Travel with a disability can be stressful managing in unfamiliar environments often without the familiarity and adaptions available at home. Needing to find accessible toilets, showers, hotel rooms, manage at the airport and on the plane. Manage in a different culture, a lack of access, a lack of hoists, difficulties on organised tours, sadly at times negative or misinformed attitudes, transport issues and problems with carer support. These sites should help you better prepare. While in an ideal world specialist provider should not be needed some of these tourism and travel provisions may be useful to ensure needed equipment, support and understanding is in place to reduce stress. Also there are links to different UK airports to help you arrange any assistance you may need.   

With airlines consider when you fly to arrange special assistance to help you at the airport and getting to and on/off the plane, consider were on the plane you sit in terms of the amount of walking and also avoiding emergency exists. Think about leg room. Carry medication with you but with a doctors letter, prescription and packaging letting the airline know. Think about your wheelchair/scooter issues like size, type of battery, types, check with the airline.  

Specialist Providers 

Tourism for All a UK based charity dedicated to tourism accessibility for all helping with disability tourism, leisure and travel for decades. It has its own useful directory of companies and services in the industry

Accessible property register

Lists wheelchair accessible residential properties for sale and holiday accommodation In Lon

Accessible Cottages offers accessible UK holiday cottages

Matching Homesoffers accessible house shops throughout 34 countries to members

Disabled holidays a UK organisation offering disabled holidays they are the UKs largest disability holiday specialist and ensure there are adapted transfers and equipment for hire if needed 

Makin TracksLong running small provider of tailored organised European tours for wheelchair users

Sage Travellingare specialist European Disability travel help for accommodation and transportation managing all accessibility needs and also offer travel guides

Able Thrive American site has a large section on travel that may be use for anyone in a wheelchair/anyone with spinal cord disability interested in travel and tourism 

Disability Snow Sports  UK offers skiing and adapted snow sport holidays

Ski to Freedomoffer inclusive accessible mountain sports to those with disabilities like physical disabilities CP, MS etc with lots of adaptations like sit skiing also other sports like gravity biking  They work with those who have:  

  • physical,sensory,learing disabilities, learning,speech & communicationlife-challenging illnessmental health,trauma
  • This video shows someone with CP skiing with them

Winter Sports travel Accessible winter snow resorts you can search by your impairment

Foxes Hotel a hotel and training centre in Somerset where people with learning disabilities can go and work and stay to learn career skills of hotel and hospitality work. They work in the hotel in different roles and serve guests Take a look at the hotels work:

Peter Marchant Trust Provide day trips and holidays for people with a wide range of disabilities and illnesses on accessible canal boats

 Kidney Patients UKCharity reviews dialysis holiday options for those that need it

Diana’s Supported holidays offer supported holidays for those with learning disabilities for over ten years UK and options abroad such as Disney, Florida, cruises.

Chrysalis holidays Offer themed supported holidays with different care packages through the UK and also abroad like Europe and America

Breakaway Supported holidays for those with learning disabilities

Calvert Trust adventure outdoor holidays and courses for those with a disability based in Exmore, the Lake District and Kielder

Nancy Oldfield Trust Adventure holidays for people with disabilities (physical disabilities and learning disabilities catered for) in the Norfolk Boards with motor boats, yacht’s and canoes that are accessible

Mersea Island Festival offers an accessible inclusive camping festival with accessible and adapted activities like zip wiring, circus skills, music activities, archery, dancing, speed boats, quad bikes, disco’s judo and much more. The event has been running since 1981.

