* This post is written by a guest blogger - it is not sponsored. *
Launched in 2020, the VacayAbility website features user reviews and ratings on attractions, hotels, and restaurants, with a focus on accessibility-related factors. Users can create free accounts to review businesses and tourist sites. You can give a star rating in several categories, indicating whether the establishment has accessible bathrooms or is allergy-friendly, for example. Reviewers can list their own comments and ask/respond to questions about various topics, such as whether a business has food and water available, if it provides wheelchair rentals, or has accessible parking spaces.
It’s not just for people living with mobility-related disabilities. The site features ratings about accessibility for people who are deaf or hard of hearing; who are blind or have low vision; for people looking for sensory-friendly settings; and more. While there are many accessibility travel websites, few only allow YOU - the user - to rate and review places and even fewer are global with users able to rate based on different accessibility needs.
VacayAbility was created after going to see a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, for treatment. I love to travel, but I don’t just have mobility issues. I also use a feeding tube, have allergy problems, and sometimes have sensory-friendly needs. What I thought would be a quick Google search to find things to do when not at the hospital, merely resulted in hikes, hikes and more hikes - a no-go for me. I genuinely spent more time searching for accessible activities/outings than I spent preparing for the actual appointments! Even if websites and guidebooks say places are accessible, yet sometimes the locations are not. Hence why I wanted something global. Something that included all types of accommodations and accessibility needs, not just physical.
While VacayAbility cannot be successful without YOUR reviews, our website does provide more than just this! We have a blog that features accessible travel news and tips, and a Virtual Vacation Destination Series. We have a podcast that features real conversations on a variety of topics relating to disability and chronic illness, with captioning available. Lastly, we also have a shop that provides users with the ability to purchase awesome travel accessories!
Between Lauren’s and my personal expenses of travelling with our disabilities, we can help our audiences navigate the challenges of travelling with a disability to ensure that the members of our communities can have a holiday as accessible and problem-free as possible. Both AYL and VacayAbility have helpful travel tips on our websites that will guide our users through the obstacles that travelling with a disability cause. Whilst also introducing and advising potential travellers on the perfect mobility products and accessories for their lives and holiday!