Travelling should be enjoyed by everyone and it can be with the right preparation and research. Just by quickly google the most accessible destinations you will be filled with knowledge, curiosity, and an eagerness to see what the world has to offer you.
Planning Your Trip
Travelling with a disability may require some extra planning, but luckily with a quick search on Google or a phone call, you‘ll find a lot of information is available on airports, trains, buses, ferries and what accessibility they have to offer. Knowing what to expect before you arrive at the airport and your destination will be that much easier with some research, as it’s the most important thing when it comes to travel. Being sure that you know as much information about your travels is a great start to your holiday.
Booking your ticket
Let the staff know your needs and requirements when you book your ticket, it can be just as important as the ticket itself. It’s also a good idea to check the day before your travels that your booking information is on record.
Book hotels in advance
Book an accessible hotel in advance. Be sure you’ve let the staff know your needs and requirements.
If you’ll be travelling by plane it is important to find out as much information about your flight as possible, such as:
- Will there be an aerobridge when boarding the plane?
- Is there an accessible aisle seat available?
- If you have an assistance dog with you be sure to ask for as much information as possible.
Remember, different airlines have different policies, so speak to the staff before booking a flight. And call to confirm your flight the day before.
Getting to and from
Finding out how you will be getting to and from your destination is an important step. Check the availability of taxi’s, buses, Ubers and figure out what is available for your needs.
Research about the town/city’s accessibility
As stated above, you will want to get around with ease so be sure that there is available transportation. There are some great apps that you can use such as Wheelmap, it’s free and available on both IOS and Android. It shows you on the map all accessible public areas.
Stress can sometimes be an easy trap to fall into while travelling, especially if things aren’t going right. Sometimes imagining the worst-case scenario and questioning what the next step would be if your worst nightmare came true is oddly helpful. It can put some perspective on a situation that causes stress, it can also help you realise that if it did happen, though it’s not an ideal situation, it's also not the end of the world.
There is a new program that helps support those with hidden disabilities. It was successfully implemented in the UK and is now in Australian airports. So it’s a great idea to request a hidden disabilities information pack if you need one. You should do this a few weeks prior to your travels, most airports have them, so all you need to do is either call or do a quick google search and find out whether it sounds right for you.