Hi! I’m Emily, a 27 year old accessibility consultant, writer and presenter living in gorgeous Glasgow – I decided to stay after moving up here to travel write for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. I’m a full-time manual wheelchair user with cerebral palsy and, although I’ve travelled to over 30 countries for work and play, travelling does still have it’s challenges.
Culture, colours, mouth-watering local dishes, a guilt-free opportunity to shop and take shameless selfies… there’s plenty of reason why we travel. But, for those of us who are disabled, a fair bit of planning often needs to take place before we can indulge in our new traveller experiences; it’s not always easy to jump on a plane, cart baggage to numerous hotels or go to a popular tourist destination on the fly, secretly praying that there’s an abundance of accessible facilities on offer. If you’re disabled and looking to plan your next exotic extravaganza this year, have a read of our travel tips below, and maybe even get some inspiration for some accessible destinations here in the UK along the way – remember, there’s plenty of Access Guides available on the AccessAble website!
Do your Research
As much as most of us would love to, taking an impulsive trip to an unfamiliar place is sadly not recommended if you have additional requirements when it comes to travel. Wheelchair access, hearing loops, large print menus and lowered booking desks are yet to be guaranteed anywhere in this country or abroad, and no-one wants a ruined trip due to a lack of access. Use the AccessAble Access Guides to have a look for city break inspiration in the UK – Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Museum of Liverpool are two great examples of incredible access within world-renowned attractions.
Know your Preferences
Are you into boutique independent hotels, glamping, or trusted chains? Are kooky café’s with art-plastered walls your style, or is suiting up for a steak house serenade the only way to go? Knowing what you like when it comes to travel can make the planning process much faster (and more enjoyable!) And, even better, there’s nothing quite like treating a friend, family member or significant other to an inclusive evening based on your tastes! Let’s say you’re fancying a short break in London. If you’re into drama and literature, why not head to an open-air show at Shakespeare’s Globe? If the natural wonders of the world are more your thing, there’s always the awe-inspiring Natural History Museum.
Don’t be Afraid
Our number one travel tip to disabled adventurers? Don’t let the need for access and inclusivity scare you into not spreading your wings and going on a journey – wherever in the world that may be. True, you may have a less-than-positive experience when going somewhere new, but that’s part of the travelling game. If you do have a glowing review of a restaurant, events venue, hotel, transport hub or shopping centre, please do let the AccessAble team know via our website or social media – that way, others can benefit from your brilliant experience! There are so many great places to visit and amazing days out to be had. Slowly but surely, access and inclusion is improving to ensure that everyone can be a traveller for a day, week, month or year, and experience all the culture, colours, mouth-watering dishes and shameless selfies their hearts desire.
We wish you the very best of luck on your travel journey, and hope these tips help you to make the most of it!