Accessibility and Travelling

What do you look for in accessible accommodation?

Travelling with confidence

What do you look for in accessible accommodation?

At the moment, life is unpredictable. However, that shouldn’t prevent you from getting out there and experiencing the adventure of traveI.

Kerry Williams, founder of Accessible Accommodation, and soon to launch Accessible Experiences gives her top six tips for travellers with a disability, with important considerations for COVID.

1. Accommodation first
Start with your accommodation search. Finding one that suits you, is comfortable and meets your accessible needs is paramount. Kerry’s website Accessible Accommodation has over 50 frequently asked questions, video tours and lots of photos. Whether you tap into that resource or not, your accommodation is the priority.

2. Stay local (for now)
Try to stick to within a few hours drive of where you live. Whilst we Aussies have done an amazing job in managing COVID, these are still unpredictable times. So, for the time being, choose somewhere within your state, just in case borders or regions close for a short period.

3. Roll with it
Cancellation policies should be one of the first questions you ask when making a reservation. Most businesses offer a more flexible cancellation policy nowadays. Do remember, accommodation providers have had it very tough this year, so you may prefer to reschedule than cancel.

4. Find like-minded travellers
Now that accommodation has been sorted, how you get there, and activities are next. Google is a natural asset to help you there. Additionally, there are some fantastic groups on Facebook, where you can post call-outs for suggestions from travellers with disabilities:

  • The Accessible Group, run by Accessible Accommodation has over 4,000 members who inspire, share and learn all things accessible travel
  • Have Wheelchair Will Travel, and their sub-groups, Accessible Sydney
    and Accessible Melbourne

  • Getoutable lots of info about Canberra and other parts of Australia
  • Accessible Travel Club for when we’re ready to travel overseas
  • Accessible Beaches provides a comprehensive directory of accessible beaches around Australia.
  • 5. Be a change maker
    Your disability is uniquely you. One of the most common frustrations found on Kerry’s Facebook group The Accessible Group is access.

    If you’ve ever asked “ramp or level access?” and have been given, “Yes we have level access.” What does that really mean? Is there a small lip? You may need to press them to be more specific. So often, a provider believes that a 10 cm bump in the doorway is ok for a wheelchair user to navigate. Not when you have a 150 kg chair.

    Remember, people without disabilities aren’t setting out to deceive you. In most cases, they genuinely just don’t understand. By asking specific questions around your needs, you’re helping providers understand the needs of a person with a disability. You can be a changemaker.

    6. Hire it!
    Almost all over Australia, there are places to hire accessible equipment for use during your stay. Accessible Accommodation lists where you can hire accessible products within close proximity to each property. Alternatively, a quick Google search with the words “disability equipment hire” and the location will produce results for you. Most accommodation providers are more than happy to take delivery a few hours before your arrival.

    Many local tourism offices also offer wheelchair and scooter hire, national parks for their off road chair hire.

    For more information about Accessible Accommodation visit https://www.accessibleaccommodation.com.au/