Most disabilities shouldn't stop anyone from traveling, even in Fiji, where ramps, handles, accessible toilets, automatic opening doors, telephones at convenient heights, and other helpful aids such as those found in Western countries are just beginning to appear.
Some hotels provide rooms specially equipped for people with disabilities. Such improvements are ongoing; inquire when making a reservation whether such rooms are available.
The major international airlines make special arrangements for travelers with disabilities. Be sure to tell them of your needs when you reserve. Although most local airlines use small planes that are not equipped for those with disabilities, their staffs go out of their way to help everyone get in and out of the craft.
Organizations that offer a vast range of resources and assistance to travelers with disabilities include MossRehab (tel. 800/CALL-MOSS (225-5667); www.mossresourcenet.org); the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) (tel. 800/232-5463; www.afb.org); and SATH (Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality) (tel. 212/447-7284; www.sath.org). AirAmbulanceCard.com is now partnered with SATH and allows you to preselect top-notch hospitals in case of an emergency.
Access-Able Travel Source (tel. 303/232-2979; www.access-able.com) offers a comprehensive database on travel agents from around the world with experience in accessible travel; destination-specific access information; and links to such resources as service animals, equipment rentals, and access guides.
Many travel agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Among them are Flying Wheels Travel (tel. 507/451-5005; www.flyingwheelstravel.com); and Accessible Journeys (tel. 800/846-4537 or 610/521-0339; www.disabilitytravel.com).
Flying with Disability (www.flying-with-disability.org) is a comprehensive information source on airplane travel. Avis Rent a Car (tel. 888/879-4273) has an "Avis Access" program that offers services for customers with special travel needs. These include specially outfitted vehicles with swivel seats, spinner knobs, and hand controls; mobility scooter rentals; and accessible bus service. Be sure to reserve well in advance.
Also check out the quarterly magazine Emerging Horizons (www.emerginghorizons.com), available by subscription ($16.95 year U.S.; $21.95 outside U.S).
The "Accessible Travel" link at Mobility-Advisor.com (www.mobility-advisor.com) offers a variety of travel resources to travelers with disabilities.
British travelers should contact Holiday Care (tel. 0845-124-9971 in U.K. only; www.holidaycare.org.uk) to access a wide range of travel information and resources for travelers with disabilities and the elderly.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.