Travelers with a disabilities can be a challenging experience if the necessary preparations are not made in advance. These challenges may arise even before the actual journey. Without an appropriate safety structure in place, trips may prove problematic.
For example, the handicapped may not be well placed to react rapidly to emergencies. This puts them at risk of excessive damage in case of an emergency. Prior planning keeps the problems at bay and aid in securing a trouble-free journey.
Before leaving for a trip, you have to find an adequate travel destination with the appropriate accommodation. Whether you are traveling overseas or within, you should consider the conditions of your destination when choosing it. Beware that there are places where signs for the disabled are ignored or not taken with the seriousness they deserve. Put your needs first or you might end up struggling hard to survive at your place of visit.
Clarify and confirm some questions beforehand with the hotel of your choice. Detailed questions that one should ask are such as; what is the minimal size for lifts? How wide do the doors need to be? How many stairs are appropriate for you? Are there alternatives to stairs? Will you be needing a wheel-in shower? Does the bathtub have safety handles? You may request for a written confirmation as this is within your rights. By doing this, you will be able to avoid any potential unpleasant surprises when you arrive. Secure your holiday with prior planning.
You may or may not find a disability-friendly culture in every place you visit on earth. There are countries with a national culture that is compassionate and kind to the disabled while some have little consideration to these needs. For example, Scandinavian countries are known to have efficient and adequate infrastructures to cater for the needs of the disabled effectively.
There are those that need improvement such as southern countries even though they have some of the most exotic scenes. Sadly, a huge reliable high-class hotel may lack an adapted toilet, and this; is just one of the least things you will be expecting to find.
For this reason, conduct a detailed research by asking other travelers, reading reviews on the Internet, and seeking advice from professionals in the industry.
More countries are soaking in the new culture where the disabled need not be ignored anymore. Traveling in Europe is encouraging to a person of disability because they will be meeting many other disabled people in streets and almost everywhere. It seems like the disabled are no longer hidden away.
They are in holiday destinations participating in all the fun things that everyone else is in. You will be finding them in commuter trains, museums, restaurants, and streets because there are tailor-made solutions for them in almost every place.
There are numerous wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes, and other support gadgets around you in all public places.
This means that there is no discrimination and a person of disability has the opportunity to live independent and happy. Most importantly, they can enjoy their vacation just like everyone else and the reason you should consider visiting such places.
If you are interested in exploring the world during vacation, Europe is a good place to be. It offers an easy time for you because it is prepared to cater for your needs. Although the levels of personal mobility differ with individuals, there are standard structures and spaces designed to help most disabled people to move independently.
Once you have selected a country with a welcoming national culture, find out the services provided in the hotel of choice considering your level of immobility.
Here are some of the tips compiled from the most experienced travelers with disabilities.
The importance of planning ahead cannot be over-emphasized. Planning ahead requires conducting adequate research. If the place you intend to visit is not as lenient as you expect, a little more research will help you plan accordingly to the available resources.
For example, Paris is known to have poor accessibility. Nevertheless, if you are armed with this information you will find out exactly what the city has to offer and the places with the best resources for the disabled. This will help you plan accordingly.
Venice on the other hand is stereotyped as wheelchair-inaccessible. Here is a good tip: Herculaneum’s runs are identical to Pompeii’s ruins but are wheelchair-friendly while the latter is not. You may therefore, select a similar location and enjoy the views and fun with averagely the same cost but with better facilities. Another example is the Greek Island of Santorini, which is famed for its amazing ancient views. Here, the disabled do not have to struggle to go up the ‘donkey path’ on the cliffs because there are cruise lifts reserved for the disabled.
Booking hotel rooms should be done as early as several months before the trip. You should therefore secure your hotel of choice far in advance before the holidays arrive. This also means you will be spending a fraction of the money required while the rooms are accessible.
Most of the best rooms get booked as early as December for the following year’s summer. The reservations will keep you out of the need to hassle for the last minute rush for hotel rooms.
Determine your route prior to travel. If you make up your mind about the places, which you want to visit in Europe, it would be sensible to arrange the days and moments of each visit. This will give you more than enough time to explore all you need to find in Europe. It will also give you spare time to make some impulse moments and adventure.
Most importantly, you will be checking out every intended destination and activity you needed to complete during the trip.
Since the sites of attractions will depend on their facilities for the disabled and your choice on their standards, it will be easy to arrange your entire route during your stay.
Some of the routes you intend to use will be having wheelchair ramps and smooth pavements on flat terrain. Others may be on steep slopes, stairs, or cobblestones, which are dangerous and may undermine your safety.
Your route of choice should therefore, avoid such places and retain the appropriate and safe sidewalks. Other places to consider in your route determination are bus routes, subway stations, and building entrances.
There are numerous online sites with useful content to serve as guides to a European tour. Beware that you may not trust the information from all online sources so finding an authentic one would be important. Most of the online content on social media, for example, is based on personal opinion, which is limited and unreliable.
According to experienced travelers with disabilities, your choice of residence should be in the most accessible parts of a town. It sounds easy but may prove to be one of the hardest decisions to make while planning for a trip.
The reason is the best hotels with the facilities you need are not always located in the accessible parts of a city. After finding a hotel that caters for your needs, consider the exterior infrastructure once you roll out of their front door.
They may provide some of the best facilities but are located on a hilly place with stairs in every direction completely compromising your safety. Researching on the neighborhood surrounding a hotel proves a difficult task because there is rarely a connection between the two.
You however, need to research about a hotel’s neighborhood to be safe from unpleasant surprises. For example, you may use Google Map’s street view to get the exact lay of the land before you send your questions to the hotel.
Back Up Plan
You cannot rely completely on one plan because it may fail. Even the most perfectly executed of plans can develop mishaps and fail you. Starting over from that point will not only be strenuous but also hectic and frustrating.
Make sure the plan is flexible to allow minor changes as changes are inevitable. From flight delays, to train strikes (common in Italy), you are bound to be inconvenienced. You should develop a new plan such as carry spare parts for your wheelchair in case of a mechanical hitch so you will not be putting your vacation on hold.