I spent last Saturday kicking around the Bay Area Travel Adventure Expo. Pauline Frommer was speaking, and I love her–if you ever get the chance to see her speak in person about travel, do it. She was an actor for a decade before she followed her father into travel writing, and she’s got amazing stage presence. In fact, her encouragement helped me to grow this blog with enthusiasm and keep with it even when it’s difficult to keep it up.
That said, here are a few cool things I learned at the Expo that apply to travelers with pain:
* Alaska can be an excellent destination for disabled travelers of all kinds. They’re very prepared for folks with mobility issues (which means that us hiddenly disabled types can take advantage of the lack of stairs and such). The one possible hitch: distances during day trips. I’m looking at tripping up there this summer to see for myself what works and what doesn’t in the Great White North.
* Many international tour operators have become cognizant of dietary restrictions. Even if you’re planning a truly exotic trip to Africa or India, all you need to do is ask and you’ll be provided with a gluten-free, dairy free, diabetic, vegetarian, Halal…whatever sort of diet you want, really.
* I might reconsider my no-India stance if I could afford to see the country via a 1st class suite in a luxury rail car.
* I wish I’d known about Tutto travel bags before I asked for new luggage for Christmas this last year. While I have no personal experience traveling with these bags, the demo is pretty impressive. If I can snag a test model, I will provide a review for my dedicated TWP readers.
* The growing boom in small-group custom tours may become a great boon to travelers with hidden disabilities. Tour operators who do custom tours can, with advance warning, accommodate a surprising range of physical needs even in genuinely exotic destinations. Think African safaris, South American eco-tours, and even treks along the Silk Road. I genuinely hope to be able to provide my TWP readers with more information about these types of tours and destinations in the next few years!