Bendrigg Trust Offer outdoor adventure learning breaks for those with a disability or special need. They offer taster events, family events and adult courses

JST Disabled Sailing Club over adventure sailing holidays and days on tall ships that are accessible and where participants are expected to get fully involved in the sailing experience and challenge themselves.   They often have funding opportunities. They work with people with a range of disabilities such as physical disability, autism and learning disabilities

Revitalise respite holidays have three hotels (Essex, Southport and Southampton) catering for many disabilities and illness and offering 24-hour care. The breaks offer excursions, daytime activities and evening entertainment. There is also often financial help 

Disway Holidays they organise group holidays for people with physical disabilities and provide helpers to assist with tasks like personal care or other daily living tasks as needed. Set up in 1980 they offer holidays for 18-80 year olds 

Traveleyes offer group international holidays for those who are blind or have sight issues were you have a sighted buddy to assist 

 Seable offer holidays for those that are blind, have sight loss or are wheelchair users offering adventure active holidays

The Touch Trust is a Christian charity offering holidays and retreats as well as mobility training for those who are blind or have sight issues

Sense holidays for adults and children who are both deaf and blind they have activity weeks. They also offer short breaks for young people who are deaf and blind

Spectrum Breaks Heartlandsoffers holidays for families and adults with autism offering self catering accommodation on the island of Wright

Altogether Travelorganise disability holidays, short breaks and day trips. These tour operators have care registration and can arrange care for the holidays or day trip look after care and support needs, offers holidays in the UK and abroad

Can be Done Disability tour operator offering UK and Worldwide holidays

Limitless TravelDisability  tour operators offering UK and holidays abroad in Europe for people with disabilities run by people with disabilities

Enable holidays

Worldwide disability tour operator offering fully tailor made holidays accommodating disability needs

Access at last lists accommodation accessible throughout the world for holidays. It includes the UK much of Europe and destinations like America and Thailand. Site is very accessible and works well with software used if you have a sight impairment

Lonely Planet Accessible Travel online resources offers a comprehensive list of online accessible disability tourism companies, guides, information, accommodation, attractions worldwide options listed country by country

Care holidaysOffer supported holidays for people with mild to moderate learning disabilities

Inside Japana UK tour operator that offers tailored holidays to Japan and experienced with meeting the needs of people with disabilities on holidays

Jolly DaysOffer supported holidays for people with mild to moderate learning disabilities

The Back Up Trustsupports those with spinal cord injury they also run a range of different residential courses these include multi activity sports break courses, also Sweden adventure snow sport sit karting courses and also courses to help with independence for 18-25 year olds as well as other options for other ages and needs

 Charity Funding for holidays if you have a disability

3HThey provide funding for UK based accommodation if you have a disability, want to go on holiday and are on a low income

Disability Aid Trust

Will give funding to pay for support workers to help people on holidays who have a disability

MS Research and Relief Fund

They provide grants to people with MS to pay for anything from equipment to aids, to services which includes holidays

Margaret Champney Rest and holiday fund

Pays for short breaks in the UK for carers when the person with the disability is in respite care.

Blitz Holiday fund pays towards holidays to a hotel in Blackpool that is accessible making holidays more affordable and accessible 

The Sand Castle Trust

The charity provide grants holidays to families affected by rare genetic conditions  

Cystic Fibrosis holiday grant fund to pay for holidays if you have CF and are over 18

Youth Cancer Trust

Provides activity holidays in Bournmouth to young people 14-30 who have Cancer and what a holiday. You can go alone and join a small group or go a with a sibling or a friend who also goes for free

Travel Advice with a disability

Government Advice on foreign travel with a disability  

Parking for less offer a travel guide with lots of information about travel with a disability

Epilepsy ActionTravelling aboard advice

Travel advice and insurance for when you have a health condition or disability

Travel with is a comprehensive detailed website guide to travel with a health condition or disability, gives advice and tips for travel, advice for planning, day to day activities, emergency help, accommodation. Covers disability and also conditions like Cancer, heart conditions. It also provides travel insurance when you have a disability/health condition covering over 5,000 conditions/disabilities

Just Travel Cover Offer Travel insurance covering medical conditions and disabilities

Our Travel Insurance offers travel insurance covers pre existing medical conditions and disabilities

Traveling with medication 

If traveling with medication always check with your airline and the airport for the latest advice. You should always have the complete packaging, the information leaflet and you should get a letter from your doctor to explain. Check if there are instructions to follow carrying the medication in your hand luggage.

