January 4, 2011; Source: Miami Herald | When it comes to travel advice, it's usually a good bet to follow the suggestions of Arthur Frommer, who has been writing on the subject since the late 1950s with the publication of “Europe on 5 Dollars a Day.”
As he does every year, Frommer is once again out with his list of "organizations in travel that operate for an idealistic purpose and not for profit" and which he thinks merit support. His list is a combination of nonprofits that help ease the burden of traveling or that that make travel possible for individuals, such as disabled people, who without their services would never be able to venture far from home.
Topping Frommer's list is The Travelers Aid Society, which operates "in 36 transportation locations across the country" and "provides the most sensitive assistance to people who are stranded or unable to complete the travels they have undertaken – sometimes to visit a relative in a terminal condition, sometimes to seek employment in desperate circumstances, sometimes because their poor grasp of English or of travel procedures makes it difficult for them to proceed on their way."
Another group, SATH – the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality – helps make it easier for disabled people to travel by advocating for "legislation that removes barriers to their ability to travel, conducts classes in travel by the handicapped and collects information on how they may travel and overcome the barriers that do exist." Frommer also singles out Hostelling International U.S.A., which through its global network of low-cost hostels "enables a great many people to travel who otherwise could not afford to do so."
Finally, he rounds up his list with Wilderness Inquiry, an organization that also caters to the disabled, "including those with slight mental retardation," by pairing them with others who can assist them on what Frommer describes as "canoeing expeditions, treks and other active vacations."—Bruce Trachtenberg