Once upon a time, going on holiday as a disabled person was nigh impossible – with difficulties accessing public transport, having to manage with small bedrooms and bathrooms, and staff who didn’t know how to help. Fortunately, today travelling with disabilities is becoming easier and easier, and luxury travel is easily within reach as equipment and transport becomes more affordable, perfect for a family holiday or a little R&R.
Choosing A Resort
When looking for accessible accommodation, it can sometimes be easier to look for newer buildings and businesses, as they are more likely to have inbuilt accessibility options – there’s no point booking a stay in a converted period manor to find that there’s no wheelchair ramp.
Alternatively, cruise holidays for people with disabilities are becoming increasingly popular as they cater to all of your needs – cabins are made to have all the necessary equipment, the restaurants can cater to all dietary needs, and sports, leisure, and entertainment facilities are all included and have something for everyone. When booking, it can be helpful to speak directly to the staff over the phone and give clear details of your requirements, so they can have everything ready when you arrive.
Public transport is too often the most difficult part of planning a holiday – with underground stations often having limited access for wheelchair users, deaf, or blind people. However, there is information available online to ensure that you can make your journey as smoothly as possible: Transport For London have an accessibility map (as do other transport providers abroad), and most drivers and station staff are happy to direct you to your correct train or bus. Alternatively, consider hiring a car and taking a road trip to your destination – this makes it much easier for travelling with children, and can sometimes be more suitable than having to change at different stations along the way.
Making Your Itinerary
Once you’ve checked in, you can explore your destination. Websites such as Independent Traveller provide guides written for and by disabled holidaymakers to recommend sites and share tips, and these are invaluable for pre-holiday research. Additionally, your travel agent or concierge should be able to advise you on anything in the region – be it whether that historic castle has wheelchair access, or where to grab dinner afterwards.
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