Aloha! Guess who’s just back from their holidays?!? Moi! Had a fabulous time, ate lots of nice food and saw lots of interesting places. As ever, I always get a bit nervous about visiting new places, which is odd considering I love to travel. The nerves stem mainly from how am I going to get about, will there be wheelchairs to hire at the attractions I want to visit, will there be much walking etc etc.
Thankfully, a little research beforehand using Google Maps and various guides like Trip Advisor, meant the hotel we chose was very central to getting to and from places with good transport links and places to eat were nearby.
Whilst packing I was thinking about how I travel as a person of restricted growth and the things I need to prepare for when I go, coming up with these three main tips that I use to move about as freely as possible.
1. This one might be a bit more applicable to the ladies, but seriously, take a mirror with you. How many of us have got into a hotel bathroom and had to deal with the too high mirror? Having one handy makes life A LOT easier.
2. Not always possible or practical, but pack a stool to move about the hotel room with. This can be handy for getting on and off high beds and stops us having to take a run and jump or using a chair to get on the bed. This also helps for getting in and out of the shower and dealing with high taps when in the shower (don’t be afraid to ask the hotel staff to lower the shower head, if it isn’t fixed, which sadly the ones I encountered this holiday were).
3. Make sure you’ve found out as much about the transport links, the tourist places you want to visit to find out if they are accessible. I’ve found checking out the destination’s tourist website is usually the best place to start. If there is a particular attraction you really want to visit – email ahead and ask how accessible the building is and if they have wheelchairs for hire. This is especially helpful if you have mobility difficulties.
OK, there is a fourth, be prepared for the stares, just because a country maybe pro-disability, doesn’t mean the tourists visiting the same place as yourself are too. Speaking from experience.