Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Importance of Using a SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate


There’s nothing quite like traveling, and today, having a special need or disability does not deter anyone from seeing the world. A famous quote states, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.”

However, when planning a trip, individuals with special needs or disabilities can benefit greatly from working with a travel agent; even more so with agents who have achieved the Special Needs Group Certified Accessible Travel Advocate™ designation.
Image courtesy of bls.gov
A travel agent can plan every aspect of the trip ahead of time, eliminating a great deal of stress for the traveler. This holds true especially for travelers with special needs, as planning ahead is more likely to result in a safe, hassle-free, and enjoyable experience.

Agents who are Certified Accessible Travel Advocates have the critical knowledge, skills, and resources to help clients with special needs realize their travel dreams. They have completed a program with objectives focusing on understanding accessible travel, building expertise in accessible travel and demonstrating accessible travel advocacy skills. They have unparalleled, specialized knowledge of how to best service travelers with special needs.

Specific ways that Certified Accessible Travel Advocates can help clients with special needs are:

  • They know the ins and outs of destinations. They know which locations, ships, cruise lines, hotels, museums, historic landmarks, etc. are more accessible than others. This information can be crucial for everything from dining and excursions to hearing/vision impaired equipment availability.
  • They can arrange accessible transportation, as well as vehicle insurance, for their clients.
  • They can make pre-arrangements with airlines/airports for clients with special needs, including arranging for wheelchair assistance, care for service animals, etc.
  • They can help with equipment rentals, including wheelchairs, motorized scooters, oxygen, and more.
  • Oftentimes, they can get better deals on travel insurance than the consumer through special deals with insurance carriers.
  • They can provide valuable feedback and tips to travelers with special needs about how to best travel – for example, safety measures for using a power scooter while on vacation, what time to arrive at shows to ensure they receive the best possible seating, how to best maneuver around a cruise ship, etc.
  • They have unique resources to help their clients, whether they have special needs or not, to find affordable airfare, tickets, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. They can advise clients to ask about reduced fares for a companion or caregiver, if appropriate.

Working with a travel agent, particularly a Special Needs Group Certified Accessible Travel Advocate, has a number of advantages over online travel booking services. Travelers can save time, money, and a great deal of stress by going through a travel agent. Most importantly, Certified Accessible Travel Advocates can give personalized, customized service, as well as peace of mind to clients with special needs.

Image courtesy of disabilitytravel.co.uk
To find a Certified Accessible Travel Advocate, simply visitwww.specialneedsgroup.com or call 1.800.513.4515.

About Special Needs Group: Special Needs Group Inc. is the leading global provider for Special Needs travel. We offer a broad range of Special Needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters, power chairs, oxygen, baby cribs, and more. We are recommended by ALL major cruise lines for superior service and value. Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. For more info, visitwww.specialneedsgroup.com.

“To travel is to live.” –Hans Christian Andersen