MAY FIRST 2001
New Column by Jane Danielson, Travel Writer
A Warm Welcome
I'm disabled, you know the old wheelchair and cane thing. Have been that way for about 11 years now. So, writing and traveling seemed to be the right mix...But guess what ...I found not everywhere is accessible.
But let me be very clear about my Travel Writing. I look at Traveling as something that is good for the heart and for the soul. It's about experiences and beauty.
Attitudes are very important even when accessibility is not ideal. If you have the right attitude and are prepared for your travel you can make it a success! Travel is a magnificent eye opener and a wonderful mind expander. Traveling can supply us with a reprieve from dependence, traveling can replenish our confidence and set us free if not in body, then in spirit and soul. It can open our hearts.
What it boils down to is this: There's big old world out there, so let's go and experience it. So welcome, to my world, The world of the Disabled Traveler. A world of fun, excitement and new experiences. Enjoy and Keep Smiling
Murphy's Law & Wheel Travel: Canada
1.The handicapped parking at the hotel is down a hill beside a pole.
2.The electric access doors broken and weighs 10 tons.
3.There will be a thick carpet in all hallways.
4.You go to register and the desk staff talks over your head to your standing travel companion.
5."Handicapped rooms will be the farthest from the elevator and closest to the fire exit stairway.
6.All bathroom doors will be 18" or less.
7.Toilet paper will be at least 5' form the john.
8.Towels will be hung 6" form the ceiling.
9.Toilet seats will be 2' from the floor.
10.Mirrors will be 5' from the floor.
11.Controls for the heating and cooling will be at least 6' from the floor (or about 2' above what you can reach).
12.Furniture will be placed in front of the drapery pulls.
13.Light switches will be hidden behind the remaining furniture.
14.There will be no sliding doors on closets.
15.Instead there will be swing out doors in narrow hallways.
16.There will only 1 bed, when 2 were requested" no handicap rooms have two beds?
17.Phone will be as far away from the bed a possible.
18.The dining room, bar and gift shop will be down stairs.
19.Elevators will be shut down at 10:00pm every night.
Wheel Travel: Canada
Murphy’s law is a part of traveling. So be prepared!! Remember the best laid plans of mice and men . . . A smile goes along way.
When things go wrong or there are hassles and screw-ups just chalk this up to a good story you can tell the folks back home. At the very least, you’re experiencing life first hand, up front and personal and not just home cacooning.
Getting there can be half the fun
Recently, I had the occasion of being whisked away to paradise (Hawaii) by Canadian Airlines > Now Canadian is Air Canada and I have found the same excellent service Note.. If you are changing plans en route, always have the wheelchair ticketed only to the change destination, then re-ticketed on from there, otherwise the chair could checked through with your luggage. Tip, when you are making your reservations with Air Canada tell them that you are disabled and your requirements. They are very willing to assist but you have a responsibility to tell them your needs. I try to reserve the bulkhead seats, just more room.
Traveling as I do, I need a car or van and have found Hertz to be exemplary in service and attitude. I recommend the use of a Mini Van. The mini vans are seven-passenger and comfortable. Lots of room for luggage, wheelchair and great space for the kids. Hertz is in the forefront with no rental identification. Just makes the trip that much secure. The folks at Hertz have got it right !! Hertz’s services for the physically challenged travelers are available to both Hertz renters and any member of the traveling party. Hertz has over 900 locations with 185 locations in Canada including all major airports.
Hand Controls: *Hand controls are available at all of the approximately 900 corporate locations in Canada and United states * Hand control equipment is available at no additional charge. A $25 deposit is required on non -credit card rentals. * 24 hours notice for reserving hand controlled cars at major locations and 48 hours at all other locations *A traveler with a disability is not confined to a certain make or model when renting.
Spinner Knobs: * Spinner knobs are also available at no additional charges. They may be requested for use alone or in conjunction with vehicle hand controls.
Drivers for the Blind or Physically Impaired: *Drivers for the blind or physically impaired who have a valid drivers license and who are at least 25 years old may rent from Hertz as a designated driver using the physically disabled credit card, and is considered the authorized driver
Accessible Parking: Hertz has designated accessible parking spaces at car return areas at all corporate locations. Note: Renters should bring their own ISA permit for parking
Hertz offers the following services in Canada:
1.Computerized Driving Directions( CDD): Theses are customer friendly self service terminals and provided printed directions in 6 languages. The CDD furnishes detailed directions to local destinations including estimated time and distance.
2.Instant Return Service: At major airports a Hertz agent meets customers with a hand held computer and issues a receipt in under a minute.
3. 24 Hour Road Side Assistance: Is available in the event there is a problem with a Hertz rental car anywhere in North America
4. Cellular Phones: Are available in most major centres upon request.
5.Hertz #1 Club Gold Imagine having a car that you’ve preselected according to your preferences ready waiting for you at any one of over 240 airports throughout Canada and the United states and Europe. No long line ups, no paperwork to fill out, no waiting for your car nothing to slow you down.Just apply to become a Club Gold Member
6.Hertz Hotline 1-800-461-4421. ..Exclusive number to great savings, 24 hour privileged access to over 100 Four and five star hotels in 34 Canadian cities coast to coast with savings up to 50%
Hertz has TDD for hearing impaired and speech impaired customers 24 hours TDD (toll free) 1-800-654-2280 Reservations (world wide) 1-800-263-0600
Check back soon for travel tips and information for Train Travel in Canada!