We are entering a new phase. I’m seeing BJ’s friends looking to spread their wings and assert their independence by travelling without their parents. It’s a natural progression for most teens and those in their early twenties. Gosh, had BJ not needed so much support and assistance in his life he may well have travelled for a gap year or backpacked with mates around the world. At 14, AJ is already chatting about where she’ll travel when she finishes school. It’s almost a rite of passage these days. However, for many teens and adults with a disability it isn’t possible without support. Many require assistance with personal care, mealtimes and mobility. Parents fulfil this role for many years but what happens when you want to travel without your family? Recently I became aware of Aspire Supported Holidays who offer fully-supported and escorted holidays for people with intellectual disabilities, mobility restrictions, mental health challenges, wheelchair users or those with an acquired brain injury. They also assist the elderly and or frail guests and families who require respite care.
I love our family holidays but I can see how liberating it must be to travel with people of your own age. How wonderful to feel independent and to have age appropriate experiences with support.
Aspire Supported Holidays founder Simon Crethar is a travel professional whose cousin has a disability and loves to travel. Through this experience, Aspire Supported Holidays was born.
Simon told me, “I launched Aspire Supported Holidays because it was plainly evident to me that many people are excluded (or think they’re excluded) from the holidays that the rest of us take for granted. Over many years now, we have developed a range of holiday categories suitable for travel-lovers with a broad range of disabilities and challenges”
Powered by Spencer Travel – a fully Licensed Travel Agent, a member of (AFTA) Australian Federation of Travel Agents and ATAS, Aspire Supported Holidays is a Registered Provider with the NDIA, and provides care-centred, individually tailored, great-value, fun holidays.
Aspire Supported Holidays is a registered service provider for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Holidays are offered by Aspire in three tailored categories:
Independent: For travellers who are primarily independent in their daily lives.
Assistance: For those who need some help with personal care, mobility, showering, toileting, personal care, meals and activities.
Physical Disability: For those requiring wheelchairs or walking frame for mobility along with accessible accommodation, facilities and transport.
“This year we have Aspire groups heading off on some truly wonderful holidays in Bali, Hainan Island (China), Pacific cruising, Fiji, Hamilton Island, Hong Kong and Vietnam, Tasmania, Thailand, Far North Queensland, the theme parks of the Gold Coast, and New Zealand”, says Simon.
BJ continues to enjoy our family holidays but with AJ growing up fast I can see changes ahead for our family and perhaps one day he’ll be keen to spread his wings on an independent holiday. That will certainly be a test for me but I’m determined BJ should continue to have new experiences and live a full life so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.