Even the most intrepid wheelchair travellers agree they wouldn’t go to a holiday location without knowing for certain that adequate facilities were in place. While many holiday home websites may claim their properties are accessible, many only make vague promises suggesting they are ‘disabled friendly’ but with little or no details. And shockingly many still don’t provide any information at all.
So where can we go for trustworthy and detailed information on holiday homes that cater for people with accessible needs and disabilities? The kind of information which can leave you sure you’ve made the best choice for a worry free holiday, without any nasty surprises.
Websites for disabled holiday homes
Websites like Disabled Holidays do a great job of collecting together holiday homes which cater specifically for the elderly and disabled. You can be sure that everything you’re seeing is relevant to you and prices for equipment such as hoists should be included, or at least clearly advertised.
If you’re looking for holiday ideas beyond simply arranging accommodation check the brilliant Walks With Wheelchairs for a great resource on wheelchair walking holidays and Open Britain, for accessible tourism ideas across the UK.
Location search tip - You’ve found a holiday home in the perfect location but it’s booked for the time you want it! Don’t worry just yet; check if the website you’re on has a map view, allowing you to view all their other properties in that same location. You can then browse another suitable property based on proximity.
Some less regulated accommodation websites like Airbnb have left disabled tourists dismayed with listings touted as wheelchair accessible when in reality some don’t meet those requirements at all. This may be because hosts themselves don’t understand the requirements a holiday home should meet to be considered accessible. Possibly for this reason Accomable has been set up to bring the sharing economy style travel to the accessible community. Search the properties on the website for information on access, hoists and rails in the different rooms, as well as further useful equipment which can be hired.
Disabled holiday home swap
Matching Houses is a free house swapping service connecting similar abled people together to swap their properties, each staying in each other’s home for their holiday. What better way to ensure you have everything you might require than by staying in a property owned by someone who shares those same needs?
Facilities, access information and available equipment are all verified by the site and listed in detail. To travel with extra confidence, you can communicate in advance with the home owner to discuss any questions or requirements. There is also a forum for general advice and plenty of other resource on the website you can explore before you choose your ideal holiday destination.
Disabled holiday homes – what to look for
A holiday home designed specifically for a disabled guest should give explicit information on whether the following things are available:
Wheel in shower
Flat ground and driveway
Electric adjustable beds
Level flat drive
Ground floor facilities.
If you are unsure about a particular facility make sure you contact the host in advance to confirm details. Communication in advance is the key to a stress free holiday and any property owner should be accommodating to your enquiries.
A holiday provider for the disabled will also be able to advise you on adapted vehicle transfers if you’re flying, and accessible activities in the local area.
Travel insurance for disabled traveller
A study by law firm Simpson Millar has shown that shockingly, more than half of Britons go without travel insurance. But think that by staying in the UK travel insurance is a corner safe to cut. Travel insurance for pre-existing medical conditions and for the elderly is always recommended when travelling on holiday, even in the UK. Cancellation, loss of personal money and items and emergency travel costs are still applicable no matter where you may be staying.