With the summer months well and truly upon us – as evidenced by the lovely Hampshire rain outside my window today – many of Aspire Law’s friends and clients are off on their holidays. It might seem unachievable when you are first adapting to life post-injury that you can ever enjoy something as simple as a summer holiday, but there are a number of websites and companies dedicated to helping you enjoy the warm weather in accommodation fully adapted for your needs.
Word of Mouth
When researching holidays don’t underestimate the power of recommendation. TripAdvisor has a dedicated ‘Traveling with Disabilities’ Forum, and the Wheelchair Accessible Holiday Discussion Forum on Apparalyzed is full of tips, hints, and up-to-date reviews.
If you have experience of UK or international holidays – good or bad – it’s important to get out there and tell your story; both for the benefit of other people with SCI, and to ensure that the good get praised, whilst others see where they need to improve.
Holiday at Home or Abroad?
You needn’t assume that holidaying abroad will be more difficult than staying in the UK, it all depends on where you go. San Francisco and Barcelona are regularly given the nod by chair-using travellers, whilst London divides opinion. Black cabs are all required to be wheelchair-accessible, but negotiating the crowds, and the inconsistent tube network can require a great deal of forward planning and resilience.
Getting Away From It All
If you’re the sort of person who enjoys a quiet holiday, surrounded by nature in a rural idyll, there can sometimes be more problems than with a city break, but don’t be put off, it can still be done!
A week on the Norfolk Broads might be tricky – not least due to a lack of information about accessibility options – however some companies do offer one-level boats, and wheelchair-friendly day-boat hire. There are also a number of canalboat companies around the UK who hire out adapted narrowboats, or widebeam boats.
If a country cottage is more your style there are plenty to choose from in the UK, but make sure that you check before you go whether any local attractions you want to visit are also accessible to you. This is especially true if you are straying from the beaten path where internet access is patchy!
Going on holiday is supposed to relieve stress, not create it, and with proper planning that can be true for anyone living with SCI.