Finding a hotel
Before going on a trip you should ask lots of questions about your hotel. If you use a wheelchair, you need to make sure the room’s door is wider than your chair. You might also want to check how much space the room and the bathroom have. I like getting a room on the ground floor so I can get in and out easily and quickly.
Posted by: Anthony Bartl, on 01/12/09
Make enquiries when you book
Holidays can provide many opportunities for relaxation and bliss. But imagine if you arrive at your hotel and cannot even get into your room because your wheelchair is wider than the doorway. It’s hard to imagine you feeling terribly relaxed now!
Obviously the key to a successful holiday is to make plenty of enquiries when you book.
If you have never been to a destination before, it is always wise to contact the local disability information and resource centre for information about accessible accommodation. They should be able to refer you to an appropriate hotel, but don’t assume that the accommodation will cater to your every need.
Start making enquiries and arrangements well ahead of your arrival. Keep in mind that most hotels do not have many wheelchair-accessible rooms available.
You will need to be particularly organised if you need to have a hospital bed, hoist or a commode couriered to your hotel. Couriers are not always reliable.
If you have a mobility impairment, make sure you ask about the dimensions of the room. It might seem obvious, but some people’s wheelchairs are wider than a standard doorway.
Check how much space there is
It is also a good idea to check how much space there is around the bed. Hotel rooms can be very cosy, and not have much room for carers to comfortably look after you without any restrictions or hindrances. People who can assist themselves also often need space to manoeuvre their way around, for example positioning a wheelchair directly next to their bed so they can get straight out into it.
It is also a good idea to enquire about the bathroom and shower dimensions. Considerations might include the dimensions of the shower screen, whether there is a step into the shower or bathroom, and the length of the handheld shower hose.
I try to always book a room on the ground floor so that it is much easier to get in and out of your room. The chances of an emergency requiring evacuation or being stuck in a lift might be remote, but for an energetic holiday-goer like me, a ground floor room allows for a quick departure to various activities.
I am also keen to hear your recommendations for what to look for in a hotel in the comments section below.
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