhythms of growth and adaptation lying within all of us.
Finding the Right Pattern
While everyone is unique and everyone follows slightly different flows of exploration and consolidation there are a two patterns for alternating between travel and home life that seem to strike a chord within the greatest number of people.

  • 2-3 months at home followed by 4-6 weeks traveling. Spending 2-3 months at home gives you the time you need to focus intensely on work, on home life, on building relationships, on seeing friends and family, and other similarly domestic activities. 2-3 months in one place also tends to be the amount of time it takes until the average traveler starts to feel the itch to explore once more. 4-6 weeks of traveling is a good amount of time to gain a good feel for one or two locations, making this pattern good for people who are happy seeing a small handful of new locations every year.
  • 6-9 months at home followed by 2-3 months of traveling. This pattern lets you focus very deeply on a specific work project or other type of consolidation-oriented task whose completion you then reward with an extended period of perspective shaking overseas travel. Even the most ardent travel nut seems to find it relatively easy to stay in one place for 6-9 months when they have a passion-driven project to focus on. Once you leave home again 2-3 months is enough time traveling to either get very deep in a new culture (it’s an especially good time frame for learning a language) or to visit a couple new countries in one trip.

No matter which pattern you choose, no matter if you make up your own pattern, just know that travel is part of a larger life cycle, so find the right cycle that meets your particular needs for both adventure and security.

Details on Auto Transport Quotes

Working With Different Vehicle Transportation Services
Often, when you’re moving, you’ll need the help of vehicle transport services. You’ll find that vehicle transport companies can be a real help to people who can’t figure out how to get multiple vehicles to their new home. You actually have a pretty good choice of ways to achieve cross country auto transport.
First, Ask for Quotes
The first step to ship a car is to get vehicle shipping quotes. When you do this, you should get vehicle shipping quotes from at least 3 different car companies. This gives you the power of comparison shopping between the vehicle companies. This will help you get the best deal for each cross country car transport you consider.
Check Delivery
The car transport company can’t issue a guaranteed delivery date, according to federal law. In fact, if you get a one week window for delivery, especially with cross country auto transport, you’re lucky.
Seeking Discounts
If you will ask the vehicle transport services which days are best for shipping a car, you may be surprised by the discount you can receive. The car transport quotes consider only the amount of time needed to complete cross country auto transport, rather than the easiest days for them to move your vehicle. Many times, you’ll find that car transport companies like to move cars on a certain day for local vehicle moving, or a certain time during the week with cross country auto transport. This is because the vehicle transportation companies know the local traffic patterns, and if given the opportunity to plan around predictable heavy traffic, you may get a discount. For instance, the car transport companies know if there is a tourist attraction along the route, and may be able to plan to go through that area on a weekday rather than a weekend, saving hours of transit time.
You can also spare your budget with cross country auto transport if you don’t use your car for cargo shipping. Transport services must consider the weight of your vehicle when planning the cross country car transport, and if you overload it with household belongings, it may make the load too heavy. At that point, the car transport companies charge more for hauling your car. If you’re using a moving van, anyway, see if you can get all of your belongings on the van, instead of paying the vehicle transport services to move items that could go on the van.
Packing Your Car
Should you choose to pack your car, anyway, the transport companies will have a list with details of items prohibited from shipment in your car. The list is a long one, and many of the items the vehicle transport companies refuse to transport seem obvious to some people. You can’t, for instance, ship guns and ammunition, or explosives in your car if it is on a cross country car transport.
The troubling thing about this list is, that car transport companies wouldn’t have to make those rules unless someone had tried to ship those very items.
Following the basic guidelines for transport will make your life a lot easier. A person’s vehicle is important to them and should only be trusted to a competent auto transport companies. After doing the homework to find solid vehicle transport companies your car or truck will be transported within your state of with cross country auto transport.

