Hi, I have always loved traveling. A few years ago I became disabled but can still walk a couple of blocks with a walker. Do you know of a tour group that could accommodate me and allow me to still enjoy traveling? I miss it. Thank you
This Conde Nast Traveler article may get you started:
Or this one from the Points Guy:
Where do you want to go? Since you posted on a Europe-focused forum, I'm guessing that's your target?
I'll add that this is going to be a difficult search. I've taken 12 Road Scholar tours which is aimed at the senior traveler but none of the ones in Europe were appropriate for someone using a walker. On several programs people used canes or walking poles which worked fine. They just skipped the areas with lots of stairs but they could keep up with a moderate walking pace on a city walk. Each Road Scholar tour has an activity level and they are pretty on target. Here is a link that explains their activity.
The least active programs for Europe are the "on your feet" level. I did not find any for the "Easy Going" level of activity. Here are the On Your Feet ones.
This resource that was discussed a couple years ago may be helpful. All the best. https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/trip-planning/travelers-with-disabilities
My question for you is if you have ever tried cruising? The reason I ask is that you can have a scooter to help get you around on the ship or even in port. Many ports have specially designed excursion for people with mobility issues. You might consider trying a short cruise to see if it is for you.
Michelle, try connecting with this resource for travelers with disabilities:
Rick Steve's has recommended Sage Traveling for travelers with accessibility challenges.
My wife has mobility problems in that she cannot walk long distances. But she's okay for short walks.
We travel with a high line folding scooter that is TSA approved with a lithium battery good for 10+ miles without charging.
From time to time, I'll have to carry it up a few steps in a subway/underground. But we were in Berlin & Dresden 3 months ago and navigated the city without issue. I can even handle the wife's 21" rolling bag and my backpack suitcase without any assistance.
On a scooter, we go to the front of every line. That includes airplanes and riding to the plane down jetways.
I will second cruising as an option. I have MS and am now disabled. I remember being in the Vatican Museum in 2011 and having a muscle spasm that prevented me from negotiating the stairs. The lift was for those with disabilities as identified as needing wheelchairs or walking aids. At the time I did not use a cane, but I did have a letter from my doctor that allowed me to travel with my injectable medications that I showed the tour guide who then let me use the lift. That trip we did a Med Cruise from Rome to Greek islands and Turkey. The 4 days pre cruise in Rome did me in. It was nice to have the ship to board, unpack once, then enjoy the scenery and visit Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Ephesus, Istanbul and Amalfi Coast from Naples. We had prearranged non ship day tours through Cruise critic forum with other travelers, usually in a van, not a bus. We even met Rick Steves on that cruise.
I went on a pilgrimage in 2019 to Fatima and trained for 3 months to be able to walk and negotiate the tour bus steps. I had to take care of myself because my husband did not come with me. The bus steps were steep and often I would go down the steps backwards. We stayed at the same hotel in Fatima for 9 nights and did day trips to Lisbon, Obidos, Coimbra, Porto, Bathala/Nazare. The sidewalks in Portugal were slippery. There were stairs everywhere. Some of the churches we visited for daily Mass did not have ramps. I don't think I could do a bus tour any longer and would rather cruise or go to a location and hire a driver to take me around.
I'm currently training for our trip to Portugal in June. We will be on the move quite a bit, playing tourist and visiting family, using a rental car and taxis/uber. My days of metro use with luggage are over.
I think a cruise would give you the ability to travel again, meet new people to share meals with like on a bus tour, but with the ability to plan accessible tours in cities that make device use very difficult. Some cruises do overnight stops so although you may miss some of the smaller towns you could visit a larger city at night. The ports for Rome and Athens are 30-60 minutes away, but ports for Istanbul, Naples, Oslo, Stockholm and Lisbon are very close to historic and modern sites depending upon the size of the cruise ship. I hear river cruises are nice too, but I have not taken one yet.
Thanks for asking this! I am planning a trip with my parents who have this challenge and just started looking for resources
In Porto and Lisbon, we used Uber daily. While he’s not disabled, my husband is 90 and walks with a cane. Without Uber, our trip would have been miserable. He was exhausted at the end of each day with it. However, we thought both cities were totally worth it. Just be prepared to pare back and prioritize your must-see list.