What do I need to bear in mind when planning a trip? Julia Fischer of Rolli-Travel has the answers. Almost anything is possible, provided your travel agent has the right experience and you do your homework.
First, choose your destination. Perhaps somewhere you've always wanted to go? There are plenty of interesting travel destinations. At Rolli-Travel we offer: Andalusia, Bali, Canary Islands, cruises, Majorca, Oman, Piedmont, Scandinavia/Quick routes, South Africa, Tuscany, manual bike holidays, Swisstrac walking holidays, Wellness holidays, etc. You name it, we've got it! The decision is yours. Once that's decided, gather as much information as you can about the place, and leave the intricate details to the competent team at your specialist travel agent. Your trip will need to be individually planned, since each person has different needs.
If you're set on doing all the organizing yourself, remember the following important points:
- Every country has its own travel requirements
- Make sure you know whether you need a passport or an ID card
- Find out about injections, visa requirements, any other conditions
As a general rule, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of travel. Check with your airline to make sure your special needs can be accommodated. This avoids disappointment. Not all airlines take disabled people. You are advised to take out a cancellation policy with an insurance company. It's also a good idea to organize your transfer from the airport to the hotel in advance.
Checklist for hotels
To see a full list of the type of questions that need to be answered on accomadation see the info-box above, but here are a few ideas:
- Ask for details such as ramps/steepness, door widths, space between bed and wall, height of the bed, any steps on balconies, roll-in showers or bath-tubs with seat, width of the elevator, infrastructure and immediate surroundings.
- Special note: in some countries, rooms for the disabled have a bidet next to the WC. This means that side access is not always possible and it's good to know this in advance.
Make a list of the aids and appliances you will need. Take into account the duration of your holiday. Don't leave your medication behind. Don't forget to take a spare tire and a pump. The tools for your wheelchair don't take up much space but can be very useful in case repairs are needed.
Benefits of traveling with a group
Group travel is organized by professionals with local knowledge. The guide will know the locality well and will be a great help. Especially if you're on your own, group travel is a great way of discovering new countries and making new friends. Wheelchair travelers will have plenty of opportunity to chat and exchange ideas. The only disadvantage of traveling in a group is that you won't have quite the same flexibility, and you must be prepared to fit in with the others.
Benefits of traveling alone
You can be more spontaneous. On your own, you can do what you feel like doing without having to consult anyone else. You can design your own trip, to suit your own needs. You may also have a better chance of getting to know the local people.
Source: Julia Fischer, Rolli-Travel, Wauwil, Switzerland