Accessible Travel Week26 April 2016
You may have heard about a recent event that took place in early April, and is planned as an annual occurrence: Accessible Travel Week. This was an educational campaign aiming to create a dialogue about the difficulties surrounding accessible travel.
Masterminded by disabled explorer Martyn Sibley, one of the best outcomes from the week was a series of videos that he released to impart accessible travel tips.
As the videos were only available during Accessible Travel Week, we thought you’d bring you some of the great advice Martyn featured…
Dream big – Realise that most activities and holidays are possible for most people, so decide what you would ultimately love to do and then sort the details. If you use a reliable tour operator such as Enable Holidays, you’ll find accessible holiday experts who have the skills and contacts needed to plan itineraries and activities to fulfil many expectations.
Know your limits – While the first point stands, Martyn says that it is also important to be in tune with your physical limitations. You should make the most of your holiday, but it is vital that you do not do too much and make yourself ill.
Preparation is everything – Ensure that you are as ready for your holiday as you can be; one of the best ways to do this is to go with a reliable specialist tour operator. Martyn quotes one of his university lecturers here, who once told him: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. (This quote has in the past been attributed to Benjamin Franklin)
Double-check facilities – It’s important that your hotel offers all the accessible amenities that you will require to make your holiday both comfortable and pleasurable. Here again, by using a specialist such as Enable Holidays you’ll be given full information on the facilities that each accommodation offers.
Stay positive and enjoy the holiday – Martyn feels that some people who have impaired mobility get so bogged down in the research and preparation that they struggle to savour their holiday once it arrives – and it’s in this area especially that Enable Holidays can really help to take away the strain and stresses of planning. He reminds future travellers of the importance of relishing every moment.
Keep on exploring – It is also important to know that if you can enjoy one holiday, you can probably enjoy something slightly more demanding. If you have always dreamed about visiting to South America but have never travelled before, try somewhere closer to home for your first trip; you can always build on this next time. As Martyn said, “There’s a whole world out there”.
Accessible Air Travel
In this video, Martyn showed viewers around The Base, which is the Headquarters of Virgin Atlantic and based at Gatwick airport. Here, travellers (or even potential travellers) can book a meeting to visit the rig, which is a full-scale mock-up of an aircraft and offers the opportunity to evaluate how disabled fliers can travel as safely as possible.
Geraldine Lundy, passenger accessibility manager at Virgin Atlantic, said in the video that doing this often sets travellers’ minds at ease, and gives them confidence in all that can be done to make their journey a comfortable one.
In this video, Martyn showed some of the kinds of adaptations available for disabled travellers, using the example of a mainstream hotel chain.
If you are booking a package holiday, Martyn’s video clearly demonstrates the importance of using a trustworthy tour operator. At Enable Holidays, we go out of our way to personally audit as many of the accommodations as we can, in order to ensure that rooms listed as “accessible” are exactly that. We list the adaptations of each room on our website, and measure door widths, bed heights, etc., which we can explain when we provide a quote for you.
Martyn finishes by saying that travellers should do the research, consider their needs, and double-check that the accommodation will meet personal requirements. He adds that travellers should also keep in mind to be flexible, and, of course, to have a wonderful time.
Learn more about Martyn Sibley here: http://martynsibley.com/