Travel Advice: Holidaying when mobility is restricted

Many resorts have made more of an effort to make their facilities wheelchair-friendly

There are many companies today that specialise in arranging holidays for people who need mobility devices to get around. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

There are many companies today that specialise in arranging holidays for people who need mobility devices to get around. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

 

Just because you are not as fit as you used to be or incapacitated does not mean you cannot go on holidays. There are many specialised travel companies that can arrange a holiday in Ireland or to the most exotic safari trips.

The Irish Wheelchair Association has a list of travel agents both in Ireland and the United Kingdom and you can see it on iwa.ie. See also assistireland.ie for a list of equipment suppliers if you need to rent anything.

The UK has many good companies providing holidays and now that sterling is better value, this option is worth considering.

The only difference using a British company is that you will not be covered under the British travel agents’ insurance cover.

Fly with major airline

Ensure you buy travel insurance that includes air carrier failure, in case an airline goes out of business while you are on holidays. It is a rare occurrence but consider flying only with major airlines.

At many destinations it is now much easier to rent wheelchairs, mobility scooters or other devices to assist you getting around. Search on Google for suppliers.

These days, more resort towns make an effort to have nice long promenades and better pavements with access to beaches and recreation areas. Though avoid Ubud in Bali, worst pavements I have ever seen.

Cruises are always a good option if you are slow on your feet or need a wheelchair. You get to unpack once and there are plenty of crew to help you get around. Swimming pools have hoists and there are lifts everywhere.

Book in advance

Taking guided coach tours also ensure you get to see a lot of places on your trip. If you are bringing or going to hire any mobility devices or equipment, make sure to book it well in advance.

Though you are only required to notify an airline and airport 48 hours in advance of your trip, you should give more notice at busy times.

jscales@irishtimes.com

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