I recently spent a week in historic Whitby, staying in an impressively accessible cottage (read all about it here!)
But before setting off, I had to prepare and plan, even more so than the usual holiday-maker, as I have Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy and am wheelchair-bound.
There are many things us wheelie folk need to take with us when travelling, besides clothes and a bucket and spade!
Here is my definitive guide…
1. Both my manual and powered wheelchairs: This year we ventured up north to Whitby where the terrain is rugged. I therefore thought it wise to take my manual wheelchair as a backup, should my power chair struggle. The luxury of travelling within the UK is that there is no luggage limit. I have a Citroen Berlingo wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV) in which there’s plenty of room for all the added extras I need to take with me. I personally would never take my powered chair on an airplane, having heard so many horror stories of loss and irreparable damage. But travelling by car means that I can easily take both my wheelchairs.
2. Wheelchair charger: No brainer! I wouldn’t get far without it.
3. Bipap machine and a spare mask: It’s always best to take at least one spare of everything you NEED when travelling.
4. Extension lead: you can’t be certain of where plug sockets will be located in your holiday accommodation. I need at least one situated next to my bed to power my NIV (Bipap) machine throughout the night. This isn’t always the case and so an extension lead can be extremely useful if you have a lot of equipment to charge.
5. Lightweight thermal blanket: I struggle to adjust my position in bed and I often find the duvets in holiday accommodation too heavy for me to turn. So, I prefer to take my own blanket, which can be rolled up and compacted. This means that I don’t have to worry about those heavy, immovable duvets when travelling.
- Antibiotics, should I become ill whilst on holiday (best to cover yourself!)
- Antihistamines (Boots Hayfever Relief Instant-melts are pricey but good if you can’t swallow pills)
- Spare inhalers (I use Salbutamol – marketed as Ventolin)
- Painkillers (Nurofen Meltlets Lemon are good for those who can’t swallow pills)
7. Lists: As someone with a disability, it’s good practice to do a little research before travelling, even if only for a day trip. I like to make a list of accessible places to dine, attractions, transport and even the places to avoid.
Time spent pre-planning will allow you more time to enjoy your holiday.
If you have a disability, what extra items and equipment do you take with you when travelling?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!