Exploration: Holiday (Part 1)
The holiday season is now upon us. The next step is to pick a destination, but where? Living with a disability like Duchenne does make this choice more difficult, so you need to be either creative or realistic. It’s Holiday week for DMD Pathfinders so please share your holiday experiences or future plans with us here.
My last holiday was 12 years ago to Portugal it was a fantastic trip. I travelled via Monarch airlines, it was the first time I had to take my electric wheelchair & couldn’t stand to either swivel or transfer to a seat. It was a difficult process with a few issues, which are common themes with many disabled travellers:
- I was the last person to be boarded so other passengers were watching me through the whole awkward transfer process.
- I had to be handled with extra care as I have Haemophilia so I couldn’t be twisted roughly. There was also no room for my Mum to stand in order to lift/slide me.
- The seats reserved for disabled passengers did not have movable armrests so transferring to the window seat was impossible, however regular seats did.
- Passengers behind me had to swap seats, which was embarrassing & stressful.
- When receiving my wheelchair at Portugal, I discovered that my important leg & chest supports had been loosened during storage.
The villa I stayed at was very disabled friendly, big rooms and a mobile hoist. The landlord was great because he had the right tools to fix my loosened supports & made me a birthday cake.
The trip was an amazing experience as I got to swim with Dolphins for over an hour & had a special tour of the Marine Park. Having to put on a wet suit whilst sitting in a wheelchair was interestingly difficult. Thanks to my wheelchair recline function!
This experience did completely put me off flying anywhere, especially now that I have respiratory issues, require a ventilator or can’t sit unsupported. Since then I never considered travelling, it all seemed daunting to find & plan wheelchair accessible holidays alone without prior knowledge.
After working with the organisation Limitless Travel, I started to feel more confident that there are holiday options still open to me. Limitless Travel aim to remove the stress of disability travel by organizing everything from your Accommodations, Transport, Attractions, Tours, Package or Bespoke Holidays in the UK or Europe.
“I never thought that it would be possible for me to travel but now with relevant information and support from Limitless Travel, it can be.” – Vivek’s testimonial
I’m now booking a family holiday to Barcelona in July (20-24th); I’ll begin my travels using the Eurostar from St Pancras station to Paris Gare de Nord to Paris Gare du Lyon & finally to Barcelona.
I’ll keep a diary of the wonderful process…