My Wheelchair Accessible Mexican Siesta!
A recap of my Wheelchair Accessible Mexican Siesta in Cabo San Lucas 🇲🇽
After two long years I finally decided to treat myself and take a much-needed vacation, a mini reset if you may. After some very quick research I decided the best place for a quick getaway would be Cabo San Lucas. I knew I wanted to go somewhere tropical but close, I wanted to fly non-stop and travel less than 4 hours each way. With all my stipulations lol Cabo San Lucas was the perfect fit for my needs, plus in my early 20’s I went on a cruise to Cabo but unfortunately I was unaware that the ship would port in the middle of the ocean and “tender” over the passengers?!? Well, needless to say I was unable to access the tender and had to stay on the boat while everyone else ventured on land; so this trip was a personal redemption to replace the bitterness I had towards my previous Cabo experience.
Leading up to my trip, I begin to research the accessible activities that would be available and to my fear there weren’t many; even worse… i learned that renting a wheelchair beach chair (see example below) was not possible… as the main adaptive company in Mexico — MexicoMobility did not deliver to Cabo resorts! When I reached out to see if perhaps this was old information… they never responded. This was very disappointing because one of the few pleasures of going to a tropical vacation spot is to be on the beach, touch the sand and swim in the waters.
*If you are more interested in accessible activities and excursions then I suggest you try Cancun. Cabo is more chill and less activity driven, which limits the accessible activities.
Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to let this ruin my upcoming trip, I just quickly came to the realization that I would have to kick it poolside; and considering the way Mariah likes to trip… I wasn’t fond of submerging my body in chlorine water … so poolside slayage was the safest option. Plus my friend made sure I enjoyed the water in modified ways lol so I definitely got to enjoy the water.
I flew to Cabo San Lucas via Alaska Air (Non- Stop) and I must say, their planes are very nice, on flight entertainment was great and the flight attendants were amazing! My experience with Alaska Air was refreshing compared to previous years. To keep it 100, flying has always been a daunting and stressful experience for me so this time I was determined to have a better experience.
One of the first things I did was arrange my seating on the plane. Upon purchasing my tickets I knew from past flights that the further back my seat was in the plane… the longer I had to be in that uncomfortable airplane “aisle chair” and the further you sit, the tighter the space becomes so I made sure my seat was within the first 5–10 rows of economy (my pocketbook isn’t quite ready for first class yet lol)
Because I must rely on the airport crew to transfer me into the airplane seat, I wanted to create an easy transfer for both parties so I put my thinking cap on and begin brainstorming. After a couple of weeks it finally came to me! People transfer all the time with a Hoyer Lift, and it’s pain free and gets the job done. Since I couldn’t use the actual Hoyer Lift, I figured I would buy the HOYER LIFT SWING and this would allow the airport crew to lift me up without pulling on my body and would not place a strain on me nor them. Let me tell you, I bought the hoyer lift swing on Amazon for $54 and it was a lifesaver! It came in handy during the airport transfers and even when I wanted to transfer to a pool cabana! It was the best investment I made towards my future travels.
Whenever I travel via airplane.. there is one thing I always do… rent a wheelchair. Because I know the brutality that occurs to wheelchairs during airport travel, I have made a personal vow to never travel in my everyday, customized wheelchair. My wheelchair has A LOT of intricate parts and cost over $45,000.00 so if you are not educated in how they work someone can easily break them or worse … they can get lost in travel (imagine arriving to your destination and the airport crew informs you that your chair has not arrived or is lost in travel!) Normally, if I’m traveling international, I’ll rent a power wheelchair from my local medical home supply. The rentals usually range from $200 — $250 per week. For all of my previous vacations I have rented from Mobul.
Located in Long Beach, Mobul provides excellent customer service and will deliver and pick up the rental for their customers. Now, obviously the rental is nowhere as comfortable nor customized as my personal wheelchair BUT my peace of mind is worth a little discomfort. I suggest renting a portable wheelchair/scooter that is “dummy proof” i.e. something that is simple to understand and easy to operate without instructions. This is important because you will not be with the airport crew when they are retrieving your wheelchair from under the plane and there may also be a language barrier so a power wheelchair that is “universal” is your best bet.
I am no stranger to accelerated prices for modified services and Cabo San Lucas was no different. After weeks of searching, I found out that there is only ONE professional accessible transportation service in Cabo… TransCabo and a round trip transfer was going to cost me $158.00, (price is based on hotel destination and toll road fees) but to put it in perspective… a shared shuttle round trip would cost me $30.00. Needless to say I was NOT feeling this price jump but at the end of the day I needed transportation and I didn’t have any other options. I will say, Transcabo was very professional, on time and because of this I wouldn’t mind utilizing (and paying) for their services again.
