Travel Made Easy: Be persistent, part 2

Have you noticed that hotel beds are getting higher? At least two of the last hotels where I’ve stayed had beds so high, I couldn’t climb into the bed without help. One of the rooms was a handicapped accessible room with two big problems: the bed was too high and the safe was at the top of the closet.

Traveling with a mobility challenge, how do you get the hotel room that works best for you? Knowing what you need and being persistent.

  • Determine what you will need in the room. Do you need a roll-in shower, a shower with bars, a tub with bars, a raised toilet?
  • Determine the room location you will need while in the hotel. Do you need to be close to the elevators, close to the lobby, etc.?
  • Does the hotel have an elevator?
  • If possible, call the hotel directly to make your reservation. Make your room requests directly with the hotel and ask them to make a note in the reservation about the requests. Toll-free reservation staff is great but they don’t always know exactly what is available IN the hotel room.
  • Always inspect the room while checking-in. If it doesn’t fit your needs, discuss the options with the desk clerk or manager.
  • Have some flexibility in the bedding types. You may prefer a room with a king bed, but if the room with two queen beds has the bathroom you need, don’t fight it.

But what to do about the high beds? When traveling by car, I bring a short stool that makes it easier to get into and out of the bed. On our last road trip, we brought the stool and never took it out of the car because the beds were of reasonable height.

Getting the right hotel while traveling internationally can be a whole other story. I suggest you have that detailed discussion with your travel professional about the points above. Some international hotels, especially smaller properties will not have accessible rooms. Actually, some of the smaller hotels might not even have an elevator.

Attending a conference in Cancun, I requested a handicapped accessible room close to the lobby. This hotel was enormous with the meeting rooms and restaurants located close to the lobby were still a good distance to walk. The hotel informed me they could give me a room close to the lobby but not a handicapped room. After inspecting the room, I decided I could work with the shower in the room. What I didn’t anticipate was the height of the bed. After one night dealing with the high bed, my husband went to the concierge and explained the problem. Obviously, the height of the bed was a problem for a lot of people. A small stool was delivered to our room within hours. Problem solved.

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About Kate DeLosso

Kate DeLosso is a travel professional with over 20 years of experience traveling the world on land and by ship, visiting over 30 countries with an emphasis on travel in Asia. Kate DeLosso Travel is a home based travel agency that helps individual travelers and groups explore the US, Europe and Asia. A number of years ago, Kate had stroke and had to re-learn how to walk, type and drive a car. With a mobility handicap, she became aware that travel was “different” for people with physical challenges. One of her missions has become to share the knowledge accumulated after 20 years of traveling the world as a mobility challenged person. Kate DeLosso is a Certified Travel Counselor, Special Interest Travel Specialist and an Accredited Cruise Counselor and founder of Kate DeLosso Travel. She has lived and worked in Chadds Ford since 1999.

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