Travel Inspiration - Have Wheelchair Will TravelBy Niamh Duffy -
Have Wheelchair Will Travel [http://havewheelchairwilltravel.net/] is managed by Julie Jones. Julie has said that: “Have Wheelchair Will Travel combines my skills as an ex travel consultant with my experiences travelling with my son who lives with Cerebral Palsy.”
Having travelled extensively whilst she was growing up, Julie caught the travel bug early on. Then, working as a travel consultant in her twenties meant that Julie learnt a lot about the world and gave her the chance to travel more for both business and pleasure.
Currently based in Sydney, Australia, Julie’s family have been able to visit America, Australia and New Zealand proving that having a wheelchair should be no obstacle to get out and adventure.
We are always really inspired by Have Wheelchair Will Travel’s positive outlook on accessible travel and how the website focusses on a wide range of topics. From reviewing accessible accommodation to an insight into travelling with off-road wheelchair tyres, there’s plenty to read through.
Plus, HWWT is more than just a blog. We love how there are top tips on which airlines to choose from, money saving tips, travel insurance tips and more. Plus, their Instagram page [havewheelchairwilltravel] is lovely, it is regularly updated with some stunning pictures from Julie’s family’s adventures.
We got the chance to ask Julie some questions:
Where have you been that genuinely took your breath away?
When my son was first diagnosed with a disability and a wheelchair became part of our lives I didn’t know whether we would travel. That initial feeling means that wherever we go I’m so thrilled that I appreciate every experience with a heightened sense of joy. The West Coast of California certainly had some breath taking scenery and the road running right beside the ocean with a huge drop also took my breath away as my husband took the corners!
Where have you been where you felt most at home, away from home?
Los Angeles. I’ve visited so many times I know my way around quite well and find the people really friendly and lovely.
What’s been the most interesting/surprising thing that’s happened as an outcome of running your website?
One of my main aims was to help people find accessible travel opportunities but as time went on I became determined to see more representation of accessible travel in mainstream media. When my son was growing up I never picked up a magazine and saw anything about travelling with a wheelchair. The website has given me a platform to share with tourism providers changes they can make to be more inclusive and I have also done some freelance writing for a mainstream family travel magazine which has embraced accessible travel.
What advice would you have given yourself five years ago? Where do you hope to be in five years time?
Keep persisting it is all worth it. In five years’ time I hope to be doing more freelance writing and I’d love to be consulting with tourism boards on how they can provide information and represent travel for people with additional needs. People should pick up a brochure or look on a website and find information about access readily available. You shouldn’t have to go on a hunt to find it buried 10 clicks away.
Would you rather go into space or explore the depths of the ocean?
I’d love to explore the depths of the ocean. In Australia we have the most stunning marine life and last year we had the pleasure of meeting some sea turtles. Fascinating creatures and such a joy to swim alongside them.