If you’re heading on a little trip, there’s no reason why you should sacrifice homely comforts. Mobility restrictions can create nervousness when travelling, but there are plenty of options available in the UK. It’s essential that the place you choose to stay can accommodate all of your accessibility needs, and that you can move around comfortably during your stay.
Just because a hotel says “accessible” on the website does not necessarily mean they understand the gamut of your needs. When you’re looking for accommodation in the UK, here is what you should look for before booking.
Speak to someone directly
Whenever you’re booking accommodation with specific requirements, it’s always a good idea to get on the phone to someone onsite. You can explain what you’re looking for and any restrictions you may have in regards to mobility.
Websites may list accessibility features, but information can be out of date and might not be fully complete. A customer service rep may also be able to recommend you a particular room or include services that are not listed online.
Accessibility of the premises/common areas
The first thing you should assess is how accessible the residence/hotel is in general. Some things to consider are the location of the parking area, handicapped spaces, and if there’s a front door drop off. It’s also important that there’s ramped access to the common areas, including onsite restaurants, public toilets, lounge and any other facilities that the accommodation may have onsite.
Accessible rooms should be on the ground floor, in case of fires or other types of emergencies. That said, if they do have facilities on upper floors, ensure the elevator is wheelchair accessible. If your accommodation spreads over multiple levels, such as if you’re renting out a house, make sure they have a stairlift installed. Many homes in the UK are equipped with stairlifts, from quality companies like www.southwalesmobility.com, so if you’re renting an Airbnb or something similar, you can likely find one for your stay.
Accessibility of the rooms
When you’re on a trip, your accommodation should be as comfortable, if not more so, than at home. Having a room that isn’t adequately laid out can cause unnecessary stress during your stay. Make sure to ask about all of the accessible features they provide in their rooms. Some important things to ask about include the width of the doorways. You’ll want a wheelchair or walker to fit easily through all the doors and hallways. On top of that, the living spaces and bathroom should be spacious enough for easy manoeuvring.
The bathroom should be adequately furnished with grab rails, and a raised toilet seat if necessary. For the shower facilities, make sure there is a roll-in shower if that’s what you require.
Ask for pictures
If you don’t feel like the website has provided enough images of the accommodation, then ask them to send you additional photos. You know your needs better than anyone else, and seeing images of the space will allow you to assess if the accommodation will be a good fit for you or not.