Lucky Mindy Adventures provides fully-staffed*, wheelchair-accessible (if needed) tours for individuals with disabilities.
*Our staff will meet you at the arrival gate of your destination airport. "Meet and assist"
help is available from the airlines to help with aircraft transfers, if needed. Airline "escort"
service is available from most airlines for a fee (approximately $60 each way). The escort
service will take vacationer to the connecting flight and remain with the vacationer
until boarding time. In the event of longer layovers, the escort service will take vacationer
to a supervised lounge area until boarding time. This service is arranged for and paid for
by the client at the airport, and is highly recommended on flights that involve a change
of planes. We do try to book non-stop flights wherever possible.
Custom tours can be arranged for you, your family, your agency, or any group, small
or large. Pick a destination---I'll design a trip around your SPECIFIC wishes.
History of LMA
LEVEL OF ASSISTANCE PROVIDED: Most staff on LMA trips have worked as nursing assistants
or personal care attendants. On higher-needs tours, they can help with transfers, personal cares, street safety, and
wheelchair pushing. If specialized medical or nursing assistance is needed, a client can bring
his/her own staff on the tour for a fee. On Wheelers tours, the staff to client ratio is 1:2 so half of the clients signed up at
this ratio must be able to ambulate without assistance. The client must also provide all personal
care products if any are needed. At the 1:3 or 1:4 level staffing ratio, vacationers will receive assistance with
medication administration and money management as needed. They'll also receive reminders or prompts
about dressing, bathing, and other activities of daily living. At this more independent level they
must be relatively independent, and they must not have any maladaptive behaviors or physical needs
that require a higher degree of assistance.
INCLUDED IN THE PRICE is ground transportation at the destination (in the case of drive trips
transportation is provided from a Central Minnesota or Minneapolis location), hotel with double or triple occupancy, three tasty, nutritious
meals a day, staffing assistance of one paid assistant per two or three clients, plus all activities listed
in that trip's itinerary. Not included: spending money for personal items or gifts, activities additional
to those that are scheduled. Note that while most trips have a very high staff ratio, we do work with custom groups
of between 4-8 vacationers, and depending on the group's needs and activities, we may be able to reduce the price. Call for information.
A TYPICAL LMA CLIENT is often an individual with a variety of disabilities; developmental as well
as physical. Most tours can accommodate a certain number of wheelchair users, depending on accommodation and
wheelchair van availablity. Many vacationers have a mild to moderate developmental disability but are
relatively independent; we provide the level of staffing and assistance needed. These trips are not recommended for those who are physically or verbally aggressive,
or who behave inappropriately in public settings (depending on circumstances, we may be able to accommodate higher needs if the
individual can bring his/her own assistant). Unless we have staff on the plane, the client must be able to travel to the destination independently,
where LMA staff will meet him/her at the arrival gate. If the disability is severe enough that the airline
requires an attendant, arrangments must be made in advance. Airlines' policies vary in their willingness
to transport passengers with multiple handicaps. They are allowed to require an attendant if the client is
unable to "assist" himself/herself in personal cares or emergency evacuation. We've had very few problems
and find most airlines are very accommodating, although the gate agent can apply individual discretion. WHEREVER POSSIBLE,
WE BOOK NON-STOP FLIGHTS.
TRANSPORTATION AT THE DESTINATION: Vans (lift-equipped minivans if needed). Generally, each van
can accommodate only two wheelchairs plus 4 additional adults. We provide
the driver and assist with transfers and tie-downs. If your wheelchair is oversized (wheelbase wider than 30
inches), or reclining, let us know. Van configurations vary and very wide chairs may not be able to
fit on the ramp.
DESTINATIONS: Lucky Mindy Adventures features tours to a large number of destinations. Each year we add
destinations by request, and WE PROVIDE A NUMBER OF CUSTOM GROUP TOURS EACH YEAR(note that wheelchair accessibility may be compromised on some overseas destinations). We welcome
suggestions for great NEW tours. We run several cruises every year, that range from 3 nights to seven nights.
LODGING: We look for moderately-priced hotels that have roll-in showers, if needed, and two beds
per room. Microtel is one of the most accommodating hotel chains for disabled clients, and we use them
wherever possible. Spring Hill Suites are another chain we use a great deal. In Florida we rent huge, accessible
vacation homes near Disney World.
OUR GOAL is to provide fun, safe, HIGH QUALITY tours for individuals who might not otherwise be able
to travel. No two trips are alike, in terms of interests and abilities of clients. We aim for flexibility, and try to find
destinations that will appeal to a wide range of clients. We continually strive to find ways to make even exotic
or unusual destinations possible, for the truly motivated clients.
THE HISTORY OF LUCKY MINDY ADVENTURES: Mindy has over 14 years of experience working in
the disability/direct care field, and over 11 years of experience with disability travel. For two years, LMA had an
exclusive arrangement with a very large specialty travel company which provided marketing and accounting services.
This arrangement was ultimately unsatisfactory and restrictive, preventing us from providing the high degree of
service we needed to provide, and preventing us from marketing directly to our clients. Beginning in May of 2001
Lucky Mindy Adventures dropped that contract in favor of other avenues of marketing. The best way to book a
tour is to call TOLL-FREE: 877-291-1053, or fax to 320 693-7143. You can also email us at
MINDY'S RESUME: She has a BS in Aerospace Management from Central Washington University,
plus a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating and a flight instructor's certificate. After marrying
and moving to a farm in Minnesota, her aviation career was on hold for many years. She worked in agricultural
journalism instead, helping to write for and edit The Land, a Minnesota farm publication. She freelanced
occasionally, articles and photos, on agricultural issues. A chance story about a quadriplegic farmer led
her to write a series on Rural Disability, and brought her back into aviation when the original farmer wanted
to learn to fly...
She was introduced to "International Wheelchair Aviators," and after connecting with its founder Bill Blackwood
of Escondido, attempted to teach the quadriplegic student the joys of flight. Didn't succeed, but in the process
renewed her career as a flight instructor, and started a flight school with the assistance of wheelchair pilot and
former Russian language professor Dr. Richard Logan. Their school, Lucky Mindy Aviation, instructed many
ambulatory students and a number of wheelchair-using pilots. The business closed after 8 successful years
and many graduated pilots (even flying gets tedious after a while!).
In addition to LMA, Mindy owns a therapeutic massage clinic in Litchfield, MN, where she practices Asian
bodywork: Shiatsu, Anma, Thai, Tui Na, and reflexology. She has brought other massage therapists into her
business in order to provide a more comprehensive list of therapies. She lives on Sleeping Cat Organic
Farm (300 acres) with her family, raising organic pasture-fed
beef, chickens and eggs. They direct-market the products at the Minneapolis Farmers' Market every summer.
LUCKY MINDY ADVENTURES is a tour company. Owner Mindy Desens is also an accredited cruise counselor
and member of CLIA (Cruise Line International Association). Lucky Mindy
Adventures does not book airline tickets unless it's part of either an LMA tour or an independent
travel package or cruise. For example, if you're looking for an all-inclusive or mostly-inclusive
Disney package or Resort package, we can help you, since Mindy is also a Disney Specialist.
If you want to travel in a small group of family, friends or an attendant, you'll find it less expensive
to have us book an independent resort tour or cruise for your group. We can book tours and
cruises to virtually anywhere in the world!