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How to plan for a disability-friendly holiday with your family

Planning a holiday for your family can be stressful enough even without considering accommodating a disability. Anyone should be able to travel wherever they want to regardless of whether someone has a disability or regardless of who people travel with. That is why it’s important to plan for a disability-friendly holiday in the UK or abroad to consider things like accessibility, locations, and any specific facilities you or your loved one may require. In this blog, Fish Insurance goes over some steps to follow for how you can plan disability-friendly summer holidays in 2023 with your family including communicating with holiday providers and thinking about insurance and medication.

1. Book inclusive accommodation

One of the main aspects of booking a holiday is choosing the accommodation for your stay. For a disabled person, booking the right kind of accommodation can seem almost impossible, especially if you’re looking to book accommodation abroad. When considering accommodation, you need to make sure to explain your needs clearly before booking somewhere. For example, check if the hotel you’re considering has accessible rooms and accessible facilities. Don’t assume that staff members will automatically understand your needs, instead make sure to communicate any requirements you might need during your stay. Most accommodations will go out of the way to accommodate their guests so don’t be afraid to ask!

2. Bring any necessary assistance equipment

Another crucial part of holiday planning is thinking about the kind of assistance equipment you might need during your stay. For example, if you need wheelchairs, mobility scooters, or walking aids. Most holiday destinations in the UK and abroad will have facilities to hire this type of assistance equipment so you don’t have the hassle of travelling with large equipment. If you prefer to use your own equipment, think about how you can transport it either in a car/taxi or whether you need to add some extra luggage to train/coach/plane tickets for example.

This also includes ensuring you take the right amount of medication needed for the length of your trip. It’s also a good idea to take any evidence of your prescription with you to prove that you have been prescribed the medication by a healthcare professional.

3. Phone ahead for any activities

If you’re thinking of doing any activities while on holiday, a good idea is to phone ahead before you leave. This way you have peace of mind that the activities you’re thinking about doing will have ways how they accommodate disabled people whether that’s through accessibility procedures or other methods. You may be able to receive exclusive access or experiences for your family or even be able to take part in activities you originally thought you wouldn’t be able to. You can either phone ahead or drop an email or message clearly stating your requirements and asking how they might be able to assist you.

4. Be realistic

Depending on the disability you or your loved one have, you may need to be more realistic about your holiday plans. For example, if you’re considering a week-long cruise or a 2–3 week trip away you may need to consider how this could impact your health and wellbeing. A super action-packed holiday may not be suitable for people who need a lot of assistance or accessibility help. A long trip could cause issues with having the right medication or equipment with you. Therefore, it’s important to get the right balance between your dream holiday and making sure your holiday is suitable for you and your needs.

5. Be specific about your requirements

It’s crucially important to be as specific as possible about your needs and requirements. Instead of explaining the type of disability you have to whoever is taking care of you on holiday, go into the specifics of how your needs can be met. For example, explain how your holiday can be made as comfortable as possible and make sure to receive confirmation from managers wherever you’re staying. It’s easy for staff to assume things are accessible and safe for you on holiday, however, it’s another thing making sure the little things don’t get overlooked. For example, a hotel confirms they have a lift but no guarantee that it’s large enough for a wheelchair or mobility scooter.

6. Check the legal information

It’s important to check the legal information of the place you are travelling to if you’re planning on visiting another country. The vast majority of countries will have a form of disability discrimination legislation in place so check to see if your travel agency, tour operator and business in that country abide by these laws. They must make any reasonable adjustments for you on your trip to improve the accessibility of their facilities and service to you.

7. Get the right travel insurance

There are so many different types of travel insurance packages available for disabled people that it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your condition. As well as thinking about common policies such as theft or travel delays, you also need to think about how much coverage you might need for potential medical costs or if policies cover pre-existing medical conditions. When choosing your insurance package, make sure to declare your disability or illness to ensure you are covered for your health.

At Fish Insurance, we’re proud to have a partnership with the travel experts at AllClear. All clear works to provide cover for existing conditions and disabilities when going on holiday.

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