Enjoy an Accessible Holiday This Summer
For most of us, going on holiday is something we take for granted. But for some people with disabilities, going on holiday can be a huge challenge that takes an enormous amount of preparation and planning.
But with some research and planning, you can ensure that you have an enjoyable and comfortable trip. Before you book your holiday, it is worth taking the time to check guidebooks, disability organisations and specialist tour operators to find out more about where you wish to go and any additional preparations you need to make.
Here are a few things that can help you when planning an accessible holiday.
Specialised travel agents
There are a number of travel agents that specialise in providing holidays that are suitable for disabled people. Unfortunately, not every country has accessible towns and cities to visit, but a specialised travel agent will be able to offer advice. They can also help you with accessible airport transfers and finding specially adapted hotels.
Medication and documentation
It can be helpful to carry a letter that provides a description of your disability, any difficulties that could arise and what help you might need. As airport security is now high, you should check with the airline about what documents they want you to have with you to accompany your medication. You might be required to show a doctor’s letter detailing your medication if you run out or lose your medicine, and especially if you are travelling to a country with strict drug laws. Your medication may contain ingredients that are illegal in some countries, so you should check this before you travel. All medication should be clearly labelled and medical documents kept where you can easily get them if required.
Your travel agent should be able to advise you on what facilities are available at the place you are going to, but it is worth calling the resort, cruise liner or hotel directly to check with them about their accommodation and accessibility. You may want to check whether there are suitable facilities for assistance dogs, whether there are any steps to the main areas of the resort or hotel, if you can hire special equipment and whether there are lifts available.
Airlines – Tour operators, airlines, and airport staff are required to provide practical help to disabled passengers with reduced mobility flying between European countries. It is best to try to pre-book your seat and find out about toilet accessibility and special dietary requirements before you travel. If you are travelling with an assistance dog, then check what the policy is about taking them and if there are any vet certificates and identification that may be required.