My wife had a brain haemorrhage, leaving her quite profoundly disabled. We also have a young son - he's just turned three.

What family holidays can you suggest we might be able to enjoy - both now and in the years to come?

We live in the UK and used to love visiting old cities in Europe. We also liked walking in forests and mountains, and enjoyed snowboarding.

For reference, the pertinent aspects of my wife's disabilities are as follows:

  • She's a wheelchair user, and her wheelchair is slightly longer than a standard one.
  • Her only real movement is in one arm, so she's totally dependent on others for mobility. She doesn't have a powered chair at the moment, but might get one in future. For now, I'm pushing her everywhere.
  • She tires easily.
  • She is almost completely unable to communicate, though this is improving slowly. However, she still understands perfectly what's going on around her.
  • She's still her old self on the inside: all her memories, emotions, likes and dislikes are intact.

Our son is a typical three-year-old boy and enjoys all the things you'd expect. He's better-behaved than average though, which might be in our favour.

  • do you have a destination in mind? Is this all of Europe, or worldwide, or just in the UK/Ireland perhaps?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 22:29
  • Can your wife travel on bus/train/ferry/plane?
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Sep 13, 2012 at 22:29
  • We'd consider anywhere, but as she tires easily, longer journeys would be harder. Still, they might be worth it. Right now, no - public transport would be extremely difficult. She is improving though, so let's pretend she can. I'll save those ideas for later. :)
    – teedyay
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 0:16
  • Think about saving the money on not going on holiday to get a powered chair- freedom is worth so much. Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 16:17
  • The High Peak and Tissington Trails in the Peak District are very accessible, Parsley Hay Cycle Hire has "bikes" that are attached to the back of a wheelchair. Commented Jul 30, 2015 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


Maybe you know it already, but might be helpful for other readers, too: wheelmap.org

It's an OpenStreetMap where users can mark if places/buildings are wheelchair accessible. You can filter the map to only show places related to tourism.

Also, at least in Germany, some cities/areas have accessibility guides that list accessible hotels, free time activities etc. – some probably in German only, though. So if you'd be interested in holidays in a certain city in Germany, I could look for such info.


The best country to visit when in a wheelchair is most likely the US. All public places have to be wheelchair-accessible, and nobody steals the designated parking spots.

What you want to visit depends on what you like most. There aren't that many old cities, of course (though e.g. Boston and San Francisco are nice), but there are plenty of amazing museums, particularly in Washington DC. And of course there's all the theme parks everywhere.

  • 1
    As a US citizen and a Disabled one at that, stealing designated spots, is frowned upon, but still done, and it irks those of us that need them.
    – eyoung100
    Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 20:48
  • 1
    @ECarterYoung: In my experience, designated parking spots are honored a whole lot more in the US than in continental Europe.
    – Jonas
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 8:09

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