Images Courtesy of © Travel For All | Encouraging Accessible Travel
At 29 years old, Tarita Davenock was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and urged by her physicians to leave her job as a Social Worker due to stress. Unsure of where to go next, Davenock decided to indulge her love of travel and found joy in a role as a travel advisor, helping people arrange the adventures of their dreams. But as her MS progressed and Davenock began using a wheelchair, she realized how different the world of travel was for people with disabilities.
One in four people has some form of disability—equating to a huge group of people who may experience difficulties traveling or may even avoid it altogether due to stress. A vocal advocate for accessibility awareness, she built Travel For All around the mantra that “travel should be INCLUSIVE, not exclusive.”
Traveling with a disability can cause a lot of anxiety. Between facing the unknown and being away from our regular support systems, the fear can often outweigh the fun, especially at first.
“Accessible travel is not only for people in wheelchairs,” says Davenock. “Accessible travel includes seniors, young people, and people with other disabilities that some may think will limit their ability to travel.”
Often, seniors and people with disabilities are pushed towards cruises or all-inclusive resorts as a default vacation option because those locales are “easier”—but why should your travel dreams be limited to only the least challenging destinations? Travel For All is on a mission to make every corner of the globe available to people of any ability, providing clients with peace of mind so that they can travel with confidence.
Making travel plans can be difficult, especially when health restrictions are changing so quickly and so often. Careful planning gives travelers a sense of confidence and control so that they know precisely what to expect and what to do if things go awry. From pre-planning to post-travel and at every moment in between, Travel for All makes clients feel supported and confident in managing their travel experience.
“Having a physical disability or a child with special needs should not exclude anyone from traveling, but you may need to spend some extra time planning to have the trip of a lifetime,” Davenock continues.
“Once a person tells me what their disability is and where they want to go, I can make sure that all the hotels are accessible, the different types of transportation they want to take are accessible, and all the events they plan to attend are accessible. If they need special equipment on their trip, we can make sure it’s available. For instance, on some trips, individuals may need lifts or hoists. When they reach their destinations, I make sure the lift or the hoists are there waiting for them.”
With over 25 years of experience, Travel For All is able to anticipate hurdles that their clients may experience and plan around them or prevent them entirely. Almost every disabled traveler has at least one story of encountering an accommodation labeled as “accessible” and arriving to find that it is not. Working with a knowledgeable advisor reduces the likelihood that travelers will face these situations during their trip.
The world is taking notice of people with disabilities and is becoming accessible for people who want to travel. Regardless of age or ability level, everyone deserves to enjoy their lives and experience travel on their terms. With Travel for All, adventures become barrier-free.