Spotlight on: Accessible Holidays - Travel and Transport
This week, we are bringing you some brilliant companies who are forward thinking with accessible travel, as well as some tips with how to make travelling easier. Accessibility issues are some of the biggest barriers disabled people encounter when travelling. Sadly, we see it time and time again, horror stories of what disabled people often experience when travelling by plane, rail and public transport, and unfortunately many places just aren’t designed with accessibility in mind. There are some things you can do, when planning your trip, to make travelling much more enjoyable and less stressful. Here are some of our tips:
- Contact the travel provider to explain your assistance needs, prior to booking – This way they can tell you what services they provide and you can know if this provider will be suitable for you. These might include wheelchair accessible toilets, quiet carriages and discounted fares. Jumbulance, who are featured in this article below, offer accessible coach travel and can offer specialist support when travelling, for those that need it. Also, featured below, is Roadchef, who have 30 motorway services across the UK with fully accessible toilets. You can plan your journey ahead of time on their website.
- Book assistance online ahead of time – Railway stations and airlines have areas to book passenger assistance on their website, for those that may need it. This should mean that there will be a member of staff waiting to assist you, to and from the train or plane you are travelling on. You will also be offered assistance with luggage and security. It’s helpful to book this ahead of time, so that you can ensure there is an available staff member waiting to assist you.
- Enquire about a free or discounted space for your carer or PA – If you need to travel with your personal assistant, and/or carers, this could mean you are spending a huge part of your holiday budget on the travel alone. Thankfully, you can often get free spaces or discounts for your carer or PA when travelling by rail or air. Make sure to check with you travel provider before booking.
- Consider taking products which make travelling easier – travel packs for cars can be a great piece of equipment to take for long journeys, or for use in an unfamiliar car if needed whilst away. They often include swivel mats, door straps and leg lifters. Please click here to see a selection on our database.
Although a lot of travel services still have a way to go before becoming suitably accessible, this week we are bringing you some fantastic companies who are leading the way with their accessibility. Please see details of each company below, with links to their website.
Here at Roadchef we are extremely committed to ensuring that customers have access to comfortable and inclusive facilities at all of our Motorway Service Areas (MSA's). We recognise the importance of providing accessible amenities for all individuals, regardless of their physical abilities. Part of this includes our partnership with Changing Places, an organisation dedicated to advocating for accessible facilities. Currently we're proud to offer Changing Places at 17 of our MSA's, providing enhanced accessibility and convenience for our customers. We are actively working to expand this initiative and plan to introduce more Changing Places facilities at additional locations in the coming year. All of our sites are wheelchair accessible with ample accessible parking bays located near the entrance to the MSA building. In addition to this, we have built a sensory room at Strensham South Services to support those with sensory difficulties. For those with sensory difficulties, large crowds and noise at many public venues can become overwhelming. We’ve created an environment to help relax, promote feelings of calm. Roadchef strives to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, and we are determined to continuously improve our accessibility offerings to meet the diverse needs of our valued customers.
Please click here to be directed to their website where you can see locations of Roadchef’s MSA’s, and you can also plan your journey on their journey planner.
The Jumbulance Trust makes accessible travel possible for disabled adults and children, or those who have serious or complex health conditions. We specialise in holidays, short breaks, and day trips in the UK and Europe - and of course, accommodate for carers in our Jumbulance adventures. With our team of experienced drivers, and our family of professional, medical and lay volunteers, we simply make dreams come true! Our decades of experience show we add to the fulfilment and enjoyment of life - promoting accessible and inclusive travel to our VIPs of all ages. When many travel providers still lack suitable facilities and specialist support, we are the original accessible travel charity. Please click here to be directed to their website to find out more information.
Brotherwood design a range of unique Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), each engineered to maximise comfort, inclusion, and safety for the wheelchair user. Brotherwood offer free, no-obligation home demonstrations across the UK. With a range of new and used WAVs available to purchase or lease via the Motability scheme, Brotherwood WAVs are renowned for their quality and ease of use.
Brotherwood also offer WAV Hire, with a range of adapted vehicles available for long or short-term rental with home delivery. Please click here to be directed to their website and to find out more information on their fully accessible vehicles.
P&O Cruises is Britain’s favourite cruise line, welcoming guests to experience holidays with a blend of discovery, choice, relaxation and exceptional service catered towards British tastes. Each of the seven ships has its own appeal from family friendly or exclusively for adults. With over 200 destinations worldwide, P&O Cruises itineraries are carefully curated to inspire discovery and are varied to suit newcomers and experienced guests alike. P&O Cruises wants to ensure that each and every holiday is enjoyed to the full. It takes pride in being inclusive and wants to make sure that they get it right. P&O Cruises ships offer a range of fully or partially accessible cabins featuring wide doorways to the cabin, wet-room-style bathrooms, grab rails and ramp access to the balcony. The majority of public areas and venues have level or ramped access, and all ships offer a pool hoist with chair. Entertainment venues, including theatres have allocated spaces for wheelchair or mobility scooter users. Most of the ships also have Braille cabin numbers and Braille lift buttons or audio call signs for blind or partially sighted guests. For more information on P&O accessibility and how to book, please click here.
We hope you have found this article helpful for when planning your next trip. If you have used any other accessible travel companies you’d like to shout about, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
This article has been sponsored by the companies mentioned above. For more information please see the links below.