Planning a perfect holiday for a mobility scooter user isn’t as daunting as it sounds. People often find themselves stressed with the amount of planning that goes into a holiday abroad or even at home, but when it comes to going away with your mobility scooter, you will have nothing to worry about.
Thanks to the existence of award-winning travel agencies catering specifically for disabled and reduced mobility individuals (and our fantastic range of foldable mobility scooters) you can pack your bags and jet off to your desired location, hassle-free. All you have got to do is choose from the many destinations and accommodation types and leave the rest to the experts. Alternatively, there are plenty of resources to help you get inspired and plan your desired trip.
Below we have listed just some of the best recommended travel agents and accessible travel resources as well as a few other tips so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your upcoming holiday!
Planning your accessible holiday
There is nothing better than planning and starting your holiday with a travel agent who you can trust. Dedicated to making your holiday perfect from start to finish, the travel agents listed below are some of the best in the business and offer all the help you need to start your next adventure.
Limitless Travel was founded by Angus Drummond, who, after being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, left his job and set out to explore the world. Using his extensive experience in accessible travel, Angus decided to inspire and help others to travel, regardless of their mobility issues. We spoke to the team at Limitless Travel to find out more about their agency:
“After being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy in his early twenties, Angus quit his job in investment banking to go travelling with his girlfriend Lucy. It was only as his mobility declined that he realised the lack of information available for disabled people wanting to travel, so Limitless Travel began. We offer fully accessible tours across the UK and Europe including destinations such as Devon, Scotland, Amsterdam and Tenerife. The focus of Limitless Travel is to revolutionise travel for disabled people by reducing the worry, stress and hassle they face when booking a holiday.
“We put our customers’ needs at the forefront. We vet our locations beforehand to ensure that they are all fully accessible for a variety of disabilities and bring a team of dedicated carers on board to help with any care requirements while on holiday. This together reduces the worry people may face when travelling independently or for the first time.”
With extensive experience in the field of accessible travel, we asked Limitless Travel if they had any advice for travellers with limited mobility who are planning their first holiday abroad: “Ask as many questions as you want. Getting answers to questions puts your mind at ease. We aim to make everyone feel comfortable and hope to build up confidence, so you can experience everything this beautiful world has to offer.”
Enable Holidays creates bespoke holiday packages to meet your individual requirements, taking the stress out of planning. With the help of their dedicated and experienced travel team, you can plan your dream holiday, even if you’re travelling with a mobility scooter. The company prides itself on finding the perfect accommodation suited to you and your mobility needs.
Enable Holidays’ personal auditing process covers wheelchair and mobility scooter manoeuvrability around the hotel or villa, as well as door widths, bed heights, floor surfaces, steps and special equipment availability, so there won’t be any surprises on your holiday. Managing director Lynne Kirby said: “Every accessible Enable holiday is tailor-made to personal requirements. It takes a great deal of expertise, time and organisation to get it right, but there is no better feeling on earth than when a customer returns home from one of our holidays and calls us to say: ‘That was fantastic! I never thought I could go on an overseas holiday.’”
A large part of the appeal of booking through Enable Holidays is the huge range of destinations to choose from. Whether you’re seeking sun in the Canary Islands, the Northern Lights in Shetland or a city break in North America, there are plenty of exciting locations on offer. Take a look at the company’s blog for more travel and booking tips.
Established in 1997, Accessible Travel is an expert travel agency dedicated to making the joy and relaxation of a holiday available to those with a disability and those who use a mobility scooter or wheelchair.
Ali Parker at Accessible Travel said: “Travelling overseas by air can often be a very intimidating experience for many people with a disability, especially for those who use mobility scooters or electric wheelchairs. What type of assistance will be offered by the airport when I fly? How do I request that assistance? When I arrive at the airport, who do I contact and how? These are just some of the questions that have been difficult to find answers to before you travel.
“Given the information and level of detail, you may require, be prepared for the fact that many travel agents will not have this type of information readily available to them. So in order to ensure your first holiday abroad goes as smoothly as possible, I would highly recommend that you book with a specialist tour operator. Such an operator will have already checked out the destination in advance before selling holidays there, and not simply rely upon the third-party information. That way you are communicating with somebody who has a full understanding of your requirements and will be empathetic to your needs.”
With many things to consider when it comes to planning your holiday, such as baths with swivel chairs, interconnecting room and nursing care facilities, it’s good to know that everything will be in place once you arrive at your destination when you book with a specialist tour operator. Nothing will be missed off the holiday checklist when you book with Accessible Travel.
With the motto ‘travel without limits’, Disabled Holidays offers disabled people and those with reduced mobility the ability to experience travel adventures like any other person. Whether you are looking to sail the seas on a luxury cruise or discover Europe and the magnificent sites of popular cities, Disabled Holidays will be able to find your perfect getaway.
Mobility equipment hires as well as flight and airport assistance are all offered as part of the package too, enabling you to get around and on and off your flights with maximum comfort and ease. When you get to your accommodation, you are guaranteed to have a room with accessible features too, something that is often overlooked when planning a perfect holiday for a mobility scooter user.
Disabled Access holidays
There are so many destinations and city breaks all over the world to choose from with Disabled Access Holidays. You will certainly be spoilt for choice when it comes to planning your getaway! Not only this, but they also provide specialist travel insurance for people living with pre-existing medical conditions and serious injuries, in association with AllClear Insurance Services. Disabled Access Holidays provide information and recommend flights with the best cost and flight times, making your holiday even more enjoyable before even stepping onto the plane.
