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Tips for travelling with mobility difficulties

25th February 2015

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Travelling is a fantastic thing, for both the mind and the body. Getting out and experiencing something new either by yourself or with family or friends, both in the UK and abroad, can give a real perspective on life and renewed sense of self. So why do so many miss out on this opportunity as a result of their restricted mobility?

This guide aims to show how disabled holidays can be just as enjoyable as holidays for fully mobile travellers, if not more so, even if you can’t take your newly installed stairlift with you! From the best ways to prepare to ensure there are no hiccups along the way to whether a holiday home or away would suit you best – the world’s your oyster!

Pre-holiday checklist

This print-off-and-keep checklist can act as the perfect way of getting your holiday off to a flying start. Use it to check you have everything you need in place before the off.

First things first, be sure to inform your airline at least 48 hours prior to your airport arrival if you’ll need assistance. This ensures you are legally guaranteed help throughout the flight; download the ABTA checklist for disabled and less mobile passengers to ensure that your needs will be fully catered for. After July 2007 the airport authority is legally responsible for ensuring that less mobile and disabled passengers receive the necessary assistance. It is also important when booking any holiday to inform the holiday provider of your mobility as they can then prepare most effectively, making the process smoother for everyone involved. Whether it be a cruise, holiday cottage or even the transfers, unless you book dedicated disabled holidays you cannot guarantee that they will be able to cater for a wheelchair or other mobility aids.

Be sure to order any prescriptions you may need on holiday well ahead of time to compensate for any delays that may happen and be sure to book the correct travel insurance, whether you need over 50s travel insurance or have a medical condition there are now a wide selection of packages available online – just be sure to choose carefully.

Researching attractions and local restaurants is also a good idea ahead of your trip to ensure they can cater for your needs. A disabled Railcard and bus pass or the Blue Badge scheme can also make travel easier if you have reduced mobility, whether that be travel to the airport, dock or destination itself. You can even use your Blue Badge abroad in certain countries.

Home

Breaks in the UK can be just as enjoyable and exciting as holidays away. As shown by this previous article on the UK’s top accessible beaches, disabled holidays do not have to mean restricted access to some of the things that really make a break a holiday.

OpenBritain has loads of information on how to get out and about in our country, with accessible places to stay and destinations to visit.

Even our nation’s fair capital isn’t out of bounds. As this Age UK article shows, even cabbies cater for wheelchairs. You can even see London the way Londoners do as the Underground has become far more accessible in recent years, with over 60 stations now step-free between street and platforms. See the TFL website for access details.

And Away

Want to escape to the sun, or just explore somewhere new? Going abroad is more accessible than ever. There are plenty of disabled holidays to choose from with specialist providers offering packages that take care of everything for you. Whether walk in showers and baths are a must or the accommodation must be on one level, there are now plenty of providers to suit you.

Our previous guide to resources for the older traveller has a great selection of information, charity listings and operators and providers that can make travel easier, it’s just a case of deciding where you want to go!

There are so many options now available to travellers with reduced mobility, from accessible safaris in Africa to a restful chateau in France, the rest is up to you.

Image Credit: Joshua Zader (flickr.com)

This content was written by Emily Bray. Please feel free to visit my Google + profile to read more stories.