Making travel accessible to all

27 Oct 2017

Making Travel Accessible to Everyone

Let me introduce myself, my name is Sheila Stamp, I am a Travel Counsellor living in Lincolnshire.

Travel is a passion for me, having started working in the industry years ago, it soon became a bug. My quest was to travel to as many wonderful destinations as possible and explore different cultures. My family and I have been lucky enough to visit and experience so many wonderful places.
An opportunity then presented itself to open my own travel business. Always in the forefront of my mind was "How can I help people with challenges around travel to travel again?" seeing the difficulties they faced trying to organise a simple holiday, I have made it my goal to help make travel accessible for as many people as possible. Since then I have undertaken further specialist training that has allowed me to open so many doors for people to explore the world, no matter what their barriers are. Whether it by via land, sea or air, adventure or relaxation, I can help keep the well-travelled, travelling well.

When your life changes beyond any expectation, a lot of people get around to thinking about how they would love to go back on holiday. Then doubt sets in: "Where do I start to plan this kind of trip?" "Is it even possible?" "How can I do it?" The short answer is yes you most definitely can! Here are a few things to consider helping you on your journey.

Whether it’s a country cottage stay in the UK, a culturally enriching city break in Europe, soaking up the Spanish sun, cruising around the Mediterranean or an exotic distant shore, arranging your much-deserved holiday should be an enjoyable experience packed with anticipation of visiting places new. Historically, for many with additional access and mobility requirements it has rarely been anything like that! But it doesn’t have to be that way and with appropriate planning and preparation, arranging your time away should be a pleasant and stress-free experience.

So how best to achieve that? Well, a crucial start point is to create a check-list to ensure you are being asked all the right questions by your travel organiser. And you should be armed with a list of important questions that you should be asking them.

Questions your travel organiser should be asking you:

  • Where would you like to go?
  • When would you like to go and for how long?
  • Best UK departure airport or cruise port for you?
  • Who will be travelling (Adults/children and their ages)
  • Details of party member/s with additional requirements to include:

- Nature of condition (e.g. amputee)
- Details of any mobility aids to include
- Prosthetics and how they may be carried if not worn during journey
- Wheelchair make and model/height/length/width/weight
- For powered wheelchairs – battery type and if Lithium-ion, its wattage per hour
- Type of assistance you may require at the airport/cruise port/station. E.g. wheelchair, airport buggy, use of ambulift to aircraft door (to avoid steps), carry-on to seat using special chair designed to access aircraft aisle
- Boarding and in-flight requirements – aisle chair/cabin class
- Accommodation requirements – villa/hotel/apartment/cruise cabin
- Bathroom requirements – wet-room/grab rails/bath with seat etc.
- Mobility aids? Hoist/profiling bed/shower chair?
- Any additional requirements that I should know about?

Questions you should be asking:

  • Am I always able to speak with the same person during the planning and booking process?
  • Are all of my monies 100% financially protected (if not they should be!)?
  • Can you provide 24/7 support whilst I am away?

And understanding your responsibilities:

  • Inoculations - Check with your GP
  • Acquiring relevant visas and travel authorisations
  • Ensuring your passport is valid for chosen destination

So, lots to do, but with a world of exciting travel opportunities just waiting to be explored, your planning and preparations will ensure you have the wonderful holiday you deserve.