Dear Editor,

Being that I am a C5-6 quad, I just wanted to ask if you could tell me about the Caribbean. We have inquired with some of these groupon deals but have been told that the beds are as high as 29 inches from floor to top of the mattress.  My idea height is 19 inches. We even tried going thru a travel agency but they were not very helpful. Are you a quad or para? I expect that paras are not as concerned about bed height as much as a quad.

Thanx for your help, Wayne

Wayne,

I am a quad, C4-5, so I totally get that bed height is very important in being able to transfer in and out of your wheelchair. The Caribbean is tricky for wheelchair users for many reasons: ground transportation, access to restaurants and shopping, hotel accommodations, and the fact that many Caribbean islands are extremely hilly which can make getting around nearly impossible;. bed height is just one of them. That said, I have had several good trips to some Caribbean islands. Unfortunately, other than contacting hotels individually to ask about their bed heights I don’t know that there is much else that can be done. Of the travel agencies that you tried, do any of them specialize in disability travel. There are some excellent ones out there (a few of which are listed on our Travel Resources page). They may prove more helpful. It is also possible (depending on the island) to rent a hospital bed for your stay. You would need to coordinate with the hotel in order to have them removed their bed so that the hospital bed can be put in its place. Finally, (again depending on the island) if there are hotels that belong to larger chains (Marriott, Radisson, Hilton, etc.) you are more likely to find beds that are lowered to the ground. Best of luck to you in your search and please let me know I can be of any further help.