Archives for Travel

Summer Camp fun!

  

There are many possibilities for children of all abilities to enjoy summer camp.  The best-known one is the Easter Seals Summer Camp, but there are many more options for both day and overnight camp opportunities. 

ACT BC‘s Summer Camp List is one of the most comprehensive for children with special needs. 

Also find complete listings of  BCCA accredited camps at the BC Camping Association website.  They have a good list of hints and tips, including this one, "…the people who direct the camp are far more important than the equipment, buildings, and facilities advertised."

Many Disability-centred non-profits also sponsor summer camps for children with specific disabilities.  Check out the organization that supports your child’s disability and see what they may be offering this year.  For example the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC offers funding for children with CP to attend camp and the Canadian Cancer Society has Camp Goodtimes for children and teens living with cancer.

Hints and tips site for Disneyland travellers

  

MouseSavers.com Great deals on all things Disney!

Check out this hot hints and tips website for all things Disney.  The site owners have links to travel agents and travel sites, but the information is FREE.  The site is updated regularly and might be the place to start planning your trip to the Magic Kingdom.  This site and its links could easily take the place of that expensive Disney guidebook you were thinking of purchasing! 

This site is updated regularly (June 2012)

Travelling by bus in BC and Canada?

  

Pacific Coach Lines (travel between Victoria, Vancouver and Whistler) has a limited number of wheelchair lift equipped coaches in its fleet. For passengers who require service with the wheelchair lift equipped coach reservations must be made AT LEAST 48 hours in advance of the trip to guarantee accessible service. For Health and Safety reasons motorized scooters cannot be loaded, unloaded or securely fastened within the baggage bays.

For passengers who use mobility aids but are able to board the coach with some assistance and store their mobility aid under the coach, phone Pacific Coach Lines at least 24 hours before departure to request assistance and be at the depot no less than 30 minutes prior to departure for boarding.

For more detailed information on these services, please contact customer service:

1-800-661-1725 (toll free) or 604-662-7575

 

GREYHOUND BUS LINES  (travel across BC, Canada and the US) allows some people with disabilities and their attendant to ride together for the price of one ticket. This applies only on regular fares, not specials. Most depots have accessible washroom facilities and attendants to assist people in wheelchairs.
Check Greyhound’s web site for current policy as each type of disability (hearing, mobility etc) have diffent eligibility requirements and accomodations.

Greyhound suggests you call their information line to check on the current rules.
Fare and schedule information in Canada
1-800-661-TRIP (8747)

TDD/TTY
1-800-397-7870 5:00 a.m. – Midnight

Get the BC Ferries disability discount

  

If you are a resident of British Columbia and have a permanent disability, reduced fares are available (this applies to passenger fares only).  
To receive them, you must present your BC Ferries Disabled Status Identification (DSI) card.  
Please call BC Ferries for details or you can download the Information for Passengers with Special Needs Brochure (application included).


Passengers requiring the use of an "overheight" vehicle equipped with a mechanical wheelchair lift or ramp may travel for the same cost as an "underheight" vehicle (or car) with or without a DSI card. Please inform the ticket agent of your vehicle’s special status.

An escort (one only) traveling with a person with a disability is eligible for the disabled rate.  The escort must be traveling in the same vehicle as the person with a disability.  Escorts accompanying seniors with a disability traveling on a senior’s free day must pay full fare.

Disabled parking permits in BC, where to get them!

  

Enforceable, plastic placards with permit number and international symbol of access are distributed to people with disabilities, and agencies transporting people with disabilities, so that they may park in designated spaces. Individuals must complete an application form and have it signed by a doctor.

The permits are available from SPARC BC, and are available for download HERE

Mailing address:

SPARC BC

4445 Norfolk St, Burnaby, BC  V5G 0A7

Fax: 604-736-8697

Email: permits@sparc.bc.ca

 

If you are travelling to BC from out of province or out of the country and you want to use your home parking permit or need a temporary permit, find all the information HERE.

Disneyland Tickets cheaper on-line!

  

If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, a good place to purchase your tickets is online at www.arestravel.com. Purchasing your tickets at the ticket booth in Disneyland will generally mean that you are paying way more than you have to!

Here you will find lower prices, and during low season, special deals such as 5 days for the price of 3… adults pay child’s price etc…

Purchase your tickets online, and print out your confirmation. Once you arrive in Disneyland, take your confirmation, picture ID and also the credit card that you purchased your ticket with to the ticket booth and they will give you your tickets!

This is a safe and secure site that I’ve used many many times. And even if no deals are being offered, you will still save some money -usually at least $5.00 per ticket. Which adds up if you are travelling with a group or family!  

