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Planning Retirement Online

Disabled holidays                                           January 2010  

Disabled holidays

Disabled holidaysJanuary is the time when everyone is looking at holidays; the newspapers, magazines and tv are full of adverts for trips to beautiful locations and sunny climes. It all looks immensely desirable – except for anyone who is disabled or has a companion with special needs.

But while the media may not be full of adverts for holidays catering for people with disabilities, today there are many groups which specialise in helping in this area.

One good source of information is the Enjoy England website . Visit the “accessible” section on this site and here you will find a wealth of information about travelling around England including some excellent practical information and also details of tourist attractions that are especially suitable for people with special requirements.

The section also gives full details of the NAS, or the National Accessible Scheme. This is a voluntary scheme which covers hotels, B&Bs, campsites and self-catering accommodation. The NAS identifies the level of support and how accessible the accommodation is for people who have different requirements, including visually or hearing impaired people as well as those with mobility impairments.

The accommodation is identified by various logos which indicate suitability for different special needs requirements. For instance, the following logo shows there are good facilities for wheelchair users who are travelling with a friend or family member who assists with every day tasks.

Typically suitable for a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position. This person also requires personal or mechanical assistance (eg carer, hoist)These easy to understand logos make it quick to find accommodation that has the right facilities. There is also a very good search facility in a box on the left of the site. Where it shows accommodation requirements, click “show advanced search options” and this will bring up a heading “suitability” where you can tick the boxes that most suit your level of access needs.

Another good source of information is the Government’s website. Visit
AndBreaks/ TravelAndHolidaysinTheUK/DG_4015876

and you will find a lot of helpful information on a range of aspects including equipment, adaptations and services while on holiday and also contacts to see what financial help towards holiday costs might be available in your region.

Other groups that can help include the 3H Fund. They have more than 30 years experience in providing holidays for physically disabled people and cover all aspects, including transport, accommodation, activities and even care.  Visit them on  

The Disaway Trust is a registered charity that has been organising group holidays for physically disabled people since 1981. It is run by volunteers and supported by voluntary help and contributions which help cover the costs of carers and other aspects, although the holiday maker is expected to pay their won costs.  Disaway Trust arrange holidays for all age groups between 16 and 80, visit them on

Holidays for All specialises in organising leisure activities and accommodation both in the UK and overseas for people with sensory and physical impairments and their friends and families.  They offer a wide range of information and actual holidays for different requirements, for instance under their Action for Blind People section, they offer four specialist hotels. These offer all the facilities you would expect from a top quality holiday hotel, but also provide specially trained staff plus all the extras that might be required by visually impaired guests such as facilities for guide dogs, talking alarm clocks, liquid level indicators, large press button telephones, and Braille and talking books. Visit them on or you can call them on 08451 249973.

There are also a number of smaller groups that offer assistance such as  which offers a specialist holiday bungalow in Wales. specialises in support for people suffering from quadriplegic and paraplegic injuries, and gives advice on accessible holidays and disabled holiday destinations.

As well as organisations that offer total holiday packages, there is lots of help available for different areas. For instance the RADAR National Key Scheme offers independent access for disabled people to around 7,000 locked public toilets around the country. Visit for details and also how to purchase a key.

Travelling with a wheelchair offers a range of challenges, and a good site to visit is  They specialise in mobility and healthcare products and sell special travel wheelchairs complete with travel bag which weigh only 8.6 kg and can be stored in the hold of any aircraft.

Really, today thanks to the internet there is a host of information and support available to cover every requirement for a terrific holiday, whatever your personal situation. If the thought of travelling with an impairment or travelling with a friend or relation who has a disability,  has held you back, think again. Today everyone can enjoy a wonderful holiday.



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