This blog was especially written for Age Life Balance by Audrey Jones of Travel Counsellors, who helps individuals book bespoke holidays. She has a particular interest in helping people with different disabilities find their perfect holiday.

 

Accessible travel is a growth industry. Travelling the world is possible for everyone, no matter what disability or limitation you live with.

You may require special equipment or want to take your own. Maybe you’re travelling on your own or would like a companion for assistance. You could be planning for a special occasion and you don’t know where to start. Maybe one of your party has a hidden disability or allergy.

There are teams of experts that can make all this possible and more, to allow you to make your travel dreams a reality.  As the world’s population gets older, yet many people still have the travel bug, travel companies will increasingly need to adapt to accommodate the demand for accessible travel.

We explore various aspects below including the booking process, location, journey, accommodation, excursions and insurance.

 

Booking process

We start with the assumption that nothing is impossible, we just need to find the best way of achieving it for you.

Booking always starts with an exploratory discussion. This helps to identify what the client is looking for and any special requirements that may be necessary. Honesty is essential here to ensure the best match, even if some of these points can be sensitive.

Sometimes bookings are via standard travel companies with accessible facilities. There are also special booking facilities which can provide additional support.

Luckily, Audrey at Travel Counsellors is available to do the legwork for you to save you time, effort and worries, as well as value for money.

 

Accessible location

You can literally travel to any location anywhere in the world. There is a database and a network of known companies that cater for different requirements and this is continuously added to as more bookings are made. This is also updated with feedback from customers on their return.

 

Facilitating the journeys

Journeys can often be stressful at the best of times, even when travelling for leisure.

Airport

Start your holiday without a worry.

Within the airport itself, we can arrange wheelchair assistance. This will depend on the customers’ needs and equipment. If they have their own wheelchair, this can be used until the gate, before it’s put in the hold then available the other side. If customers don’t have their own wheelchair but are injured or infirm, they may use the airport wheelchair, e-bus etc. In addition, airport or airline staff assistance can also be arranged in advance.

Travel Counsellors can also help make the journey less worrying or stressful for anyone suffering from an illness or autism, or if you’re afraid of flying.

UK airports now offer sensory rooms (for autism) to relax in before flights.  They can arrange sunflower lanyards, so staff know what help to offer you and your travel companions.

Flights

If you need any equipment to assist you onto the plane, or during the flight, this can also be arranged for you.

  • ambulifts if you can’t climb stairs,
  • eagle lifts to help transfer you from your wheelchair into your seat,
  • you may need posture support, oxygen, onboard chairs to get you from your seat to the toilet

If the airlines or airports can’t provide these, there are specialised companies that can. Clients can either rent these privately or Travel Counsellors can facilitate this.

If you have a service animal, travel arrangements can also be made for these. There may be additional paperwork requirements e.g. pet passports and other certifications, associated with these.

Transfers

If you are travelling with your own manual or electric wheelchair, there’s a variety of airport transfers Audrey can arrange, which would include a meet & greet service.

These are not limited to specific locations and the network of known providers is also being built up.

These vehicles can often also be pre-booked for private city tours.

 

Accessible accommodation

Hotel stays with access to the swimming pool & beach can be arranged, including all you need in your room. This could include an adapted bathroom with a roll-in shower and stool, equipment to keep you safe such as special fire alarms if you are deaf or even hospital-style beds.

Once we know your requirements, we would contact hotels directly to ensure your needs will be catered for. This also extends to allergy information.

We have a database of suitable places in different locations. Bigger chains tend to be better prepared for this. But we can call any hotel directly on your behalf.

 

Excursions

If you want adventure whilst you are on your holiday, I can arrange scuba diving in your own wheelchair, skydiving, private city tours, island hopping, adapted safari vehicles and even gondolas in Venice – nothing is impossible!

In many locations, Audrey can also suggest restaurants for that special occasion.

 

Insurance

As with any travel, travel insurance is a must. Travellers can either sort this out for themselves or take out the insurance recommended by Travel Counsellors. The most important thing is to declare any conditions to ensure appropriate cover and limit any surprises.

Check out this article on Travel insurance for pre-existing conditions and Disability Travel Insurance.

 

Wrap-up

Travel Counsellors specialises in providing travel solutions without limits!!  Travelling the world is possible for everyone, no matter what disability or limitation you live with.

Audrey is here to listen and provide a tailormade accessible holiday just for you!

 

Thank you for reading! For more on Age Life Balance, browse the blog at www.agelifebalance.com to find out  more.

 

This blog was especially written for Age Life Balance by Audrey Jones of Travel Counsellors, who helps individuals book bespoke holidays. She has a particular interest in helping people with different disabilities find their perfect holiday.