Helpful accessible travel resources
Euan’s Guide allows visitors to review and read reviews on disabled access at attractions across the UK. The website was founded in 2013 by brother and sister Euan and Kiki MacDonald after Euan became a powerchair user. Their amazing resource now helps people to plan day trips and holidays in the UK with the help of reliable reviews.
Tourism For All
Tourism for All (TFA) is a small, independent charity focusing on promoting accessible tourism and travel in the UK. The company’s aim is to provide disabled tourists and travellers with accurate information to help them plan their journeys within the UK, as well as supporting organisations facilitating accessible travel experiences. Their website has plenty of useful information and offers.
Good Access Guide
This incredible online resource provides a directory leisure and mobility services for elderly and disabled people. Use the Good Access Guide to find holiday accommodation in the UK as well as helpful tips and services.
Inspiring accessible travel blogs
Simply Emma is one of the UK’s leading disability blogs, providing helpful reviews and tips on accessible travel. Founder Emma is based in Scotland and shares stories about her adventures across the UK, including how she deals with any obstacles as a result of being in a motorised wheelchair. We spoke to Emma about her fantastic blog and her favourite holidays:
“As someone with Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy and a powered wheelchair user, I wanted to create Simply Emma to encourage others with a disability to travel more by sharing accessible travel guides, accommodation reviews, travel tips and resources.
“Barcelona has been one of the most enjoyable holidays I’ve been on in a long time. We visited Barcelona for the first time last year and loved it so much that we’re going back again this year. We stayed at a fully accessible apartment called MICs Sant Jordi and travelled around using the accessible metro.
“Barcelona is a great city for wheelchair accessibility and that includes the beaches too. I was able to spend time with my family on the beach and in the water thanks to the amazing beach wheelchairs on Nova Icaria Beach.”
With a wealth of accessible travel experience, we asked Emma for her top tips for anyone with limited mobility planning their first holiday abroad:
“Planning is key for a successful accessible holiday,” said Emma. “Do lots of research into the accessibility of accommodation, public transportation and tourist attractions. Look on accessible travel blogs for recommendations and hints and tips on the best places to visit. Planning and research aside, just go for it. Visit all the places you’ve always dreamt of visiting as it may surprise you how accessible it actually is. It will be completely worth it.”
Curb Free with Cory Lee
Today I completed a huge bucket list item – I rolled on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco!! It was such a nice day for this activity too! Thanks to @thecilofficial for arranging this & showing me around! 🌉 #goldengatebridge #goldengatepark #sanfrancisco #skymileslife #sanfran #goldengatebridge🌉 #visitsanfrancisco #travelsanfrancisco #visitcalifornia #accessibletravel #accessibletourism #wheelchairtravel #wheelchairaccess
At the age of two, Cory Lee was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and got his first powered wheelchair aged four. Cory hasn’t let his disability stop him from seeing the world and has travelled to six continents. He documents his travels extensively on his blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee. If you’re hesitant about booking your first holiday abroad, we’re sure Cory’s blog will inspire you.
Long Beach Pier is really #accessible with lots to do – shopping, boating, sightseeing, great food and more. #openyourworld #wheelchair #travel #wheelchairtravel #longbeach #california #accessibility #disability #disabled #access #traveling #travelblog #travelblogger #blog #cali #waterfront #pier #usa
John Morris’ inspirational blog, Wheelchair Travel, offers an insight into his accessible travels all over the world. John is a car accident/burn survivor, triple amputee and wheelchair user, though on his blog he states: “I was told that my disability would make travel impossible. That was four years ago, and I have since visited 29 countries and territories and flown more than 750,000 miles – all with one hand, a passport and my power wheelchair!” His motivating blog offers tips for any situation from theme parks to planes, hotels to trains, to help people to plan their own dream holidays.
The Bimblers is one of the top UK and Ireland travel blogs for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. Through their blog, Rob and Bridget aim to “inspire, enlighten and encourage you to travel more and live life to the full”. Bridget has suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis for years, though she hasn’t let this affect her desire to travel. The duo’s blog is truly inspiring and is full of travel tips for both the UK and abroad.
Making a holiday checklist is one of the most important parts of the holiday as you certainly don’t want to realise you’ve forgotten the essentials when you arrive. To make sure you have everything to hand and packed in your suitcase before you fly, take a look at some of the essentials below:
- Medication (if applicable)
- European Health Insurance card and other medical documents
- Booking confirmation and information (flights and accommodation)
- Travel adaptors
- Toiletries and sun cream
- Travel sickness remedies
- Credit cards/driving licence
If you are flying to a long-haul destination it is always advised that you check with your GP to see if you need vaccinations or certain medications for your illness. You should also contact the airline you are flying with to provide information and advice on taking your mobility scooter on-board with you or as hold luggage. Each airline will have their own regulations when it comes to checking-in with your mobility scooter such as dimensions and weight, so make sure you contact them and plan early to avoid disappointment.
We hope you’ve found this accessible travel guide helpful! Travelling with a mobility scooter shouldn’t stop you from exploring the world. If you’ve found a destination to be particularly mobility-scooter friendly, let us know! We’d love to share your tips with other disabled travellers.
Image credits: Limitless Travel