From a community member:
My husband and I would like to take a tour of the national parks. He is unable to walk more than a few feet and cannot lift his legs to use the high step into a motor coach. He has a folding scooter that he can use for long " walks". Are there any travel companies that can accommodate us? Thank you.
Tapooz travel specialized in nature vacations around the western US
Following as we love the national parks!
Hello, I would recommend curb free with Cory Lee’s travel agency. He himself is in a wheelchair and has a very good understanding of what’s needed. I actually went somewhere with Tapooz and I thought they did not do a good job at all. I would not at all recommend them.
The good thing, is that there are many nice national parks here that are very wheelchair accessible, and there is easily available information about accessibility on each national Park website. I have been to many.
I used Tapooz a few years ago to go to Portugal. It was a horrible experience and actually dangerous for me at some points. One of the owners was supposed to be helping me and lost control of my manual wheelchair going downhill and asked me to grab the wheels. A person in a manual wheelchair can’t do that without damaging their hands. She was actually running behind my wheelchair and lost control. In my opinion, this is a sign of a lack of experience helping people in wheelchairs. Also, they claimed to be experts with vision impaired, which I am also vision impaired. And this was not true. They treated me like I was completely blind, and always put me in the very back of the bus where the view and ride was the worst.
One of the owners asked me to transfer onto a seawall so the people who brought power chairs could borrow my manual chair, since I was the only one in a manual chair. They needed to borrow my manual chair because the lift to get up to the site was rated for far less and could not haul up everybody’s power chairs— terrible planning on their part. The seawall had no back support and a 30 foot drop to the rocks below!
They also charged me about $1000 more than what they said they would, because even though I was very upfront and clear to them of my needs, they decided I needed too much and told me I should hire an extra person to help and pay for that. If their tour had actually been “wheelchair accessible “, I would’ve had very few problems.
More than once, they brought us to a historic site, and there would be no wheelchair access so we just turned around and left. When we signed up, we were told that this tour had been checked out and vetted, boots on the ground, by one of the owners personally. Yet there were so many major problems, and so many things that were overlooked.
I think the husband owner is a very good sales person, but neither are good accessible travel agents.
Both owners seem to lack compassion in my opinion. I provided detailed feedback after the trip and heard from somebody on a subsequent trip that they were still doing many of the same things that I recommended that they change.
I hope this helps.
I want to add travel agencies that specialize in wheelchair accessible travel that I would recommend. I have not personally used them, but I know they are owned and operated by persons who themselves use wheelchairs.
Sage travel, John Sage
Curbfree with Cory Lee
Travel for all, Tarita Davenock
Pushliving with Deborah Davis