Going on Holiday: Wheelchair Users
We understand that travelling around your local area can be difficult let alone going on holiday and having to take a flight. In this blog, we will provide you with helpful information and tools you can use to make your holiday as accessible and stress-free as possible!
Flying as a wheelchair user
Flying is probably the most difficult type of transport for wheelchair users. Make sure you check in at a desk and not the automatic check-in machines, this is so you can speak to an attendant and ask them to carry your bag to the gate or to push you if you are travelling alone. Throughout each airport will be assistance desks where you can make any requests you wish. As a wheelchair user, you will board the plane last and leave last. Here you will find helpful information for each of the three biggest airports in England:
If you have booked an all-in-one package, companies have helpful pages for wheelchair users so it’s worth checking. Here is one from Virgin Holidays: https://www.virginholidays.co.uk/important/special-assistance.
One of the most important things to note is to not believe everything you read. Hotel search sites that show that the hotel is accessible may not be true. We highly recommend contacting the hotel and asking what facilities they have available, you may also want to ask for photos, so you can check you are happy with them.
Before you travel, get familiar with the area, especially the public transport services (if you intend to travel around during your holiday). Quite often you can check online and through their websites as to which stations offer access free options.
Tools You Can Use
Google Maps has recently introduced a tab where you filter out all stations and buses that have disability access. We currently know this is available in London and we hope they introduce this to other cities around the world!
Accomable was a great website that was recently bought by Airbnb. It allowed you to search wheelchair accessible places in over 60 different countries. Now Airbnb displays all accessible features on listings, but as we said above, please call and double check yourself.
A Few Places We Recommend
Here is a short list of the places we recommend visiting due to the great accessible around the city!
Barcelona – You’ll be happy to know this great Spanish city is actually pretty flat. Many of its famous attractions are wheelchair accessible and so is around 90% of its public transport.
Munich – Most of Munich’s stations are barrier-free and have elevators installed to get you to and from underground level.
French Alps – Fancy hitting the slopes? Many of the resorts offer lessons, accommodation and transport for wheelchair users.
Israel – This city may be the perfect place for you. Starting off, there are tour companies that solely provide amazing tours for wheelchair users. You can also request taxis that are equipped to deal with wheelchair users. And many of the hotels offer rooms specifically for wheelchair users.
We hope this guide has encouraged or helped you plan your next visit abroad!