As one of the market leaders for vehicular access, Faiveley Vapor Ricon enjoys strong relationships with many well-known brands operating in the disabled marketplace – especially those serving wheelchair-users. One of these is Enable Holidays – the award-winning specialists for accessible holidays abroad.
We’re delighted that Enable’s managing director, Lynne Kirby, has agreed to be our first guest blogger here by providing her five top tips for planning a stress-free accessible holiday.
Five Top Tips for Planning an Accessible Holiday Without the Stress
Planning a wheelchair-friendly holiday shouldn’t be stressful but unfortunately, sometimes, it is. Finding, booking and planning it all can put some people off entirely – and we can definitely understand why. To make it easier for you, I’ve written up five of our top tips for a stress-free accessible holiday.
1) Decide what type of accessible holiday you’re looking for.
While looking at destination photos might be a bit more fun, taking the time to consider which type of holiday will best suit you is an important first step. Relaxing on an accessible beach is ideal for some people, but you might prefer the idea of a river cruise or a city break full of sight-seeing opportunities. Before you start planning the finer details, make your decision on this.
2) Find your dream destinations (yes, more than one).
Grab a notepad and a cup of tea, open up our Destinations page and make a list of the places you’d most like to visit. Are you all about Amsterdam? Ready to leave your heart in San Francisco? Looking to go to Ibiza for a party in the Mediterranean Sea? Don’t just look at photographs – ask friends where they’ve travelled to, read up on the accessible activities on offer in the locations you’re interested in and don’t forget to factor in flight time (we offer short-haul and long-haul destinations, and even UK options, so you can choose what’s best for you). The more choices you have written down, the better – it’ll make things easier later down the line, especially when cost becomes a factor.
3) Think about the type of accommodation you want.
There are so many options for accommodation – from self-catering apartments and villas to 5* luxury hotels. The accommodation you choose will be your home away from home while you’re abroad, so it’s worth thinking about it and making sure it’s what you want.
It’s not just the style of adapted accommodation that’s so key here – there are other factors to consider, too. Think about how close you’d like to be to shops and attractions, and whether your preferred accommodation choice will have the right accessible features for your mobility requirements.
When you book with Enable Holidays, our advisors will take the time to talk through these factors with you and use their knowledge to find the best options for you. Since we carry out our own accessibility audits, we’ll be able to advise you on everything from door widths to bed heights, and we guarantee the adapted accommodation when you book, so there won’t be any nasty last-minute surprises.
4) Get your details ready.
If you’re a wheelchair-user, make sure you have detailed measurements of your chair to hand during the planning stages – we can use these measurements to find the best airlines and accommodation options for you and it’ll take the hassle out of the later stages of the process for you. If you’re taking any other equipment or medical supplies, make a list of these details, too, to streamline the planning stages.
5) Make sure you’ve got it covered.
Remember to ensure your passport will be in-date, any visas you might need are arranged and you’ve got insurance to cover things like medical emergencies, travel delays, the loss of valuables and any damage that may happen to your mobility equipment – while these eventualities are unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re travelling to an accessible destination in Europe, getting an EHIC card is a fantastic idea. Our advice is to get one sorted before Brexit if you’re going to need one, as that increases your chances of being able to use it after the UK leaves the EU.
We’ll be here for you every step of the way and take the stress out of planning your holiday – we want you to enjoy your accessible holiday, not worry about it, which is what really sets us apart.