Travelling the world when you’re living with a disability is thankfully becoming more commonplace thanks to growing awareness of the accessible travel sector.
While many of us are guilty of taking our health and mobility for granted, more and more people with disabilities are traversing the world. Strong relationships with top-notch DMC’s allow Travel Counsellors to build custom itineraries for all travelers and we have had some seriously impressive clients who haven’t let their disability stop them from travelling. From enjoying an African safari honeymoon in a wheelchair to traversing India while deaf, our clients are taking to the skies to fulfil their travel dreams.
So how can we make travel accessible to all people, regardless of their disability? Here are some considerations when booking travel for clients with a disability:
CHOOSE THE DESTINATION WISELY
Whether your client uses a wheelchair, is sight impaired or struggles with arthritis, some destinations are better choices than others. The uneven, cobblestone streets of Europe’s old towns may be beautiful but they also present a hazard for many disabled travellers and many developing nations lack the infrastructure and awareness needed to cater for travellers with disabilities.
DISCUSS THEIR NEEDS
Spend the time getting to know the traveller and their needs. Every traveller regardless of ability or age has their own needs and expectations so it’s no different when considering accessibility needs. Does your client need an accessible room or an aisle seat on the plane? Will the transfers need to be wheelchair friendly? Travel agents can personalise their service and “pull some strings”, much more so than an OTA. Work with all hotels, airlines and transfer providers accommodate the travellers needs and ensure a smooth trip.
With porters and staff to take care of luggage, cruisers are free to avoid packing, unpacking and lugging their suitcases around every few days. On a cruise, the new port or city comes to you! Modern ship design tends to include superior accessibility features such as elevators and rooms suitable for passengers with disabilities. Furthermore, most cruise ships have onboard nurses and doctors so anyone travelling with a chronic illness or other health concerns is rest assured they can receive care while they are away.
BOOK WELL IN ADVANCE
Last minute trips can be tricky to pull off for travelers with a disability. Many hotels have limited wheelchair-friendly rooms, so the earlier you book the greater the chance of nabbing an accessible room. Same goes for restaurant bookings, concert tickets and transfer services.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE
Before booking a trip, travelers with a disability should speak with their doctor who will be able to make expert recommendations based on their unique situation and advise them of ways to make their trip more comfortable.
Travel Counsellors believe in making travel accessible for everyone, regardless of age or ability. Customised itineraries, a more personal service and a 24/7 global Duty Office are just some of the reasons why our customers return again and again. To find out more about the world of Travel Counsellors, contact our Careers Team on 1300 889 123 or visit our website.