Airports and Disability

 Assistance at Heathrow airport for disability includes advice for unseen disabilities such as a lanyard system

Assistance at Gatwick airport for disability includes advice for unseen disabilities such as a lanyard system

Assistance at Luton airport for a disability

Assistance at Birmingham airport for a disability

Assistance for Disability at Stansted airport

Assistance for Disability at Manchester airport 

 Mainstream tourism providers and disability 

Ability of mainstream providers to accommodate disability sadly varies considerable here are some of the efforts being made by some tourism providers. Of the airlines some with the best reputation for disability are reported as Quants, Air Canada, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and of the budget options Easy Jet:

Thompson holidays and disability Planning a disability or autism friendly holiday

Thompson customer welfare for those with a disability

First Choice holidays and disability   

Trip Advisor Travelling with a disability online forum

Airlines and disability: Some of the best options

Easy Jet and disability You are allowed to bring two types of mobility equipment free of charge such as a wheelchair, frame, shower seat etc, you can have special assistance such as help through the airport, customs and boarding gate,you can get assistance boarding the plane, you can get help to stow your bag and to collect luggage or equipment, , you can bring an assistance dog free of charge. On the plane they have airplane wheelchairs (but you need to self transfer), you can also ask for comfort items like cushions .  

British Airways and disability

Virgin Atlantic holidays and disability

Virgin Atlantic airlines and disability

Air Canada and disability

Qantas Airways and disability

Holiday camps

Pitch Up is a camping accommodation site listing options in the UK and Europe. It has a disability facilities page listing options for those who need disability facilities and the campsite accommodation options available

Caravan and Motorhome Clubs

Has over 200 sites in the UK and prides itself on accessibility with accessible bathrooms, level access, good lighting, and more

Butlins and disability

Haven holidays and disability

Cruisesallowing you to visit lots of locations without much physical effort on your part and highly structured and organised. 

Cruise Critic offer advice on the best options and considerations when cruising with a disability. Cruises often offer a good holiday option. The Cruise Critic explores all aspects of the industry including disability.

Disabled Cruise Club Look at accessibility of different cruise lines, different ships, look at disability cabins, accessibility of ports all in one place, look at special offers and book through them 

UK Tourism Accessibility information

Visit Britain tourism accessibility/access guides making travel round the UK easier

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain from Motability evaluates attractions throughout the UK for Accessibility for ease of access and needs

Disability equipment on holiday UK and abroad

Oxygen Worldwidefor those that need oxygen on holiday can also help if Travelling and visiting different countries

Mobility Equipment Hire Direct From here you can hire equipment for your holiday in a wide range of globe locations including the UK, Europe and elsewhere in the World includes wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, hoist aids, bed aids and bathroom aids to make travel less stressful by providing equipment needed to feel at home without the stress or impracticability of traveling out with the equipment or feeling you can not travel to the destination, they have a London office 

Wheelchair Hire provide wheelchair hire abroad in a range of popular holiday destinations such as but not limited to Spain, France, Cyprus and the USA

Wheelchair Freedom Limited 

Offers scooters, wheelchairs hire across the UK

Celling Hoist User Club

Shows UK and Republic of Ireland accommodation offering hoists and the ability to read reviews from users

Disabled Living Foundation

Database of disability equipment for sale or hire

Beyond Boundaries Wheelchairs

Offer all terrain wheelchairs to hire for holidays you can hire that work well on the beach, gravel, woodland and other different surfaces

Algarve Mobility provide Mobility scooters to your accommodation when holidaying in the Algarve Portugal

Car Hire

Adapted vehicle hire 

Offers wheelchair accessible and adapted vehicles