 

Lines in Disneyland

  

Many lines in Disneyland can go on for what seems like forever. But, if you know when to line up, you will save yourself a lot of time!

 

"Dumbo" : this ride is super busy during the day, but if you go on it at night, right before the fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, you will find a short line up, as everyone is getting ready to watch the show on the other side of the castle.

"It’s a Small World" : The best time to go on this ride is during the beginning of the parade. For some reason, regardless of how long people have been waiting in line, as soon as the parade starts, everyone leaves the line-up to go watch. This is the perfect time to rush through and get on the ride without have to wait over an hour. Catch the parade either later on that day (summer hours), or the next day. It’s the same parade over and over again. 

 

"Peter Pan’s Flight" : This line up is never short. Even when the sign says that there is only a 25 minute wait – expect to wait at least 45. My best advice: grab some food and have lunch while waiting in line. You have lots of time. 

 

"Indian Jones" : Attempt to get on this ride earlier in the morning, as families usually haven’t made their way to this side of the park yet. Keep in mind, you have to walk for at least 5 minutes from the beginning of what you think is the entrance, to what is actually the ride.

 

"Matterhorn Bobsleds" : When there are two lines ups happening, keep in mind that the line up on the right side of the ride moves faster, yet the ride seems much slower. Whereas if you line up to the left of the mountain, you will find that the line isn’t that bad and you will have a more thrilling adventure! 

 

"Pirates of the Caribbean" : This line up is always long as well. Best time to go on would be during the "Fantasmic" show as everyone is too busy watching that. Again, its the same show everytime, so you can catch it the next day, or watch it later on that evening (two shows during the summer!) . 

 

"Space Mountain" : There’s no way of getting out of this line up, so fast pass it when you can. 

 

"Finding Nemo" : it may be different now, but for the past two years, this line up has been insanely long and my only advice is to attempt it late at night before the park closes. Either that or grab some breakfast and enjoy an earlier morning standing in line. 

 

"Splash Mountain" : This line up is usually really long during hot summer days, and not so bad later at night when it cools down. Fast Pass this ride if you can (fast pass is located on the other side of the mountain, near the Winne the Pooh ride), and if you see that the line up for the ride is close to the Haunted Mansion… be ready to wait over an hour… if not two! 

 

The rest of the rides will have long line ups, but they’re not as bad as you may anticipate. Keep hydrated and have fun!

Driving the Golden Gate in San Francisco

  

If you happen to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco whether it is to just say you did it, or to see the city from the other side, keep in mind that when you return back into the city, you will have to pay a toll to cross the bridge again.

However, if you are travelling with at least one other companion, make sure you take the HOV lane, as car pooling means you don’t have to pay the $5 (could be more now..). Yes, FREE! But, if you take the wrong toll lane, regardless of how many people are in your car, they will charge you the toll. 

So, don’t rush and look for the car pooling sign. It will save you money!

Via Rail Trains – Mobility for People with Disabilities

  

If you are a person with a disability who wants to take the train and you need some special accomodations or an escort, VIA Rail does allow an attendant to travel for free in the same class as the ticket purchased. 

There are some requirements to be eligible for these free services so make sure you have  a doctor’s note or a note from an Association for Community Living.  Find all the guidelines here. 

As with airlines, it is important that you ensure the Doctor writes the letter in accordance with the guidelines (sometimes you will have to remind them).

Airplane Fares for People with Disabilities

  

People with disabilities who need someone to accompany them on an airplane are now allowed to bring a caregiver free of charge when flying on a Canadian airline. It was reported in the CBC that this came about because the Canadian Transportation Agency ruled that the airlines had a duty to accomodate people with disabilities and that to do so did not impose an undue hardship on the airlines. It was appealed by the airlines but the Federal Court of Appeal agreed with the transportation agency.Then the airlines appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada who also turned them down.

This advocacy was initiated in 2002 by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities and two individuals to whom we owe our collective gratitude.

The rules are on the Canadian Transportation Agency website.

As of December 26, 2008 the airlines are still trying to develop policy based on the above ruling. It looks like people will need a doctor’s note and the criteria will be if the person requires support during the flight, rather than a companion or just needing support on either side of the airplane trip. There are still many questions about how restrictive this policy will be for passengers who have a disability.

One tip is that when you get your doctor’s note ensure that she/he writes the note in accordance with the policy (that the person requires in-flight support). To ensure that you have to get only one note, ask your doctor to indicate that the disability is permanent.

The ruling takes effect as of the new year. Please share your
experiences with us when you attempt to book a flight that includes an
attendant.