4 tips for planning a holiday with a Wheelchair
When planning a holiday with a wheelchair user there are plenty of things you may need to consider to make the holiday run smoothly. You have to think about a whole range of practical issues if you want your trip to be a success. The good news is, help is at hand. There is plenty of information and advice available online, and these four tips may be a good place to start.
- Plan your transport carefully
Not everywhere is going to be wheelchair friendly when you’re travelling on holiday. To ensure your holiday runs smoothly from start to finish, it’s crucial you make detailed plans – and this begins with your transport. Driving can be a convenient option because it gives you added flexibility and a car can often be the easiest way to transport wheelchairs and other heavy equipment. There are now a large range of wheelchair accessible vehicles available.
When you’re choosing a wheelchair friendly car, make sure it meets all of your practical requirements. For example, it must have enough space (including headroom) and it should be easy for the wheelchair user to get in and out of. You can narrow your search down by visiting specialist websites like mobilitynationwide.co.uk, which lets you filter results by criteria such as minimum seats, wheelchair position and ramp or lift access. Having the right vehicle can make trips away from home much easier and more enjoyable.
If you’re planning to travel by train, ferry or plane, make sure the transport provider offers all the relevant facilities and support.
- Consider booking a specialist package holiday
One way to take the hassle out of planning your holiday is to book a package that is tailored to meet the needs of wheelchair users. You may have to pay a little more for the added convenience, but if it makes your life easier and helps you to relax, it could be well worth the extra money. There are a wide variety of accessible holiday packages to choose from. Whether you want a beach break, spa holiday, city sightseeing package, pet-friendly trip, supported vacation, caravan adventure or cottage stay, you should be able to find a package to suit. When you book a trip like this, everything is taken care of. You’ll benefit from accessible accommodation, wheelchair-friendly transport and transfers, equipment hire and more.
- Inform transport and accommodation providers in advance
If you arrange an accessible holiday, this will be done for you, but if you choose to book a regular trip, it’s vital that you inform your transport and accommodation providers of your needs in advance. If possible, provide details of the relevant mobility and medical requirements to these companies in writing. This will help ensure you receive the best standard of service. If you’re travelling by ferry or plane, you should ensure you provide the information at least 48 hours before you depart, and ideally you should do this at the time of your booking. Without prior notification, you don’t have a legal guarantee that you’ll get the right assistance on your journey.
When my grandfather travelled from the UK to New Zealand to visit, he needed a wheelchair and by informing the airline in advance, he was given fantastic support.
- Research local attractions and amenities
Researching local amenities and attractions in their destinations of choice is a good idea for all holidaymakers, but it’s particularly important if you’re travelling with a wheelchair user. By checking whether particular visitor spots are wheelchair friendly, you can avoid a whole range of problems. Also, if you’re driving and you’re a Blue Badge holder, investigate whether this scheme runs in the places you’re visiting. This could make parking much easier and of course cheaper.
Bearing these useful tips in mind when you’re planning your next trip should help to ensure you’re able to make the most of your time away from home.
When I travel to Britmums in London, I’m going in the car. We have a blue badge car park close to our destination and a wheelchair friendly hotel. It will be fantastic.
In Partnership with MotabilityNationWide