My arrival in Mexico went so smooth, the airport crew were most helpful with ushering us through customs and getting us to the FUN. Upon exiting the airport, we were greeted by the signature Mexico humidity and to my delight…. various bars!
In my opinion, my Mexico vacation must start with a strong margarita with just the right amount of salt and lime to kick-off my turn-up!
After multiple searches (I love a good deal and make it my business to find them lol) my friend and I decided to stay at the newly renovated Reflect Resort — Krystal Grand Los Cabos.
*They are currently running a 50% discount through December 2018 and I would definitely suggest taking advantage of this. I booked directly through the hotel but you can also catch deals via Travelzoo and CheapCaribbean.com
It took about 20 minutes to get to our hotel from the airport but once we got there it was like rolling into paradise! Oceanfront Views, vibrant colors, and best of all… the weekend guests were checking out (we arrived on Sunday) and I knew with their departure the resorts would be peaceful and less crowded throughout our stay.
We arrived hours ahead of check-in but a nice gentleman at the front desk by the name of Emmanuel offered us an upgrade — from garden view to ocean view with a balcony! Needless to say we were pleasantly surprised! He quickly checked us in and we were escorted to our room.
Unfortunately, Mariah was tripping the entire morning so I had to immediately check her out. I packed an additional catheter cord, but in my hasty packing I forgot to pack one of the two syringes, which meant I was unable to change the cord. Now the old me would have pouted, fussed… but this new Candis…well I knew if I stressed out it wouldn’t fix my issue, I could only lean on my faith that God did not bring me this far… to let me have a painful vacation. So I pushed through the pain, prayed heavily and proceed to change my outfit and enjoy this beautiful resort.
*Mariah eventually got herself in order (as much as her temperamental self would allow.)
I immediately noticed that the resort was flat, very minimal steps or obstacles and there were ramps throughout the resort. This was calming to my soul because I knew if the grounds were accessible than the staff would be understandable to a guest that was differently abled; this proved true throughout my entire stay.
The staff went above and beyond to meet my needs and make me feel welcomed. They were exceptionally helpful transferring me from my wheelchair to the pool cabanas. This was a bucket list item for me because I had never been able to truly “lounge” at the pool or lay back on a pool lounge chair until now. It’s kinda of crazy…. I get treated better when I’m in foreign countries than I do in America. Now perhaps. it’s because I tip well lol but I believe good service should be rewarded appropriately, but it’s something more that that. When I travel abroad, especially Mexico, they make sure that my days and nights are memorable and enjoyable.
Perfect example, one night my friend and I decided to have dinner at the on-site Mexican restaurant (the resort was all-inclusive) and upon our arrival the waiter, Christopher informed us the restaurant was upstairs and there was no wheelchair accessible.
Now if I was back home in America, they would of unapologetically told me there was nothing they could do and then proceed to ignore me until I left the premises but instead, Christopher went upstairs and upon his return he begin to set our table downstairs. He served us dinner downstairs and when I tell y’all he never missed a beat, never let our wine glass get low, he was just on point…. all while going up and down multiple flights of stairs! Above and beyond any American hospitality I have ever encountered.
I wish I could tell you about all my exciting excursions in town but y’all I literally didn’t leave the resort lol. Some may not see that as a true vacation because I didn’t see the “sights” but I am busy every single day of my life so I thoroughly enjoyed chilling poolside, watching the ocean waves crash ashore and eat multiple servings of tacos and guacamole (no judgement).
Sometimes the vacation doesn’t need to be anything more than just lounging, we have to give our body and mind a real chance to reset. My vacation was exactly what I needed and I highly recommend my differently-abled friends that are planning to visit Cabo San Lucas to stay at the Reflect Resort — Krystal Grand Los Cabos.
Travel doesn’t have to be stressful, it doesn’t have to be challenging. I will say, you have to be willing to think outside of the box and be open to things being different. You can’t expect to have all the comforts of home, you have to understand that some things will be different, but as long as the good outweighs the bad (and in my case… Mariah is on chill mode) then im my opinion it’s a successful vacation.
I didn’t want to leave Mexico but the hustle waits for no one and I have to return to regular life but I will definitely be back to Cabo, especially knowing that Alaska Airlines offers frequent non-stop flights; it’s literally going to be my new go-to quick vaca reset destination!
Until next time… this is my world on wheelz