Travel Without Limits Winter/Autumn 2024 Issue OUT NOW! Subscribe Here →

BOOKING AN ACCESSIBLE HOLIDAY

In which order do you book a holiday? Do you see a cheap airfare and book it, then try and fit the rest of the holiday around it? We’re not that spontaneous, unless it is a destination we’ve previously visited and know it will suit our needs. I thought I’d share how we go about booking an accessible holiday in the hopes our experiences can help others new to travel with additional needs.

Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney
BJ checking out the accessible room at Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney

As with most things we do, there is a lot of planning and research and that is before we even decide on our destination. Earlier this year I mentioned on Facebook we were deciding between Northern Territory, Hawaii and Western Australia. It took us quite a while to lock in a destination. I spent time researching what was wheelchair accessible at our destination and what would make the trip good for each person in the family.

Everyone’s needs are different but here is the way we go about choosing and booking a trip –

  1. Come up with a list of possible destinations.
  2. Get a rough idea of cost to work out if it is within budget.
  3. I then check the options for wheelchair accessible accommodation and activities. It is important to us that a trip will have highlights for everyone. We have varied interests.
  4. We decide how long we will need at the destination to ensure we can explore it without rushing. We find longer in one place is much better.
  5. If it’s an international destination and I’m ready to book, I check we can get existing medical cover for that destination for BJ. I advise getting a quote.
  6. I check airfares and seat availability but I still don’t book.
  7. An appropriate car is a must for us. We have to have something that will fit BJ’s wheelchair so I book that first. Most car companies only require a credit card guarantee and you can usually cancel up to 24 hours prior.
  8. Then I lock in airfares.
  9. Accommodation is next on the agenda.
  10. Lastly, we book in experiences. In New York I wanted to take AJ to a popular Broadway show so once we had everything else booked I made a theatre booking. In Uluru some of the fancy dinner experiences book out early so we’ll book that in advance.
  11. I may be biased, but I find that blogs provide great tips of things to do and see.  Even if they are blogs without a focus on accessible travel, I use them as a guide and then do my own research on access. For our trip to the US I used lots of Mommy blogs for information about things the kids would enjoy. Things that were not on the usual tourist lists.
  12. We ‘like’ the Facebook page of the local tourism organisation for the region we will be travelling to and follow that for more tips.
  13. Instagram is a great source of information on things to do at a destination. Search the hashtags for where you are going and follow along for as long as you can before you leave. If you like photography it is a good guide for the best photo opportunities and locations.

SEASONAL CHOICES

For a summer holiday we always chose destinations with the availability of a beach wheelchair (that was before BJ was presented with his own beach chair). Port Macquarie, for example, has several beaches with beach wheelchairs for loan.
Beach wheelchair
We look for destinations which mean we can all participate in activities, like going to the beach.

In winter we look for destinations with good accessible walks and other indoor attractions. The Blue Mountains is one of our favourite spots in the cooler months.

Govetts Leap
In winter we look for somewhere with accessible walks.

EXTRA READING

If you’d like to read my tips for booking an accessible hotel check out this post.
What you need to know about travel insurance can be found here.
Don’t forget for domestic travel it may be worth getting a Qantas Carer Concession card if you are eligible. You can read why we got one here.

We live in an era where people share so much, particularly travel. I can guarantee the more time you invest into researching and planning your trip, the smoother your travels will be.

We’d love you to subscribe so you never miss a blog post. Go on, you know you want to!

Also, lots of fun is always happening over on Facebook so why not check out our page.

 




3 thoughts on “BOOKING AN ACCESSIBLE HOLIDAY”

  1. When we were in ULURU, We went to the barbie & star show in the desert one night. It was awesome. We were also out there for sunrise & sunset. THE ROCK is spectacular and there is such a “special”sense of energy out there. One can see why it is special to the NATIVE PEOPLE!

    Reply
  2. Going to the beach is something I love to do with my son, and with the ramps and accesible beaches we have in the South West of the UK, its a reality and not just a dream. The coast is our peaceful and special place!

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php