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Disabled and Stress Free Travel can go hand in hand

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With these expert tips

   Guest Post by Jason Whatling of Peterborough Shopmobility and BHTA member Company The Mobility Aids Centre

More often than not, going on holiday can be a stressful ordeal, rather than the relaxing vacation you hoped for. From fitting everything you will need into a box, to leaving the house unattended for a long period of time, there is always something to worry about.

However, this is nothing compared to the stress of getting all your mobility equipment carefully passed airport customs and trusting the airport staff to look after you and your mobility aids. Whether this is carrying your possessions onto the plane or in some cases, physically lifting you onto the plane themselves, you have to put so much faith in other people.

As you may have seen for yourself, there has been a handful of publicised issues where passengers travelling with disabilities have encountered unwanted problems when it comes to getting through the airport.

The type of problems that could be encountered range from proving your unseen disability to your special disability equipment being mistreated or handled. Of course, that is the tip of the iceberg, as there is a broad range of issues that can arise.

Therefore, you may be wondering just how you can avoid having a stressful holiday? Well, look no further, because below is expert advice for stress-free traveling with a disability.

Notify the Airport 48 hours in advance

Did you know the EU laws state that, if you have reduced mobility, you are entitled to assistance, free of charge? That includes getting on and off the plane, during the flight and in airports before and after the flight.

However, you must provide this information more than 48 hours before your flight. So, do not feel like you are being burdensome. You are, in fact, helping the airport staff by allowing them enough time to prepare for your special requirements.

Provide as much information as possible

The more information you can provide, the more prepared and stress-free the airport can make your travelling experience. This includes details of your disability and any special requirements that you may have. A good idea would be clarifying this information through email. This way, it gives the staff a source to go to in case they have forgotten anything. It also gives you the opportunity to prove the information you have supplied if the unfortunate event arises where they are not put in place.

Pay for specialist travel Insurance

Getting quality travel insurance for someone with a pre-existing medical condition or disability is notoriously difficult, but it is essential. We would recommend using Mark Bates Ltd. The website is clear and easy to navigate around and, on top of that, they provide fair prices with specialist knowledge and support for disabilities of all kinds.

Book with a specialist travel agent

If you book through a specialist travel agent, they will make sure your holiday and travels run as smooth as possible. On top of that, they will also do all the work for you, so you won’t have to worry about informing the airport before the flight.

Remember spare parts and tools

Some of your mobility equipment may need to be dismantled to fit on the flight. For example, wheelchairs need to be folded or dismantled before putting them into the undercarriage. They may even need emergency repairs during your holiday. That’s why taking a small kit of tools to help with this will speed up the process and also improve your traveling experience.

Check out the BHTA Air Transport Advice’s website for further information on how to best disassemble your equipment for a flight.

 

Check out the BHTA Get Wise to Flying with a Disability

With thanks to The Mobility Aids Centre, you can check out their website HERE.

April 13, 2018 |

Tourism for All

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Does having a disability put you off going on holiday? Does it feel like too much effort to research the hotel’s, transportation and area to see if you could get around easily? It can be difficult when you know a place says it’s accessible but then you discover there are stairs or a very steep hill to navigate before you get there. Discoveries like this can ruin your holiday and that is where tourism for all comes in. They provide disabled tourists and travellers with a personalised information and advice service. Although they’re not travel agents they help disabled people plan and take holidays and breaks – both in the UK and overseas – with confidence. You can check out their website at www.tourismforall.org.uk

Everyone deserves to get away and enjoy their holiday tourism for all can help you do that.

March 19, 2018 |

Wigan and Leigh Closed after 30 Years

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It is with great sadness that we inform you of the closure of Wigan and Leigh Shopmobility. After 30 years of serving their community, they were unable to secure funding to retain the service that had been apart of the community for so long. You can read more on their website page HERE.

It is a great loss both to the local community and to the NFSUK. We urge you all to support your local schemes as much as possible whether that is through a donation of money, time, or other. These services are so vital for the people who use them, they are often vulnerable members of the community trying to maintain their independence.

One way you can support your local scheme, if you have a scooter of your own, is by registering your scooter on the National Mobility Register, £6 of your registration fee goes to your chosen scheme. The register is there to help prevent theft and aid in recovery and was set up by the NFSUK in March 2017. This register is for scooters and power chairs and registration is done online. You can find out or register your vehicle HERE

 

February 5, 2018 |
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