Travelling with a disability can be a daunting prospect, but there’s no reason restricted mobility should hold you back.
All over the world huge strides have been made to make travelling easier and more accessible for every traveller – and with a few helpful pointers you can get out and see the world in a way that’s safe, comfortable and rewarding for you.
Here’s our top travel tips when mobility is restricted.
A little forward planning helps any holiday, but this is especially true for travellers with special needs. Give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead and address any potential accessibility challenges before you go. Do your research and plan your route –the internet is an excellent resource to help you find accessible hotels, travel routes and tourist attractions.
Book well ahead
Particularly with hotels, it’s best to book your room far in advance if you can. Particularly in old European centres, small hotels may only have one or two accessible rooms available, and the best ones are often in high demand. Try and book at least six months in advance and don’t be afraid to phone the hotel and speak to a member of staff about your needs and any questions you might have.
Choose an accessible area
When your mobility is restricted it’s not just about having an accessible room – be sure to consider what you will find when you get out the door. Do some research to see if there are hills or stairs that may cause you hassle near the hotel. Speak to your hotel with questions and get a feel of the area with Google Maps.
Hire a guide
Joining an accessibility tour or hiring a guide is another simple solution to help you make the most of your travels and give the hard work of planning to someone else. There are many tour providers that specialise in offering accessible travel experiences while on holiday and can help you navigate new cities with ease.
Consider a cruise
If you intend to tour around several places at once, a cruise might be a practical solution for you. This floating hotel means you can settle into a single room for the duration of your stay on a boat that is well-equipped to handle your needs. The second advantage is access to a number of different excursion options, all of which are well attended and researched. You’ll be able to quickly choose options that make the most sense for you and can facilitate adventure.
Inform your airline
If you’re flying, make sure you inform your airline that your mobility is restricted and ask for assistance before you go. Most airports offer extra assistance to get you from the front door straight onto the airplane and can make getting through the terminal smoother and less tiring for you.
What are your top travel tips when mobility is limited?