I’m excited to interview Cory Lee of Curb Free with Cory Lee about the importance of accessible travel. Cory has traversed all seven continents and is a leading travel blogger focusing on accessibility. He frequently speaks about accessible travel at conferences around the world to inspire travelers and educate brands, attractions and destinations on how to be more accommodating to those with disabilities.
The importance of accessible travel
I admit that I’m like many travelers who don’t realize how easy we have it. We take a seat on a plane, hop in a taxi, and visit attractions without needing a ramp, sturdy railings, or other assistance devices. While we may not need them today, plenty of people we know and care about do. And, if they aren’t needed right now, they may be in the future.
It is important for all of us to advocate for changes to include everyone. Whether it be in public and private transportation, attractions, restaurants, hotels, or other parts of the travel world.
During the interview, it was interesting to learn how Cory travels the world as a wheelchair traveler. Frankly, he has more passport stamps than I do. And I’m totally impressed with all of the wonderful experiences he has enjoyed around the world.
We talked about the challenges he faces while flying and how many destinations and tourist attractions have made their experiences more welcoming to disabled travelers. Even RV companies, National and state parks, and historic buildings have figured out to be more welcoming to this community.
It is excellent to see so many cities, business owners, and locals embrace the importance of accessible travel. And it’s a smart business decision considering how much influence this community has. According to the Administration for Community Living, disabled travelers spend over $58 billion per year on travel.
If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.
Resources for disabled travelers
Cory isn’t the only one putting accessible travel in the news. I’ve noticed more online friends sharing resources and information about making life easier as a disabled traveler. Here are a few of the articles I’ve seen lately:
- United Improves Travel Experience For Customers Who Use Personal Wheelchairs
- 4 Tips for Camping with Limited Mobility
- United becomes first US airline to add Braille to cabins
- American Airlines receives eighth consecutive perfect score on the 2023 Disability Equality Index
- Rough Waters by Heather C. Markham – a book where the author chronicles her slow decline in mobility versus her determination to live an extraordinary life.
- Friendly Like Me – an app to discover the best accessible places to eat, drink, shop, travel, and more.
- How to be an ally for disabled travelers
- United Airlines to Launch Tools for Wheelchair-Friendly Flights
- What it’s like to be a disabled travel writer
- This Wheelchair-Accessible Safari in South Africa Should Be the Future of Adventure Travel
Additional resources can be found on Cory’s website. If you have resources to share, please do so in the comments.
Who is Cory Lee?
Cory Lee was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy when he was two years old, but he has never let it diminish his desire to travel the world. He has spent his entire life exploring new places, including Germany, England and Australia – but at times, traveling wasn’t easy. He started his blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee, in December 2013 to share what he’s learned on the road. Since then, he has traversed all seven continents and became a leading travel blogger focusing on accessibility.
Cory is a two-time Lowell Thomas Award winner for Best Travel Blog, was named the 2018 Person of the Year by New Mobility Magazine, and has won 3 Webby Awards for Best Personal Blog/Website. Over the years, he has also been featured on Travel Channel, CBS News, National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, the Los Angeles Times, and many more. He also frequently speaks about accessible travel at conferences around the world.
Here are a few articles that he’s written:
- How to prepare for an accessible road trip
- 7 Reasons why RVing is a perfect travel option for wheelchair users
- A wheelchair-accessible travel guide to Acadia National Park
You can connect with Cory on his website and social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And learn more about Cory’s foundation, where he raises money to grant dream trips to other disabled travelers.
Big thanks to today’s podcast partner – AwardWallet
This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.
Having everything in one easy-to-use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to WeTravelThere.com/awardwallet to start your free account.
Stay tuned for our next episode
Listen to the next episode when Kevin Matthews II of Building Bread shares the best things to do in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In this episode, Kevin and I talk about visiting Greenwood Rising to learn about the legacy of Black Wall Street, taking a walk at the Gathering Place, an award-winning park on the banks of the Arkansas River, and exploring the world-class collection of art at the Philbrook Museum of Art. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.
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Every 10th episode, we interview a travel expert to discuss a unique travel topic.