Heat will do it. Being unable to get around easily will do it. For so many people living with Multiple Sclerosis, there are many reasons to think twice about going on vacation. It can seem like too much work for not enough payoff.
To find out how the Multiple Sclerosis community is finding ways to vacation that truly work, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. The question we posed to the group is: “Are there any vacation spots that you would recommend as being ‘MS-friendly?’”
Almost 50 of you commented, sharing your tips and suggestions. Here is what you recommend.
“Cruises are fantastic.”
The number one answer given by the community was cruises. Several of you shared that cruises offer special ADA rooms, aka rooms that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Moreover, scooters are available for rent on board the ship to make it easy to get around.
“Cruises are fantastic. I have been on three since I’ve had MS and they are incredibly helpful. You can rent a scooter that will be delivered to your cabin before you arrive onto the cruise and then you leave it there when you depart and they pick it up and take it back.”
“I love to take cruises. I’m relieved to know they are wheelchair compatible! Will definitely be checking them out”
“Definitely a cruise. The ships are very accessible and the ADA cabins are huge. I cruise in late spring before temperatures are too high. Lots of food and entertainment that are included in the price. Plus, there are Travel Agencies that specialize in handicap travel.”
“I found Disney properties to be really good.”
Quite a few on you mentioned Disney—both the parks and the resorts. The parks have been designed to accommodate people in wheelchairs and with limited mobility. A couple of you pointed out that disability passes are available to make waiting times for rides much shorter. If you are staying at a Disney resort, it has been shared that you can call to ask for anything you may need when dining or getting around. Disney really is a company that has thought of every last detail to make your vacation as comfortable as possible.
“DISNEY WORLD! We take my mother who is wheelchair-bound every year. Every aspect of the trip and the resorts is equipped for her.”
“I agree on Disney. I haven’t stayed on property but they are very accommodating. I got the disability pass just to avoid the wait in lines and it was as pain-free as possible.”
“I found Disney properties to be really good, especially if you’re staying on property. They have a special phone line with staff that can assist with making sure your room is good for your needs and that dining reservations are set up for any special assistive devices and dietary needs. Getting around with a rented scooter was easy both around the parks and the hotels. Their staff were all super helpful and never made me feel awkward or problematic. I also got registered for their disability access program with no hassle so I could avoid standing in long lines in the heat. Oh and both the hotel pools had zero depth entry so I didn’t have to deal with stairs or ladders!”
“I’ve found that state parks are good.”
One huge benefit of state-run and national parks is that they are designed to be wheelchair and disability friendly. In many parks, paths and scenic overlooks are paved and include ramps so everyone can enjoy the view and access the forests, wetlands and other natural attractions. Some of the state campgrounds also have special wheelchair-access sites. To find out more about certain parks, research online or call ahead and ask a ranger at the park.
“We have an RV and enjoy camping. I’ve found that state parks are good and you can go online to find paved trails or viewing sites. Some parks even have wheelchair friendly lots with more room or a completely paved site, which is really nice!”
“Almost any RV park or campground.”
“I prefer the cold.”
For some of you, all that matters is the temperature. Many in the community have mentioned that heat only exacerbates symptoms, so it’s natural that when you escape, you want to escape your symptoms, too. For some of you, that just means a resort with AC, or avoiding the tropics—and for others of you, that means heading to Canada, Alaska, Iceland and other locales where heat is anything but an issue.
“AC is a must-have! I can’t vacation in the more tropical climates if they don’t have AC. I found that Vancouver, Canada, was an amazing place to visit. It had perfect weather for me (upper 60s) in the summer.”
“I can’t deal with the heat when it comes to vacation. I prefer the cold, the rain, and the wind. My perfect weather is about 70 degrees or less.”
“The best is Banff National Park Of Canada.”
We wish to say thank you to everyone who offered their vacation suggestions. We hope that everyone has an excellent time on their next getaway.