Travel advice for disabled travellers
A little extra planning is all it takes for disabled travellers to have a fantastic holiday. You might face new challenges abroad - but that's all part of the fun of travelling!
How can disabled travellers prepare for a holiday abroad?
- Buy comprehensive travel insurance and tell your provider about your disability. Insurewithease.com offers a range of affordable single trip and annual multi-trip policies
- Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles you to cheap, or even free, state healthcare in the EEA and Switzerland. Please note: Even though the UK has now left the EU, the EHIC will be valid until the end of the transition period.
- Specialist tour operators have numerous options available specifically for disabled travellers, from wheelchair accessible holidays to cruises for deaf tourists
- Choose a hotel that has disabled facilities to suit your specific needs, such as handrails in the bathroom. Contact the hotel before you book to speak to the proprietor about your needs
- Contact your airline if you plan to fly. Wheelchair users might have specific needs, which the airline must be made aware of. Be sure to specify if you can or can't walk and request an aisle seat if you need one
- Check in early at the airport to give yourself plenty of time to get sorted
- If you need medication for your condition, carry enough with you to last your whole trip and keep it in your hand luggage. Make sure it's accompanied by a doctor's letter to show to airport security
- Some car hire companies provide adapted cars for disabled travellers, and the Blue Badge Scheme is operational in many European countries
- Disabled travellers can take part in many thrill-seeking activities, such as tandem skydives, scuba diving or dog sledding. Just be sure to tell the organisers about your disability before you book anything
- If you are blind or deaf and need to take a guide dog abroad, make sure your dog is vaccinated, micro-chipped and has a pet passport
- Listed or ancient buildings need to retain their original architecture - these places might not be suitable for people with certain disabilities
- Take an able bodied companion with you - there's no shame in having someone on hand to help you when you need it
- Buy a RADAR disabled toilet key that allows you access to disabled toilets throughout Europe
- Some destinations might not be suitable for wheelchair users - hot climates make manual wheelchairs hard work, as do wet climates where muddy paths pose a problem
Disabled travellers have the right to enjoy their holidays just like everyone else. Follow this useful advice and you are sure to find a holiday that's right for you, whatever your disability.