With domestic and international borders now open and COVID restrictions around travel easing, now is a great time to start planning a holiday. Finding suitable accommodation and experiences for people with disabilities or special needs is becoming easier as operators are realising the value of better marketing their services.
Australian based company, Accessible Accommodation provides clear listings outlining accommodation suitability for:
- Assisted Wheelchair Users – where a person is unable to lift themselves and requires the assistance of a carer or family member to get in and out of bed and bathe.
- Independent Wheelchair User – suitable for wheelchair users who can lift themselves in and out of the wheelchair to bed and toilet (with the assistance of fixtures and equipment).
- Assisted Walking (e.g., frame/cane) – where a person can walk a few steps, and/or can partly walk unassisted. Guests would benefit from partial accessibility.
With over 200 hotels and apartments in Australia, all states and territories are represented. They are also a registered NDIS provider offering bookings for short and medium-term accessible accommodation in respite situations.
To complement this service, they are now building out Accessible Experiences to connect people with mobility challenges to experiences designed for their special needs. From accessible whale watching in Harvey Bay to disabled water skiing experiences in New South Wales, the thoughtfully curated list of adventures provides some inspiring ideas on adventures across Australia.
The process of planning a holiday is part of the adventure and engaging all parties in the anticipation of the trip is a great way to bring the magic of travel into the here and now. There are three stages to selecting your next holiday destination.
What takes your fancy for a change of scene – is it to be near the ocean and get some sand between your toes? Or a road trip with multiple stops? Perhaps a cruise is more your speed…. with so many options available spending some time considering what type of holiday experience appeals is a great starting point before making your plans.
If you dream of heading overseas, the Wheelchair Travel website is a great place to start your planning from. Founded by triple amputee, John Morris in 2013, the site opens the world for wheelchair users by providing interesting blog posts and travel reviews across Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States and Canada.
For domestic travel, traveling outside of school holidays and peak event periods brings costs down and opens the availability of accommodation and site seeing. Also planning to take a holiday when health care commitments allow or at a time when you know a change of scenery will benefit the family for their mental well-being is also a key consideration.
As we all know, the border closures that COVID brought had a devastating effect on our travel industry. When it’s time to book, consider where you spend your travel dollars, rather than booking via a global online travel agent, book direct with the hotel or engage the services of a local travel agent to coordinate your travel arrangements.
Once your holiday is over, consider sharing your experiences by writing a review aligned to the hotels or attractions you visit through the accessibility lens.
The team at Real Community Services support coordination can also help NDIS participants to understand and use the support in their NDIS plan.