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Finding the right vacation rental can take time and effort, especially if you’re looking for specific types of properties — like those that meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thankfully, many companies offer search filters that make finding accessible properties easier.
Let’s take a look at how to find wheelchair-accessible vacation rentals.
Finding wheelchair-accessible vacation rentals by platform
Traveling with a wheelchair can add requirements to your search for accommodations, such as a ramp, a step-free shower or wider doorways. So, how do you know if the rental you’re looking at has what you need?
Let’s take a look at how to perform these types of searches with Airbnb, Vacasa and Vrbo.
Airbnb Adapted rentals
As a massive home-sharing platform, Airbnb has robust search functions to find properties that’ll meet your needs. At the end of 2022, Airbnb created an entire category of stays called “Adapted,” which displays homes that are verifiably accessible.
To be eligible, properties must have step-free access in at least one bedroom and bathroom, plus at least one additional bathroom adaptation. Examples include a shower grab bar, toilet grab bar, step-free shower, or shower or bath chair.
To find these listings, head to Airbnb.com. To look for a specific location or date, input your destination, travel dates and number of guests in the search bar at the top. Airbnb will present you with your search results, including a dynamic map and photos of eligible listings.
Then, use the Filters button on the right-hand side of the page to find ADA-compliant vacation rentals.
In the pop-up window, scroll down to Accessibility Features, which shows you a variety of options. Although there is no way to specify wheelchair-accessible vacation rentals with a roll-in shower, you can search for options such as a shower chair or step-free access.
If you’re flexible on location, you might consider finding your next stay with Airbnb’s category functionality, which displays a broad array of listings that all have something in common — in this case, accessibility. The tool is useful if you want to browse a variety of locations, rather than starting your search with a predetermined destination.
Adapted homes are verified wheelchair-friendly properties. Airbnb uses 3D imaging to confirm homes claiming to be accessible truly meet these mobility criteria. The scan even produces a floor plan so guests can see the exact layout of the listing, as well as detailed photos with exact measurements of door frames.
» Learn more: What to know before you book an Airbnb
Vacasa wheelchair-accessible rentals
Vacasa is another vacation rental platform, with properties in North America, Belize and Costa Rica. To find a wheelchair-accessible vacation rental, head to Vacasa's homepage.
From there, enter your travel information, including your destination and dates of travel. As with Airbnb, you’ll be presented with search results that include a map and eligible listings. In the center of the page, you’ll find the Filters tab.
You can redeem your Wyndham Rewards points for Vacasa vacation rentals at a rate of 15,000 points per bedroom, per night.
Unlike Airbnb, Vacasa doesn’t categorize the types of amenities it offers. Instead, you’ll see a long list of options, including some that relate to accessibility.
While there’s a specific filter for those who want wheelchair accessibility, you can choose additional options, such as step-free access, an accessible bath/shower and wide clearance.
» Learn more: How to maximize Wyndham points with vacation rentals
Vrbo wheelchair-accessible rentals
Vrbo is yet another large vacation rental service. As with Airbnb and Vacasa, you can search for accessible properties on the company’s website.
Enter your travel destination, departure dates and number of guests, then hit the Search button.
You’ll then be presented with search results, including that ever-popular dynamic map.
The filter tool on Vrbo is located on the left side of the page, just under your search destination. Scrolling down the list of filters takes you to the accessibility section, which is scant.
Despite the lack of options, you’re still able to search for wheelchair-accessible accommodations, making Vrbo a decent choice for finding properties that’ll suit your needs.
» Learn more: Airbnb versus Vrbo — which is better for travelers?
Finding other wheelchair-accessible vacation rentals
If you strike out on the above sites, there are still some options available for finding wheelchair-accessible vacation rentals. Although Hotels.com and Booking.com both tend to focus on hotels, it’s possible to book vacation rentals on these sites as well — and they also feature accessibility filters.
To find an accessible vacation rental on Hotels.com, head to the site’s homepage and input your travel information.
Once your results have loaded, you’ll see a wide variety of search filters on the left. Scroll down a bit and you’ll find the option to filter by property type.
Here you can limit your searches to apartments, apart-hotels or, if you’re feeling fancy — castles.
A little further down, you’ll find the accessibility filters.
The Hotels.com rewards program gives you a free night award for every 10 nights that you book through the site. The award night amount is equal to the average cost of the last 10 nights you’ve booked. (Unfortunately, the program is slated for discontinuation in late 2023 as Hotels.com merges loyalty programs with Expedia and Vrbo.)
» Learn more: How to choose a hotel credit card
Like Hotels.com, Booking.com tends to focus on hotels rather than vacation rentals. However, it does provide robust search options for whole properties as well as rooms. First, head to Booking.com, where you’ll enter your search information.
On the homepage itself, you can opt to search exclusively for vacation rentals, though this is also available after the search results have loaded. These filters can be found on the left-hand side of the page under Property Type.
Scrolling down further provides you with two more sets of filters: Property Accessibility and Room Accessibility.
Booking.com features detailed information for its properties, which makes it a good choice for wheelchair-accessible accommodations.
» Learn more: Does travel insurance cover vacation rentals?
If you’re searching for a wheelchair-accessible vacation rental
With so many options for vacation rentals, it can be tricky to find what you’re looking for. If you need a wheelchair-accessible property, that search can be even more difficult.
Thankfully, many companies allow you to filter searches according to a variety of accessibility needs. Airbnb, Vacasa and Vrbo are all vacation rental sites that provide these search options, but if you don’t find anything that strikes your fancy, consider Hotels.com or Booking.com. Both of these sites have robust filters and the ability to book vacation rentals as well as hotel rooms.
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2023, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card