Travelling With a Disability

Travelling With a Disability

The weather is glorious this week and we are fast approaching the traditional summer holiday season. Travel can be stressful for anybody but it’s particularly difficult if you have a disability. When you’re at home, you’ve learned to deal with all of the challenges that come with your disability but if you’re travelling to another country, you don’t know if things are going to be accessible and whether people will be as accommodating as they are at home.

People don’t often realize that simple things they take for granted are difficult for people with a disability and that means that travelling with a disability can be tough, especially if you’re travelling solo. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from seeing all of the places that you want to see because, with proper planning, you can still have an amazing trip. These are some of the best tips for travelling with a disability.

Research The Law Re Travelling With a Disability

In this country, it’s a legal requirement that anywhere that has toilet facilities must offer an accessible toilet for people with disabilities as well. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to be the case in every country that you visit. Most places in Europe will have the same laws but if you venture outside of Europe, there is always the chance that there won’t be any disabled toilet facilities and that can be a problem. That’s why it’s important that you do your research beforehand and see what the laws surrounding accessible toilets are so you know what the situation is likely to be.

The same goes for ramp access because in some countries, there may not be any rules or regulations in place. If that is the case, you might find that there isn’t good access to a lot of the tourist attractions that you want to visit and you’ll have to look into making other arrangements.

Get Good Insurance

Insurance is so important if you have a disability that can cause regular health issues. If you are in need of medical attention while you’re away, you don’t want to be stuck with a big bill at the end of it. Travel insurance with medical cover costs less than £10 for a week so it’s definitely worth getting. You should also look into mobility scooter insurance if you use one because you could find yourself in a difficult situation if you have a problem with your scooter. Insurance is relatively cheap but it can save you a lot of money if something goes wrong, so make sure that you always have cover when you travel.

Look For Support Groups

There are always disability groups that offer support to people and you should try to find some before you go. If you contact them, they will be able to give you a lot of advice on things like accessibility and give you tips on where to go and how to get around easily etc. These are great resources that you should take advantage of because they will make your travel experience so much easier.

Of course, travelling with a disability doesn’t always mean a physical disability or a physical disability that is “obvious”. There are many hidden disabilities to consider and thankfully many airports and venue are able to offer additional support. Check on this in advance.

Travelling with a disability can be tough but you shouldn’t let that stop you from doing the things that you want to do.

 

The Virgin Traveller’s Top Travel Tips

The idea behind this post is to share some helpful tips for making travelling abroad easier, things such as being able to make yourself understood when overseas. First, however, I have a confession to make. I don’t have a passport. Indeed, I have never had a passport. Yes, folks, I’ve never left the UK. Not once.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t something that keeps me awake at night. I’m not dreaming of a Shirley Valentine getaway anytime soon and to be honest I can say hand on heart that I don’t feel I’ve missed out. That said, I don’t want to never go abroad. I’m not anti-abroad, far from it. Overseas travel is very much on the cards. We just haven’t done it yet.

These tips are from the viewpoint of a virgin traveller (me) and what she (also me) believes would make life easier in terms of travelling abroad.

  1. Make Sure You Understand The Process

    Oh my, have you ever watched Border Control and airport shows? They don’t do a cracking job of putting potential travellers at ease, do they? The producers pick the very worst scenarios because let’s face it, no-one wants to watch 45 minutes of happy reunions when drunk women throwing luggage about is on offer. I get it, I really do. With everything being so very dramatic though, it’s not easy to visualise the actual airport and travel processes.
    What I’d love to have is a Dummies Guide to Travelling Abroad. A proper newbie guide. 

    Step 1: Take your boarding pass out of your bag.
    Step 2: ……..

Having a better understanding of the security requirements and the actual process of getting from A to B would really help.

  1. Learn the Lingo, or Cheat

    I was one of those girls at school who learned both French and German. I can tell you how many brothers and sisters I have in both languages, a few animal names, all the swear words and I know all about the swimming pool in French (a la piscine) purely because it sounded like a swear word. Needless to say, I’m fluent only in Yorkshire-speak so if I were to travel abroad (this is on the cards at some point!) I would like to have a few decent phrases or at least a full-proof phrase book or app to help me, especially when outside of touristy places.

    According to research from those lovelies at Holiday Autos I’m not the only one lacking in language skills. The “average” number of French words an adult Brit knows total 15. I’m pretty sure that four or five of those could be profanities.

    It gets better, (no really). Of those 15 words, it seems that “Hi” and “bye” alongside “yes”, “no” and “thanks” are most commonly known. Shocking stuff! Top tip number two, be prepared lingo-wise.

  2. Sort Your Local Travel

    I don’t drive and so am something of a queen when it comes to public transport. That’s all well and good here however in some gorgeous little rustic overseas village, where incidentally you can only say “hi, bye, no, yes” and count to ten, you’re going to struggle.
    From my point of view having a solid transport plan in place, ideally with a reputable holiday hire car (Roy drives), is just as important as knowing where the local Lidl is.
    * A nod to Holiday Autos here as they are the only “brand” I know, and having had a nosy, is the company that looks most likely to be full-proof for novice travellers such as us.

  3. Know What You’re Paying

    Currency is a bit of a worry, isn’t it? I’ve clocked the whole shopping around for holiday cash thing but I always wonder if I’ll end up paying way over the odds for something when on holiday because I’ve not worked out the difference in currency rates. Pound to Dollar or to Euro is fairly standard however for anything else I’m going to bet that doing a little homework in advance could be advantageous.

  4. Understand What You are Eating and Drinking

    If I could give myself, the virgin traveller one top tip it would be to understand the food! When we go abroad the chances are we’ll stay in some sort of resort or “mainstream” hotel but spend a lot of time in the less touristy places. Part of that experience is to sample authentic local cuisine. Holiday Autos’ research also found that around 27% of British travellers don’t bother to learn any of the native languages before setting off. I most certainly would not be in that bracket because I like (need) to know what I’m eating and drinking! Some advance research on local delicacies would be a good idea too.

For me, everything about travelling abroad is going to be new, shiny, scary and amazing. You can bet your bottom Dollar/Euro/Pound that these top five tips for making travelling abroad easier will all be on my to-do list before booking anything. I’ll have a better grasp of security, know what I can pack, where I go at the airport, and so on. I’ll brush up on my non-lewd foreign languages, sort reputable transport, make sure I know my tagliatelle from my local sandworm cuisine (do people actually eat sandworms?) and will certainly make sure I have a handle on how the currency works and the value as compared to the good old Pound.

What about you? What are your top tips for travelling?
Also, are you in the 27% and never learn any language before going abroad as “everyone speaks English” or do you know the basic 15 words including curses, like I do? I’m curious (nosy)!

 

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