Travelling and staying away from home with a disabled family member can be tough when you’re used to having everything you need within easy reach. Holidays and days out are important and rewarding experiences that are valuable for improving quality of life. Here are a few handy tips for making travelling easier for you and your family.
Many day-out destinations in the UK have excellent facilities for customers and guests with impaired mobility, such as Merlin theme parks, most English Heritage and National Trust sites to name a few, so you needn’t feel limited in where you can travel. If you’re a carer you can also get discounts for yourself and the person you care for.
Travelling by car can be the most convenient way to travel, but driving can also have its limitations in terms of cost and accessibility if specifically adapted vehicles are not available. To make everyday life easier, you can buy specially adapted cars to suit those who are mobility impaired from places like Allied Mobility for instance. Another helpful service is The European Route Finding and Access Maps Programme (EURAMP). The service is available for disabled drivers to find the most convenient driving routes across the continent.
Most rail companies in the UK have facilities for disabled access, although certain stations aren’t equipped with facilities. You can obtain a disabled person’s Railcard to get discounted travel in the UK subject to certain terms and conditions. Travelling by train can be convenient for certain destinations within Europe too; the Eurostar offers Special Needs Passenger tickets for those who are registered blind, or travelling in their own wheelchair, and one travelling companion or carer.
When travelling overseas, sometimes taking a flight is the only viable option. Most airlines have their disability provisions listed on their websites. It is worth informing cabin crew of your needs in advance of travel so they can prioritize leg room for example. In terms of accessibility of airports, in the UK, all major terminals will have adaptations fitted for disabled access. Because of demand, most taxi and minicab companies will have specially adapted vehicles for getting to and from the airport, it’s mostly a matter of planning ahead and calling in advance to state your needs and requirements.
Most privatised travel companies will be able to cater for your requirements, but it’s always the best course of action to do your research in advance. Check out online resources and publications for more information; a reputable source can be found here.