Going on holiday is an event we all look forward to; getting away from work and life as you know it can be immensely beneficial for those of us who have a stressful life. However, for those who have to live with a disability, going on holiday can actually result in more stress. Fortunately, just like able-bodied holiday-goers, forethought and thorough planning can help ease any unwanted anxiety from your trip.
The first step when travelling with a disability is to research the destination you want to travel to. Some countries can be very accommodating to those who aren’t able-bodied and getting around won’t be a problem. However, some have tough terrain which may not be suitable for those in a wheelchair, for example. Fortunately, most cities have adapted – even Salzburg in the Alps – and are perfectly accessible for those with disabilities.
Next, you must contact your chosen mode of transport, whether plane, boat or bus, as well as your hotel ahead of time to check that they have the right facilities to cater to your needs. Most will inform you of their facilities on their website, but calling ahead will put your own mind at rest. Many hotels have specific rooms for those with disabilities; these rooms have wet rooms so you can wash with ease and are on the ground floor.
Finally, plan the activities you wish to take part in while on holiday meticulously to the day. This may be scuba diving, sight-seeing or catching a well-known show at the threatre. Contact the companies you want to use well in advance to check that they are suitable for you, then let them know exactly when you plan to come so they’re ready. Once confirmed, write a detailed plan of how you intend to get there and back to your accommodation afterwards so that you’re never left stranded. Travel escorts are sometimes available, so booking a helper to show you around and ensure you get back safely might be a sensible step if you wish to put your mind at ease. Bear in mind that if you wish to have a travel escort, they will have to be booked well ahead of time, so ensure you do this as soon as possible to make sure you’re not left in the lurch.
Ella Moss is a freelance writer working on a project with money.co.uk to provide information to help people living with disability.