I send about 30-40% of my beds overseas so this blog is aimed at EU customers who may think of holidaying in the UK. However, it's got useful information in it for everyone.
All the links are in English, but the majority also have the option to choose a language once you get to the webpage.
As ever - all our kids and families are different! A blog covering all travel / accommodation / activities would be a lifetime's ambition. This blog should give you ideas and a starting point if you are thinking of a holiday in the UK
If you're a visitor from an EU country and you fall ill or have a medical emergency during your temporary stay in England, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC isn't an alternative to travel insurance and does not cover private medical healthcare, being flown back home, or lost or stolen property. Therefore, it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy.
Plane: Not everyone enjoys flying!!
If your family needs to travel with medical/mobility equipment, such as wheelchair, oxygen, nappies, food, or a Safe Place Bed these are all classed as medical equipment and should be carried free of charge by the airline. Each airline has different requirements so please check these and leave yourself plenty of time to get organised.
Request disabled assistance at the time you book tickets. I've put links to the Assistance Pages of a couple of popular airlines below:
Ferry: I love a ferry - much less stressful than a plane! You're free to move around, and you can load the car up with EVERYTHING you need.
We travelled with Calmac a few weeks ago and got a discounted price after giving our blue badge number. We were allocated parking right next to the lift on the car deck, so it was easy to access all levels of the ferry.
Where do we stay and what can we do?
What do you need? A wetroom? A hoist? Step-free access? A secure garden? The list goes on and on, as every child is different.
A really easy way of finding the right accommodation for your family is to join a couple of helpful Facebook groups (links below). Both of these have lots of members who own accommodation and keep an eye on the group.
So: if you post dates, locations and requirements (run it through google translate if you need to) you'll get responses from people with accommodation that suits your needs.
Both groups are also super useful if you are looking for things to do. Either scroll through, search a location, or post a specific question about activities in the area you are visiting.
On a personal note, I loved, loved, loved visiting Camp Mohawk last year.
Things that make life easier
Changing places toilets:
I love a Changing Places Toilet!! They are larger accessible toilets for severely disabled people, with equipment such as hoists, privacy screens, adult-sized changing benches, peninsula toilets and space for carers. There are currently 1,300 Changing Places toilets registered in the UK.
They have this logo, and are almost always locked: you will need a RADAR key to access them - it's different to a EURO key so buy one before you travel!! They only cost about €6.
There's also an app to help you find Changing Places toilets as well. It has translations / locations in French, German, Spanish and Italian. When I download it in the UK, it looks like this
Disabled Access Information by disabled people for disabled people.
Blue badges for parking:
The UK has informally agreed to continue the mutual recognition of the EU disabled parking card for visitors to the UK.
England / Wales: Maximum of three hours and you must display your arrival time using the clock timer
Scotland / Northern Ireland: Unlimited parking time and you are not required to display arrival time.
London: Complicated! Have a look at the link.
London A really useful site with journey planners and accessibility maps.
Trains across the UK: If you need assistance to use the train (such as a ramp so that you can move a wheelchair from the platform to the train) please use this link.
Happy holidays! If you have any questions that I haven't answered, please get in touch.