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Decalogue Accessible Holidays

Disabled, Elderly and Families with small children | A decalogue for accessible holidays

For more than 25 years I have been saying that "disabled people who do tourism are tourists!".

Travelling is a right that no one gives up anymore, not even when you have some difficulty or limitation.

So let's try to do it in the best way, planning and above all, being prepared, because traveling also means having to deal with the unexpected.

We travel to meet new people, visit beautiful places, admire unique shows or simply enjoya well-deserved rest, but we must be the ones to prevent the problems that this experience can bring.

First of all, let's make it clear that traveling for work and traveling for pleasure are two different things, but from an organizational point of view it is the same!

I wish you to travel for fun, for passion, for curiosity but also for work , especially if, like me, you are lucky enough to do the best job in the world, the one you love!

 

Here are some tips from a passionate and , perhaps, somewhat experienced traveler, certainly with many years of practice behind him:

Decalogue Accessible Holidays

    1. Define the checklist of your needs and those of your possible companions, those that only you know well and that make the difference between a good holiday and a nightmare. Prepare a folder with the words "in case of emergency" with: list of pathologies, medications and emergency numbers (if you go abroad translate into English)
    2. Then divide the checklist into "fundamental" and "desired". There are some things that you just can't sacrifice, such as the presence of an elevator that allows you to reach the rooms or the wellness center, the height of the bed, the shower next to the toilet and all those things that only you know. Pay attention to consumables, check if you can buy them during the trip or if you need to have enough supplies for the whole vacation.
    3. Decide which aids must travel with you, check if they will be accepted on the means of transport and at the place of stay, how you will pack and transport them on your trip. If you use a mobility and autonomy aid you need to know all its aspects: how wide it is, how much it weighs, how tall it is, how long it is, whether it is foldable, manual, battery-powered and which battery it uses (dry or lithium) and what power it has. Also consider whether it is possible, and convenient, to rent instead of shipping.
    4. Always have the manual with the information of your aids at hand, they may ask you to book it or to get on the plane, ship, cable car or ferry.
    5. If you have a disability certificate , always keep a copy in your wallet, in our country there is still no document that certifies the rights related to your disability, use that. Bringing your CUDE* could be useful for mobility and to be recognized.
    6. Study the procedures well if you have to take a train, plane , or ferry. For example, on an airplane, a code is assigned that identifies the type of assistance that must be guaranteed to each person. WCHC, WCHS, WCHR, Blid, Deaf, Child etc... It is imperative that you first know its meaning in order to be sure that you have the correct assistance for your needs.
    7. Check the information online and if you ask for confirmation from the customer service, it is better not to take unnecessary risks. Check the existence of Apps through which you can always have up-to-date information, assistance and the possibility of staying in touch.
    8. If you think you can't, or the first few times you do it you don't feel comfortable, use a travel agency. They are professionals in the field and will be able to assist you, give you all the peace of mind and, above all, you will always have a point of reference to turn to for any problem that arises.
    9. When looking for a vacation spot, the difficulty is always to find reliable information. Don't trust simple accessibility claims. Ask for more information on the things that are fundamental for you and, if necessary, send your checklist of needs directly to the hotel/village and ask for confirmation.
    10. Flexibility and determination are indispensable amenities for every traveler. You need to practice them, refine them with experience, and perhaps share your experiences that can be of help to other people.
    11. You are a consumer, you want to pay the appropriate price for the quality of service you receive. This is the goal of all consumers, of course a discount is never refused.
    12. Check first if you are eligible for discounts and avoid the "hearsay" or "there is a norm" approach. If a standard exists, bring the references with you so that you get what you are entitled to.

Decalogue Accessible Holidays

These do not presume to be commandments, as you can see it is not even a decalogue, but a collection of advice.

Let us know your travel habits and share your experiences with us and our Community.......remember our motto:

To each his own holiday!

 

 *CUDE Unified European Disabled Card

Roberto Vitali

Paraplegic since 1976, a passion for tourism, he is married and has two children.

In 2008, together with Silvia Bonoli, he founded Village for all, of which he is CEO.

 

 

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Download the Decalogue for Travellers Disabile_V4A_UILDM at this link

 

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