Travelling with a disability
What to avoid
Welcome to our in-depth resource on travelling with a disability.
We believe that everyone should have access to opportunities to go on holiday, relax and see the world. And while travel has been made a bit trickier in recent years, there’s no doubt that as the world starts moving again, more of us want to get out there and take a much needed vacation.
Living with mobility impairment can be challenging, but with support from family, carers and Occupational Therapy, individuals can carry out their daily routine with a reasonable degree of comfort. When we go travelling, we no longer have the comforts of home. If you’re living with a disability or know someone who is, there’s some useful things to remember when travelling. We’ve put this guide together for anyone who wants to travel and reduce the barriers towards an unforgettable, enjoyable experience.
MODEL SB7e “Eco Traveller”: Eco Traveller is ideal for trips away from home, folding down into a carry bag for ultimate portability. Even with its compact size, the SB7e is still a full featured Showerbuddy, with toilet chair, commode, adjustability and high comfort cushioning.
Our Helpful Travel Guides
Support for Disabled Travellers
Seeing the world with a disability can be made easier by tapping into available support, whether it’s a travel companion, assisted transport to connections or facilities at your destination. Learn about some typical resources and help available.
Holiday Ideas for Mobility Impaired Travellers
Are you looking for some inspiration as to where in the world or what you could do on holiday? While the possibilities are almost endless, we’ve collated a number of potential travel ideas that can work for someone who has mobility challenges. Discover what these are in our complete guide.
Flying with a Wheelchair
If you’ve never travelled while living in a wheelchair, the idea of flying can be a bit daunting. But luckily it needn’t be; there’s many ways you can reduce the headache of wheelchair travel, and travel operators like airlines and accommodation are only too happy to help. Learn more about what’s involved with flying with a wheelchair in our full guide.
Disabled bathroom tips while travelling abroad
We know a lot about the importance of bathroom use to any human being’s sense of dignity and stability. Travelling presents uncertainty when it comes to using the shower or toilet. In this guide, we provide a number of ideas on how to navigate bathroom use while travelling. With the right preparation, this doesn’t need to be a big challenge.
Choosing accommodation for disabled travel
Doing online research and the options in larger destinations can quickly become overwhelming; there’s seemingly hundreds of options from small private home rentals to large hotels. Accommodation needs to suit your personal requirements, so there’s some key questions to ask and features to look out for. We cover this in our accommodation guide.
Let’s make Travel for everyone!
Travelling should be accessible to all people
Why should travel be reserved for those with complete mobility? It shouldn’t and the world is certainly responding accordingly; according to The Open Doors Organisation, there’s more than 27 million travellers with a disability, with the industry estimated at around $58 billion for travel operators. Here’s the reality, accessibility is finally becoming a priority for popular tourist destinations to ensure that as many different people can enjoy the experiences on offer around the world.
Beyond those with genetic or injury-caused disabilities, the global population is getting older, meaning that the number of travellers with reduced mobility (but money to spend on travel) is growing rapidly. There’s never been a better time for those in the tourism industry to make their offering accessible to all.
At Showerbuddy, we work with thousands of users who value their holidays and travel highly – it provides essential respite out of the daily routine. A change of scenery and new experiences have massive benefits on our mood and mindset. They also provide family members an opportunity to enjoy the company of their mobility impaired loved one in new places, sharing new memories together.
We provide more information in our downloadable PDF section Disabled Travelling Resources – find this further down the page.
Things to avoid when planning your trip
Top 5 mistakes when travelling with a disability
Travelling with a disability need not be a struggle – but there are extra steps that need to be taken in order to get the most out of the trip, and reduce hazards or risks to the individual.
Our top 5 mistakes made in travelling with a disability are:
1. Not planning the travel element carefully.
While you may like some freedom around what you do once there, the travel element for a mobility impaired person can become stressful if not properly planned out. This may not be as big a problem for the big international flights, but small domestic trips by road, water or air need to be thought through as well, lest there be issues with accessibility that prevent ease of travel.
2. Not bringing what you need
Packing right is something we all care about, but for someone with a mobility impairment, it’s critical to travel with everything needed to enjoy your trip. This means assistive technologies, clothing and medicines.
3. Not doing research on activities and experiences
While there’s never been a more accessible time than now, it’s still important that research is done into each activity to specifically learn what access and support is available to someone requiring assistance from a wheelchair, walker, crutches or other assistive equipment. If this information isn’t available on the activity’s website, get in touch.
4. Not informing airlines
Airlines can make the experience of getting on and off the plane so much easier for you. By properly informing them of mobility needs, your airline can ensure that they have your boarding planned out – and prioritised over other passengers.
5. Thinking you can’t see or do something due to mobility impairment
You’d be amazed at what the mobility community is doing around the world on their holidays – from skiing to safaris, tourism operators the world over are looking for ways to bring everyone along for the experience of a lifetime.
Let’s get packing!
Packing for a trip with a mobility impairment
All holidays start with the exciting ritual of packing to go away. Once packing starts, you know you’re about to be travelling and creating new memories. It’s very easy to miss important items when packing for anyone. Packing for a holiday with someone who has a mobility impairment (that could be you, someone in your family or your client), needs to be done carefully to ensure that you don’t get caught out without something critical when away.
Packing for a holiday needs to be done with plenty of lead in time – it’s common to remember key items over the course of days, so last minute packing is certainly something we’d discourage.
In our full packing list resource, we’ve broken out packing into categories – so you can cover off the main elements of a well-prepared luggage. In most cases, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared; accessing items can be a challenge in countries or cities you’re not familiar with. At the very least, finding something you forgot to pack is time-consuming when you’d much rather be enjoying your holiday!
Disabled Travelling Resources
Downloadable Product Details
Here you’ll find our downloadable resources to help you plan, pack and enjoy your next trip away.
The mobility-minded holiday packing checklist
Our general packing list for families, individuals and OTs to be ready for a mobility-friendly holiday.
Showerbuddy Traveller Community – Bucketlist items
Our checklist of amazing experiences that the mobility community can access. How many of these items do you want to tick off?