Travelling Without Limits
Fiona Gosden, the Disability Specialist at DisabledHolidays.com, has put together this very helpful guide to holidaying or travelling when you are disabled. Fiona herself uses a wheelchair and has travelled pretty extensively so she is able to offer this useful advice with first hand experience.
Booking before researching
When holiday searching it’s healthy to have the “travel without limits” attitude but be wise – a holiday is not a holiday if unexpected obstacles highlight your disability. If you’re anyone like me you might like the idea of spontaneous adventures but you do need to be prepare essentials!
It’s important to do the research and organise any adaptations you will need before you book. For example, you need to make sure that the area surrounding your accommodation is accessible – perhaps this might be staying near a beach with a boardwalk and accessible restaurants so you’re not confined to your accommodation. Don’t rule out visiting a country because you assume it’s not accessible because often you will be surprised. I’ve recently been reindeer sledding in Tromso whilst seeing the spectacular Northern Lights (is it possible to have a more awesome adventure than that?!) Navigating the wheelchair in the snow is something I would have previously ruled out but with the right adaptations in place, it was the best holiday ever!
Assuming an “accessible room” means it is actually accessible
I’m sure you have experienced turning up at a hotel to find the adaptations you were expecting are not to be seen. Arriving at your hotel to find your wheelchair does not fit through the door is not the best start to a relaxing break. These stressful experiences can affect your confidence with future travel plans so make sure you book with accessible travel specialists who offer guaranteed accessible accommodation.
Ruling out activity holidays
In the past I’ve found it easy to slip into the mindset of ‘that kind of holiday might not be suitable for me’. My advice would be to not give up on your dream holiday. If you want to experience the thrill of skiing, scuba diving or any kind of adventure, adventures can be made possible by adaptations that are tailored to your individual needs. I’ve recently been sit skiing which was incredible!