Travelling alone can be a daunting, but incredibly exciting prospect but when you have limited mobility it brings it onto a whole new level. In a world slowly increasing in accessibility, travelling on your own is becoming more and more realistic whether you choose to go on a relaxing poolside holiday in a gloriously sunny destination, or take a folding scooter with you to the height of the action in one of Europe’s top cities. There are plenty of things you can do to make travelling just that little bit easier, and we have collected a few together for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This is the number one rule of travelling alone when you have limited mobility. While you might not want to turn around to a stranger in the street to ask for help to climb some steps, there are nearly always staff on hand at your destination willing to help you with whatever it is you may need. At some tourist destinations, there might even be staff trained specifically to help you, so it’s always worth asking to see what facilities are available for you to use.
Similarly, it is always a good idea to phone the airport before in advance of your flight. Calling early and telling them of your arrival will give them time to get everything in place to help you through the airport and onto your flight, and will often go that step further and organise help for when you land at your destination. From ensuring you seats in a lounge, to providing you with a golf cart to take you from the terminal to the steps up to the plane, some airports really will go above and beyond to ensure you a smooth process.
Look at specialist tour companies
Once you have a destination in mine, it may be worth looking into mobility-specific tour companies. There are plenty of companies out there who can either offer you advice, or that can run holidays and trips themselves. Enable Holidays, for example, specialise in limited mobility holidays, whether it be disability-specific or the senior holiday market. Enable Holidays audits and grades all kinds of accommodation across the UK and overseas to ensure that every holiday is a perfect, safe fit.
Richmond Retreats offers award-winning retirement holidays, based in the Cotswolds and the surrounding areas. These holidays are excellent for anyone who might have more specialist needs, as there are carers on site 24/7, and enough of a range of activities to ensure that there will be something to do for everyone.
Think about your destination
That walking tour in Cambodia might sound like the perfect option now, but it’s important to stop and think about just where you’re going and what exactly you can realistically handle. Most major cities, airports and tourist attractions will have easier access options due to the volume of disabled and limited mobility visitors that pass through, whereas more obscure, less touristy places might otherwise lack in accessibility. Germany, for example, has high accessibility in Berlin and Munich specifically, but smaller towns are likely to have a high volume of cobbles which can put strain on your feet or hips.
Look into health insurance and your medication
As a limited mobility traveller, it’s important to check in advance as to whether or not your medications are available in the country you are travelling to, and how much it might cost you to get new ones should you need to. Talk to your doctor for more information. They’ll probably know about not only the availability, but whether or not a certain medication may or may not be banned in your desired countries.
Where insurance is concerned, it is vital to look into your options. Healthcare isn’t always affordable, and if there happens to be a need for you to visit a doctor in a foreign country, the insurance will make sure that it doesn’t get out of hand. Check out MedJet, an insurance broker suggested by the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality.