Since entering the travel business, I have wanted to be a Special Needs Travel Agent.
For me, my purpose is to ensure everyone who wants to travel, has the opportunity. Having received my Special Needs Travel Certification last year through IATA was significant for me as it meant I had furthered my knowledge and gave me new ideas for ensuring I provide a quality service to my special needs vacationers.
I frequently travel with my family and family friends. We do not have special needs to consider. The special needs training opened my eyes to the fact that this is not just individuals who are wheelchair bound. It is individuals and families with cognitive disabilities, those who are elderly or those who have sustained an injury and temporarily need help. Everything I have learned is through interacting with those with special needs and fostering relationships with suppliers who also want to provide vacations for special needs families.
There are so many special needs families out there looking for a vacation that I am looking forward to working with:
- Grandma who wants to go on the family vacation and keep up with the grand children.
- Mum and Dad who need a vacation, but don’t want to go because their child has autism and it will be too much work to ensure they are safe.
- The family that has a member who is visually impaired an wants to go to Disneyland.
- The family who travels with a service animal, but has dreams of visiting New Zealand and experience the Maori culture.
Along the way, I have learned that special needs is different from one family to another and affects everyone in all walks of life. Now in my travels I evaluate everything a little differently. I look for accessibility at every turn to provide first-hand knowledge to my clients. When I see someone travelling who has special needs, if they are willing to share, I’m willing to listen about their experiences in order to learn.
It is fascinating what is available and being able to create vacations for special needs families is very rewarding. It aligns with my purpose of being able to provide travel experiences to everyone, and I mean everyone!
For your next vacation as a special needs family, talk to me. I would love to work with you to ensure it is a vacation for you and all your travel companions!