As many of you will know, I actually went on holiday to Fuengirola in Spain for a week. It was utter bliss! It was everything I needed to get myself ready for the rest of the year – the up coming appointments, hospital stays and everything in between. I’m truly so thankful to my mum, nan and grandad for always making my time away so special and just allowing me to fully relax. Something which doesn’t happen often!
Now, you may think that today’s blogpost is a weird one, why would I write a travel guide for someone whose in a wheelchair? BUT going on holiday when your disabled and have chronic illnesses isn’t as easy as a able bodied person going away. There’s so many different things that go on behind the scenes, which you probably wouldn’t think of but you really need to know.
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to these sort of things, I’m very lucky that my mum does the majority of sorting myself, my wheelchair and illnesses out but I know, for many they don’t have that option.
Therefore, I wanted to share with you everything I’ve learnt about going away when wheelchair bound / disabled and all the tips you need to know about doing so.
Tips About Travelling When Disabled:
- Booking With Enabled Holidays –
On your first booking with Enabled Holidays, your booking agency will be able to arrange everything for you – just be sure to share with them each and every need so they can meet your exact requirement!
link to Enabled Holidays: https://www.enableholidays.com
- Taking Your Own Wheelchair –
Also, when it comes to taking a manual, I’d highly recommend taking off the stirrups & cushion and taking them onboard the plane with you. More likely than not, these two items in particular will go missing on the flight if left in the suitcase department, therefore taking those onboard with you, you can attach them straight to your wheelchair once reunited.
- Hiring A wheelchair –
To order the electric wheelchair (or any other type of disability transport) you have to go through Enabled Holidays themselves. From experience, to hire a wheelchair it costs around £135 which you pay prior to going away, but for your own independence whilst being away, I certainly don’t think that’s a bad price.
- Extra Hand Luggage –
When travelling with medications etc, it can be difficult to know what to do. Do you put it in your suitcase? your hand luggage? It can be quite a stress.
When booking with a travel agency, let them know that you have medications that need to be taken away with you, therefore they can book you extra hand luggage specifically for your medications.
Now, there’s certain things you MUST know when it comes to taking a medication bag with you:
– firstly, you HAVE to have a prescription which has all your medications written on it and the amount you take. This is specifically for your liquids and creams.
– secondly, you HAVE to get a doctors print out which tells them what medications your taking, how long you’ve been taking them for, if prescribed by a consultant up the hospital or your GP and the amount of each medication your taking. This is because, security won’t just accept your green prescription anymore.
– thirdly, when you hit security, you have to let them know your travelling with a medication bag. they will scan this bag separately and one thing you HAVE to know, is that any liquids or creams not written on your prescription, will be removed from your luggage and thrown away.
- Airport Assistance –
When you go to the check in desk, they’ll ask you wether you would like special assistance or wether you can do the walk alone. If you require assistance there and then, someone from the airport team will take you through security, into the main part of the airport. If you don’t want assistance at this point in particular, you can continue to walk through security alone.
Once you’ve gotten through security and head into the main airport, there’s a special assistance desk in which you need to book into if you require assistance getting to the aircraft. This doesn’t mean you can roam around duty free, you will get a buzzer which will alert you when you need to head back to the desk to be taken to your flight.
- Travelling With Medical Devices (Eg. Feeding Tube) –
• Adapted Transfers –
If your confined to a wheelchair, more likely than not, you’ll have to book adapted transfers.
Unfortunately, when abroad, their coach’s which wait for you outside to take you to your hotels aren’t disabled accessed nor are there many disabled taxi’s around, so booking your own adapted transfers is the easiest option.
If your booking through a travel agency or Enabled holidays, you can ask them to book you adapted transfers for you (they’ll likely automatically do this for you anyway).
We’ve has really good experiences with adapted transfers, they are always waiting outside with our name on their card and are parked pretty close so you don’t have to do a lot of lugging your suitcases around.
- Disabled Adapted Hotels –
First things first, I do have to warn you that even if your booking through Enabled holidays, not all “disabled adapted hotels” are really disabled friendly. We ourselves experience this on our holiday to Benidorm last year, we booked a “fully adapted” hotel to find out they didn’t have a hoist into the swimming pool NOR a disabled adapted shower in our hotel room.
Therefore, you have to make yourself VERY clear on what you require and how you won’t be happy if this doesn’t suit your needs.
Things you should enquire about before booking your hotel:
- Does it have a hoist into the swimming pool?
- Is the shower in your hotel room classed as a wet room?
- Is your balcony actually going to fit your wheelchair on there?
- What’s the width of the door frames?
- Are the lifts going to be big enough to fit in the wheelchair or mobility aid?
- Is your room going to fit your wheelchair in & have enough room to move around?
I know by rights when booking a DISABLED HOTEL you shouldn’t have to worry about these little things but unfortunately, not all “disabled hotels” are fully accessible. One thing you don’t want is to become stuck on your holiday as it can quickly become a massive stress, which isn’t what your holidays about!
That’s it for today’s blogpost, I really hoped this helped anyone whose struggling to know what you should enquire about when booking your up and coming holidays.
I myself wish I had something like this to read when we first booked our holiday away after falling ill. It’s a real big eye opener of how different booking for an abled body person is compared to a disabled person. There’s so much more you need to remember!
If you’d like to know anything else, please feel free to write a comment below asking or if you feel more comfortable, message me on any of my social media pages. Your never alone, I promise.
Sending you all tons of love and hugs as always,