- MemberSeptember 7, 2020 at 6:03 pm
Hello, I started writing a page in my website on the fact that accessible holidays are perceived as more expensive than the regular ones, and offering the group tours as an option to save money (and meet new people). While some things I do notice are more expensive, I also see that the tour operators I know and work with have sometimes very affordable prices, if compared with similar packages from other mainstream tour operators. But I am wondering what is the perception in general/
What is your perception/practical experience? Are accessible holidays always more expensive?
- MemberSeptember 7, 2020 at 8:47 pm
The only tours I have been on are individual tours – so, a tour, but only with me. They have tended to be more expensive.
I think transportation is the biggest “extra” expense. I have traveled around Japan a lot and when going to smaller cities/towns I need to hire a car/taxi and they charge so much – even more than a regular taxi. For example, I used a taxi for only about 3 hours in a small city for an airport transfer and to one tourist site and they charged nearly the same as the airfare to get to the city!
So, while the hotel/guide would be equivalent, the transport really adds to the cost. If a tour provider is offering enough accessible tours, than they can likely bring down their cost to the same as others. But some places don’t get enough business so they try to make up for it by charging more I think…
- MemberSeptember 7, 2020 at 9:50 pm
If doing a tour alone or only 2 people yes they tend to be more expensive. However, if you can get a group tour those costa are more in line with a standard group tour.
The transport is definitely the problem around the world. Luckily in canada and the united states taxis are required to charge only what they would charge anyone. Many taxis wont do the sightseeing though. They require you to book a day tour or several hours at that inflated cost. Now in canada specifically the insurance cost for operating a wheelchair accessible vehicles is huge! So they have to charge the inflated cost or they cant cover their costs.
- MemberSeptember 7, 2020 at 11:51 pm
Yes, traveling solo, unless you are able to use (and like) hostels is more expensive for everyone, all abilities. I have been talking to various tour operators and each one has a “magic number” that allows for the best price, it depends on the capacity of the accessible mean of transport used, and it can mean a difference of over 100 Euros on the tour price sometimes. The hotel rooms on the other hand: they change more because the accessible rooms are bigger so they go automatically in a higher room type? Should this be maybe forbidden by law, or would this discourage the hotels in creating more accessible rooms perhaps?
- MemberSeptember 8, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Not really charge more as In an extra, but that they automatically belong to a higher category and are therefore more expensive?
- MemberSeptember 8, 2020 at 4:29 pm
Ah, I see.
Actually, it is the opposite here: almost all of the accessible hotels are the lowest category and it is hard to find an accessible nicer room – many people complain about that.
- MemberSeptember 9, 2020 at 2:25 am
In the US hotels are required under ADA to have accessible rooms in a variety of categories (note not all do). I find in Canada and the US accessible rooms are often in the lower rooms categories anyways for price. So even though you are getting more space you are paying for the lower room category. This does not apply to every situation but many.
- MemberSeptember 11, 2020 at 8:17 am
Based on my experience traveling solo or in small groups, I think it’s definitely more expensive due to many different aspects. As you’ve mentioned, the main factor is transportation. Due to accessibility issues, available means of transport tend to be fewer and you usually have to rely on more expensive options. For instance, most inter-city buses are out of the question for many people with disabilities. It also depends on the country, but in most places I’ve visited, long distance buses is the least accessible transportation (and usually it’s the cheapest), thus you have to rely on trains (if both the train and the stations are accessible), plane or taxi (which in many places are not accessible or they sometimes charge extra).
Then there’s the accommodation. If you are traveling on a low budget and you plan to stay at a backpackers hotel or at a youth hostel, at least in Europe, these options don’t tend to be accessible. If you’re looking at apartments through AirBnB or similar, the accessible options tend to be more limited. Usually accessible apartments are in newer buildings, which are also more expensive. Also, as you’ve said, in some countries accessible rooms are high tier rooms and are a bit more expensive.
Then there’s the planning time. It’s not direct cost, but planning time is way higher, as you have less room for improvisation and as you need to make sure that everything is accessible or, otherwise, as you have to find an accessible way or option. This, as you know, is time consuming and, in some places, nearly impossible.
Another factor to take into account related to time, is traveling time. Usually, due to the aforementioned accessibility problems with transportation, traveling time is also higher (less options, detours, slower transfers, etc.). As traveling time is higher, either you can sightsee less or you have to stay more days to do the same.
Finally, if you’re traveling with an assistant or someone that helps you, then you have to nearly double the amount.
It’s true that sometimes there are discounts when visiting museums or other sightseeing attractions for people with disabilities and their assistants, but sometimes it’s the opposite, you have to get specific accessible seating that usually it’s not in the lower tier of seating prices either.
All in all, the discounts do not compensate at all the extra cost of traveling. Nevertheless, as also said, extra cost also changes a lot depending on the country, but I’d say that one way or the other, unfortunately, there are still extra costs when it comes to accessible travel.
- MemberOctober 5, 2020 at 5:07 am
From my experience, yes, it’s definitely more expensive, especially if you are using specialized tour operators, who do good job but also profit from the fact that there’s no alternative (often with stupid excuses). And I have contacted many such operators in various countries. All are expensive and almost all are ridiculously expensive.
As for accessible travel in general, if you avoid the specialized tour operators (I certainly don’t trust them, sorry), and if you are ok to get out of your comfort zone a bit, then you can travel with a pretty reasonable budget, but still more expensive if you use personal assistance etc, as you pay for two.
I have paid some crazy prices, but I have done also some pretty cheap trips. It’s up to you and what you prioritize.
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