Accessible Adventures: Traveling With Special Needs

There is a world of travel possibilities for people with special needs! Where do you want to go? What do you want to experience? With a bit of careful planning and the asking some important questions, individuals with disabilities can find accessible travel options for many exciting destinations worldwide.
If vacation or business travel has been a daunting idea to you or to your family, be encouraged that there many places to explore where special needs can be easily accommodated with your comfort and convenience in mind.
You Have Places to Go & Things to Do
Family Vacations – Travel options abound for families with special needs children. Ranging from amusement and theme parks designed for a number of disabilities or camps that offer programs and accommodations for a broad spectrum of special needs, there are exciting possibilities for making fun family memories! Vacations to Disney World, National Parks, museums, and the like can also be accessible for those with disabilities through the utilization of things like travel wheelchairs, access guides, and travel agents that specialize in travel with disabilities.
Travel Planning for Special Needs – there are a number of companies that specialize in creating group tours, cruises, and individual wheelchair travel options. These companies develop itineraries and travel arrangements that facilitate special needs accessibility. Their travel agents assist in making arrangements and providing the appropriate resources to make your experience an enjoyable and memorable one.
Travel Resources for Special Needs
Travel Agencies & Tour Groups – A number of travel agencies and tour groups that specialize in travel arrangements for people with disabilities have developed over the years. Theses agencies and groups provide assistance in planning and executing vacations for people with a broad range of special needs.
Travel Companions – Whether you require assistance from a companion to manage daily activities or simply want someone to travel with, there are companies that can offer these services. Be sure to search for companions from reputable companies or with credible references.
Accessibility Guides – There are a number of publications, websites, & blogs available to assist with your travel planning. These guides outline destinations, accommodations, transportation, and other resources for traveling with disabilities.
Travel Wheelchairs – The right travel chair can make any trip less stressful and much more comfortable. There are travel wheelchairs that are especially designed for making travel feasible and safe. Look for chairs that are comfortable and durable, but also lightweight, compact or collapsible, and easy to maneuver.
Online Resources:
Disability Travel and Recreation Resources
Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality
Travelconsumer
DisabledTravelers
Additional Travel Tips
Airplane Travel – Travel by airplane can be a bit intimidating for some travelers, especially if you must travel with a wheelchair or have mobility restrictions. Airlines are required to provide reasonable accommodation for individuals with special needs, but that does not mean you should leave your travel comfort in the airline’s hands. A little extra planning on your part can make for a much more enjoyable airport and flying experience.

  • Plan to arrive two to three hours prior to a domestic flight or up to four hours prior to an international flight to ensure enough time to get through security and make your way to the gate.
  • If you experience discomfort after sitting for extended periods of time, strongly consider selecting destinations where travel times are limited. You should also consider if limited mobility is an issue, restroom use on the plane may be difficult. Some airlines provide small chairs to transport guests to the restroom, but if this is not an option, it would be wise to limit your time in the air.
  • It may be a bit more expensive to secure non-stop flights for your trip, but limiting connections can reduce the stress of navigating multiple airports in a restricted time period.
  • Research the airline and plane ahead of time. Can the plane size accommodate a wheelchair in the cabin? Can you reserve an aisle seat?
  • Individuals in wheelchairs or scooters are subject to thorough searches at the security checkpoints. While it may be a bit uncomfortable and tedious, these searches are to ensure the safety of all passengers.
  • If you require medication or have mobility restrictions, it can be helpful to secure a letter from your doctor to make the transition through security a little easier.

Hotel Accommodations – While most commercial establishments are required to provide handicap accessibility, there are a few things to consider for ensuring a successful hotel stay during your travels. Make your hotel reservations over the phone if possible. If applicable, ask about whether the doors to the rooms are wide enough for a wheelchair and that the restrooms and showers in the room are handicap accessible. Be sure to get a confirmation number for your reservation. For convenience, it is often good to request a room on the ground floor or be sure to verify that an elevator is available.

Travel Agents Are Still In Demand

Although their are numerous online travel services a traditional Travel agent is as much an important part of the trip as comfort is to traveling! The role of a travel agent has been increasing with the times and today most people are dependent on them for executing most of their travel plans so that they can rest easy and just enjoy their trip.
It is the responsibility of the travel agent to help and guide the travelers about the constantly changing schedules and airfares, availability of packages for vacation, and a lot of travel information that the traveler may not know about.
Choosing a reliable travel agent can be an important decision, since how you travel and your comfort will be largely decided by the travel agents. You should verify the information given by the travel agents, to be on the safer side and minimize your travel hassles. In case of International travel, choosing a proper agent becomes more important.
The right agent should be able to foresee your problems and guide you about them. They should provide information related to customs regulations, important documents like visas, passports, currency exchange rates and certificates of vaccination.
Many hotels, cruise liners, resorts, and special travel groups make use of travel agents to market their travel packages to the ever increasing rate of people choosing to travel both inland and overseas. Most agents advice you on destinations and make arrangements for hotel stays, transportation, tours, car rentals, etc.
Information on weather conditions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and other such necessary information are also provided. A good travel agent could also take the trouble of checking out hotel services to gauge their quality of service in order that they can base references on a first hand report.
With the changing times, the travel industry has seen a big development in terms of Internet bookings and travel related information made available on the net. The number of people using online services is growing. This has resulted in a change in the view of the convenience of traditional agencies.
A poll result of American tourists revealed that over 92 percent of them generally buy their travel related necessities online. According to these consumers, online travel agencies have cheaper rates, are the easiest to use and offer all the relevant information. A word of caution is necessary for those using the Internet for their travel bookings. Be sure to navigate the site, verify that the agent has a good back-up system.
Also ensure that there are no added costs that are credited to your credit bills.
Till a few years ago, travel agents provided free services to their customers. Travel agents worked as agents for airlines, hotels, rental car companies, etc. The agencies worked on a commission basis from these suppliers.
But free travel agent services began changing as a result of certain changes in the rate of commissions. For example, in 1995 Delta Airlines imposed a $50 limit on domestic airline commission rates.