With summer finally here, many of us are turning our thoughts to taking a break. Finding, booking and arranging the right destination can be a major headache for even the most enthusiastic holidaymaker, but especially so for those with mobility problems, who have a range of extra considerations to factor into their choice. From the availability of mobility scooter hire to walk-in showers or wheel-in showers, many people require certain essentials which can’t be regarded as a given in every accommodation. A hotel, B&B or cottage may look stunning and claim “disabled access” on its website, but the term is often applied very loosely. It could mean nothing more than having a ramp alongside the steps at the main entrance, but be wary when no specific details are provided, for example, about bedroom and bathroom facilities. Does it have a room with an easy-access shower or bath? Are grab rails provided in important locations? For many people of restricted mobility, little details like those provide the comforts that make the difference between a good and a bad holiday experience. In a previous blog post we touched on mobility issues to consider when you go away, and here’s the good news: a select number of travel companies specialise in sourcing and arranging holidays which take these issues into consideration. A number of agents have portfolios of accommodation which is specifically designed to cater for all levels of mobility. To point you in the right direction, we’ve listed five websites which could take care of all your holiday hassles…
1. www.enableholidays.com With a range of options, from cruises to city breaks, Enable Holidays have a real understanding of accessibility needs in all their various forms – their experts can create a holiday that’s tailor-made for your specific requirements, from airport transfer to choice of resort. Offered at global destinations, from Madeira to the Caribbean, each holiday property they feature has been visited and fully checked out by a qualified Enable auditor. Their Accessibility Audit covers 150 vital areas, including details on adapted rooms, wheel-in showers, door widths, pool hoists, adapted transfers and much more besides.
2. www.accessibletravel.co.uk If you’re looking for a package holiday, Accessible Travel & Leisure is one of the UK’s leading specialist tour operators catering for disabled people and less-mobile holidaymakers. Founded in 1997 by experienced travel professionals, the company combines extensive knowledge and empathy with your personal needs. Managing Director Andy Wright is a wheelchair user and family man who has experienced the challenge of travelling with a disability. They only recommend tried-and-tested destinations that the team has visited. The impressive range of options featured on their website includes resorts in the UK, Europe, the USA and Africa.
3. www.canbedone.co.uk Can Be Done’s reservations team includes over 30 years of experience in booking holidays for people with disabilities and they take responsibility for every aspect of your trip. With worldwide destinations ranging from Belgium to Barbados, the majority of their holidays include private transfers and mostly in wheelchair adapted vehicles. They take great care to select only hotels that offer a level of accessibility which satisfies their high standards – for example, they won’t work with accommodation suppliers who do not guarantee a wheelchair-adapted room at the time of booking.
4. www.disabledholidays.com disabledholidays.com (originally called the Disabled Holiday Directory) was launched in 2001. Their team endeavour to take away your worries by providing you with all the support you need at every step, including choosing, booking, preparing to go, travelling, holidaying and coming home. It’s is an excellent online resource offering a host of useful information, including disabled travel insurance, last minute deals and accessible cruise trips. You can choose from an impressive variety of destinations, whether you want to enjoy an adventure to Disneyland with the whole family or settle into a quiet Cumbrian cottage and savour the scenery of the Lake District.
5. www.holidaysforall.org Holidays for All is a group of the UK’s leading specialist companies offering accessible holidays in the UK and abroad. The group offers expertise in accessible travel and has wide-ranging experience dealing with different types of disability. Holidays for All can offer a variety of accessible holiday options which provide adapted rooms and adapted bathrooms. From international travel, activity centres and accompanied tours to accessible canal boat and tall ship sailing, they aim to offer something for every taste, ability and budget. Holidays with care and assistance are also available if required, along with specialist equipment and detailed access information.