Travelling can throw up unexpected challenges for anyone – perhaps that is part of the lure of hitting the road. A physical handicap can deter people from planning their holidays, but with the right amount of planning and good choices, there are a world of options available for people with disabilities to go out there and explore away. If this is you, or you know someone who has a disability or serious illness, we’ve compiled a list of six precautionary tips to help you along —
Precaution 1: Book Your Holiday With An Accessibility Travel Company Or Agent
Booking your holiday with an agent or company experienced in arranging accessible holidays for travelers with health issues or physical limitations can save you unnecessary headache and anxiety. A good accessibility travel specialist will have the expertise to advise you on accessible destinations, hotels, car rental, wheelchairs, tour excursions and additional support for flights, too. Furthermore, if things go wrong, they will be a call away to put things right for you. Even if you decide to arrange your holiday yourself, booking accommodation through specialist websites such as Airbnb’s Accomable site will help you find accommodation that caters for your specific disability and health requirements.
Precaution 2: Do Your Research and Get Local
If you decide not to book your holiday through an accessibility travel specialist, then it’s imperative you do extensive homework about your destinations, before making any bookings. If you are ill, map out any nearby hospitals in case an emergency comes up. A great option is to find local guides or friends to help you out in planning as well as when you are there. There are several websites that can assist you in finding local support – check out the Global Greeter Network, Showaround, Withlocals, Travel4real, Travelsherpa
Precaution 3: Be Prepared for Emergencies
As mentioned above, knowing where local hospitals are in proximity to your hotel is important, but you should be further prepared for emergencies by carrying your health records, meds and first-aid kit. Do make it a point to speak to your doctor before travelling to equip yourself with additional helpful information such as required vaccinations and prescribe measures to make your travel easier. Always carry a medical note on you or with your partner, of the meds you are taking and any vital medical information that may be required in the case of an emergency.
Precaution 4: Get Insured
The internet is abounded with holiday horror stories of travelers who ended up seriously injured or dead because of an accident while on holiday. If you already suffer from ill health or are living with disabilities, any medical care you need because of an accident or a deterioration in your health can be so much costlier when travelling. Cancellation insurance also ensures that you are covered if you find that your health has deteriorated to the point that makes travel impossible. Just make sure you check the fine print so everything you need is actually covered.
Precaution 5: Know Your Rights
Knowing your rights when booking your holiday and when actually travelling abroad will help you to protect yourself and ensure that service providers are meeting their legal responsibilities towards you. For example, airlines need to be equipped, trained and be able to serve people with disabilities – you need to inform them beforehand.
Precaution 6: Look After Yourself
It’s a holiday – you are meant to relax! But, it’s understandable that you also want to sight-see and explore. Go out and about, but also take enough breaks to prevent over-doing things if you are very ill. Factor in nap time, medicine breaks and pit-stops.
We hope you have a stress-free travel experience!
Have any additional precautionary tips to add to this list? Comment below and let us know.