Dee is a fellow Canadian Wheel Love, living in Nova Scotia with her partner Kevin. Together, they have created Accessible Adventurers and post content about traveling in a wheelchair. Make sure to check out their social media channels to learn all their tips, tricks, and accessible vacation destinations! You can find them on Facebook @Accessible Adventurers, Instagram @accessibleadventurers and on YouTube Accessible Adventurers
Tell us a bit about your love story?
Kevin and I met in 2013 when I was working as a sailing instructor for the adaptive sailing program in Halifax. We became great friends and started dating in the fall of 2014. Right from the start we realized we both loved making anything into an adventure, from running errands to booking our first trip by airplane together to Hawaii. Six years later I still feel like the luckiest gal around and am always looking forward to the next adventure.
What is Accessible Adventurers and how did it start?
Accessible Adventurers is a way for us to share our experiences as an interabled couple. It started as an Instagram account three years ago; a way for us to share the ‘behind the scenes’ photos of our trips! We became part of a fantastic community online and became motivated to start a YouTube channel about 18 months ago! We have so much fun creating content for Accessible Adventurers and it keeps us active and busy!
What are your top 10 travel tips and why?
- Don’t be afraid to dream!
- Learn from others! There are amazing Facebook groups I use all the time- Accessible Travel Club, Accessible Travel USA/Canada and Wheelchair Accessible Cruising. I also read accessible travel blogs (check out Curb Free By Cory Lee) and YouTube videos!
- Always research the following items and make a plan before doing any bookings. You will need flights/other transportation, transportation to/from airport/hotel and attractions, and accommodations! Without having these things figured out your planning will be very difficult!
- When booking communicate directly with airline, hotel, etc to make sure your partner’s needs will be met. For example- you are set up for wheelchair assistance in the airport, there is a ‘legit’ roll in shower in the hotel room you booked
- Save money by becoming reward members with a certain hotel. Use a credit card that gives travel credit (we love Westjet World Elite MasterCard). Look at Groupon.
- Make a packing list and save it! You will thank yourself the next time you are travelling.
- Make sure your partner packs enough medical supplies so that you can manage “unexpected” situations or delays. Remember- medical bags are free to check on airplanes.
- Make sure you and your partner are healthy! Kevin is prone to urinary tract infections (UTIs) so he always gets a urine sample taken about 2-3 weeks before a trip so that he can obtain the appropriate antibiotics if needed before travelling.
- Know that things will go wrong no matter how much you plan! Even in the tough moments we try to think of it as an adventure!
- HAVE FUN! Travelling may look different but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Communicate with your partner about what activities you are looking forward to and make sure you both get to do things you enjoy while on vacation!
Have you ever experienced a horrible time travelling and how did you overcome it?
We have been in lots of bad situations however I can’t think of any “horrible trips.” When we travel we try to focus on the things we are able to do and the things we are able to control. Unfortunately sometimes things go wrong but we get through them and keep moving forward. An example would be watching the baggage handling staff at the airport improperly handling and damaging Kevin’s power wheelchair. It’s a very sh*tty feeling and in that moment you hate that airplane windows are sound proof! However, there are policies in place to deal with the repair process and although it is horrible, once hischair is fixed we become even more ready to begin exploring on our vacation.
What does the future look like for you and Kevin?
The future looks like a whole lot of adventures. COVID-19 has reminded us how quickly something can be taken away from us (like the ability to fly anywhere) however we’ve had so much fun exploring our beautiful home province of Nova Scotia! We are missing international travel but know that this too shall pass.. On another note we are moving to our dream apartment in less than a week and we are SO excited!