We all look forward to our summer holidays but people with limited mobility may feel that they are restricted to only travelling in their home country or areas they know. Many people feel that it is easy to stick to locations they are familiar with and know will be accessible, particularly if they use WAVs, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, which are customised to their specific needs. However, there has been a considerable improvement in the provision of accessible facilities across Europe and America in recent years. Here are our top tips for travelling with limited mobility.
Research Which Countries Are Wheelchair Friendly
If you are currently using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, it can be a good idea to do your research before you travel. By choosing a destination which is known for being extremely good at providing for people with limited mobility, it reduces the stress on the individual upon arrival. Some of the countries known for being incredibly accessible for people with disabilities include Finland, Germany and Vienna. These countries have a high standard of public transport and attractions which are wheelchair friendly.
Travel is possible even in countries which are not well known for being accessible. Planning ahead will help you to get around in these countries. If you know you want to go on a day trip, why not book it in advance and let the provider know that you have limited mobility. Most reputable companies will be more than happy to help you to enjoy your trip. Additionally, checking the accessibility of a landmark or restaurant before you head out for the day can help you to make the most of your trip without struggling to navigate inaccessible routes.
Choose An Accessible Tour Provider
Travelling with a company which has specialist knowledge in providing accessible tours or holiday packages will ensure that you are always presented with the flattest routes available. Additionally, if you are booking a package holiday, there are many companies which provide accessible accommodation and transport, meaning that you will be comfortable throughout your trip. It can be a good idea to discuss your needs with your tour guide in advance, to make sure that you will be receiving the kind of trip that suits you.
Book Your Public Transport Tickets In Advance
Whenever possible, make sure you book your train tickets in advance. Most cities in Europe have improved their public transport to allow access for people with limited mobility. However, wheelchair friendly spaces on trains and trams may be limited so it is advisable to book in advance. Additionally, it can be worthwhile to check whether your station is accessible from street level as occasionally accessible trains stop at platforms with steps.
Know Your Limits
When you are on holiday it can be easy to get carried away and push your boundaries. Of course it’s possible for people with limited mobility to enjoy their holidays, at home or abroad, but make sure you look after your health as a first priority. Planning ahead and choosing to stay in the most accessible parts of town will help with finding the perfect balance. Remember, only you know your limits so don’t be swayed into stretching them!