* This post is written by a guest blogger - it is not sponsored. *
Launched in 2020, VacayAbility is a website that 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 write their own comments and also respond to questions about various topics, including if the business has food and water available and if it provides wheelchair rentals. It’s not just for those 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.
We compare VacayAbility to Trip Advisor, but for accessibility. It’s personal for me. 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.
VacayAbility was created after going to see a specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, for treatment. A quick Google search about things to do nearby featured hikes, hikes and more hikes — a no-go for me. It became more time-consuming for me to find things to do in my off-time than it was preparing for these doctor’s appointments, just trying to find things that were accessible to me. Even if websites and guidebooks say places are accessible, in reality sometimes the locations are not. I wanted something global. I wanted 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 traveling with our disabilities we can help our audiences navigate the challenges of traveling with a disability to insure 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 traveling with a disability cause. Whilst also introducing and advising potential travellers on the perfect mobility products and accessories for their lives and holiday!