|Going on holiday is something we all look forward to, so nothing should stop us from enjoying every second of it. But travelling with a disability can be stressful. Each continent, country and region will differ with the facilities it can provide to you. That is why our aim is to help you identify and overcome any potential obstacles before you travel, leaving you worry free and able to enjoy your time away.|
The 12 Steps to Stress Free Travelling
- START AT THE BEGINNING The secret to a stress free trip is to plan ahead and cover all bases. The first step is often taking out Travel Insurance that covers your condition. AllClear provide specialist cover for all conditions and ages. You can find us at www.allcleartravel.co.uk
- COVER YOUR BASES No one wants to be uncomfortable in their accommodation so call your hotel or wherever you are planning to stay for clarification of the facilities available to you.
- CHECK YOUR OPTIONS If you cannot find anywhere that can provide you with the equipment need but can accommodate you otherwise, you can hire equipment for the duration of your trip. Once you have found a hire company, most hotels will be happy to coordinate with them for you.
- COMMUNICATE When it comes to travel, air travel specifically, TELL EVERYONE! If you have a special requirement, be sure to tell:
- The agent when booking
- The airline (make a special phone call in advance)
- The check in desk at the airport
- The special assistance desk before AND after security at the airport
- The ground staff at the gate
- The cabin crew
- ALLOW EXTRA TIME When travelling with a disability everything takes that little bit longer. If you are travelling with a wheelchair, airport security will swab both the wheelchair and the person sitting in it. This is then run through a scanner before you are allowed to continue on into the airport lounge. These extra procedures and informing the necessary people add extra time to your departure and compensating for that will cancel out the risk of you missing your flight.
- BE PREPARED Only you will know best what you need to travel with whether it’s on a plane or a trip into the town centre. Besides keeping medical supplies and medication in your suitcase, keep a small bag with you at all times containing everything you might need. You may want to keep a few days supply of medication. This way, if you lose your luggage or something else happens, you have no reason to panic.
- BE SPECIFIC For any requirements, whether they are physical, dietary etc, be very specific when telling people what you need or how to deal with you. By doing this you increase your safety with regards to liability, physicality and the safety of others should something go wrong.
- STAY CALM You live with your disability every day and that means you know exactly what you need and how to handle things. But others may not. Yes people should be trained and informed, but that isn’t always the case, so try and be patient with people and stay calm. You don’t want to be the cause of any unnecessary stress on yourself. This does not mean that you do not deserve to be treated properly and with respect. Assertive and aggressive are very different!
- STAY INFORMED Information is the key to power. Keep on your person at all times information to do with your disability, medication, personal safety and any other important details. You may want to state the following:
- Your disability
- List your medication (including dosage)
- Next of kin contact details
- Your doctors contact details
- Places on your body that are painful
- Possible triggers of your condition
- Symptoms of a decline in your health
- Your insurance details
This way if anything untoward should happen you know that the people around you can treat you correctly.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK If you can find details in advance of any restaurants and tourist attractions that are accessible to you, you can avoid any nasty surprises.
- BE FLEXIBLE There may be places you want to visit that seem inaccessible to you. If you stay flexible you may not have to miss out. Places may surprise you with an alternative entrance, a private room or some helpful employees which could all lead to you getting exactly what you wanted.
- ENJOY! Now you have done everything you can to ensure a stress free trip, so enjoy!
Everyone loves to share stories of their holidays whether they have had good or bad experiences. We would love you to do just that. Share your stories with us and let us know how our information has helped you in the comments box below.