Traveling With A Disability AND A Toddler

a woman smiling
Curated by
Kristen Sachs
Content via Disabled Parenting Project
Disabled Parenting Project
Curated by
Kristen Sachs


mother holding her toddler son

Anne and her family recently embarked on an international trip of a lifetime. She and her husband traveled with their young son on a cruise that started in Vancouver, British Columbia, traveled through Alaska, and ended in Japan!

Anne has a form of muscular dystrophy called Myasthenia Gravis, and she has advice for other parents with disabilities when traveling with young children to make sure your holiday goes smoothly.

It turns out that a cruise was a great way to travel for Anne and her family. “Cruise ships are accessible traveling hotels on the water,” says Anne.

“Traveling by cruise ship allowed me to pack my bags once, not have to worry about traveling far for food, have access to laundry, entertainment, and even included childcare, all while enjoying the view on the way to amazing destinations.”

Once off the cruise ship. Anne and her family spent nine days in Japan where they explored several accessible temples and rode trains with accessible accommodations. As for traveling with a toddler, Anne still had many reservations: “Traveling anywhere with a toddler is challenging but traveling abroad was unthinkable. What if he misbehaves? What if I loose him? Will he enjoy the activities or will I be dragging him everywhere?” Fortunately, Anne’s experience was positive and her family received nothing but kindness and understanding from the people of Japan.

“Teaching my son to say his name in Japanese helped tremendously, resulting in giggles from many people and they reinforced his good behavior when he received countless treats,”

And if you’re wondering about transportation for your toddler while in Japan, Anne has the following advice: “Leave your giant stroller at home, and opt for an umbrella stroller, but use it sparingly. City sidewalks are busy, temple and shrine paths are frequently gravel, trains are crowded (impossibly so in rush hour), and many locations including department stores, museums, zoos and many attractions have free strollers.”

What is your experience in traveling abroad with a toddler? Share it with us, and you could be featured on AbleThrive!

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