Essential tips for booking a disability-friendly holiday

Traveller with wheelchair. Photograph by Sabine Genet
Traveller with wheelchair. Photograph by Sabine Genet

Planning a holiday when you have disabled family members – or are disabled yourself – can be a time-consuming and stressful experience. Every part of the holiday, from the journey to the airport to the activities that you plan, must be accessible and disability-friendly.

This article will look at three things you should consider to make booking a getaway as easy and comfortable as possible for everyone.

1. Is your destination accessible?

When you’re planning a holiday to include yourself or other disabled family members, forward planning is key. Is the resort wheelchair accessible? Does the hotel have adapted rooms that are suitable for disabled people?

Make sure to check that the hotel or resort is fully accessible before you commit to booking and paying for it as you may not be reimbursed for your deposits. Also, ring ahead to let them know if you will require any assistance during your stay.

2. Specialist travel insurance

Before your travel date, remember to purchase a specialist insurance policy for any passengers with pre-existing medical conditions or serious injuries. By using an insurer who has expertise in this area, you can rest assured that everyone is protected with comprehensive cover.

If you’re travelling to Europe or Switzerland, you should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). It gives you access to state-provided healthcare and covers any treatment if you happen to fall ill whilst on holiday, or for a pre-existing illness. However, this is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both in place before you travel.

3. Navigating the airport

Plan in advance how you’ll be travelling to the airport as you might not be able to jump straight into a taxi on the day. Look into disabled-friendly cars and vehicles, like the wheelchair-accessible cars at Allied Mobility, to make the journey go as smoothly as possible.

At the airport, you can request special assistance services if you have disability or mobility difficulties. Inform the airline of any special requirements at least 48 hours before travelling. Let them know what equipment you might need to bring with you, or if you need to be seated next to another member of your family who isn’t self-reliant. Disabled people can travel with up to two items of mobility equipment free of charge and assistance dogs are permitted on board for anyone who is visually impaired. For more information, consult the UK government website here.

It’s all about advance planning

Take the stress out of booking an accessible holiday by following our three top tips. Just as it should be, most airports and hotels provide disability-friendly facilities and special assistance if you require it – all you need to do is let them know in advance.

With this planned, you can relax and enjoy a stress-free getaway with the entire family.

Photo credit: Sabine Genet

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