Published: 28 May 2022

Summer Holidays

I'm not quite sure where the beginning of 2022 disappeared to, but suddenly, it's the last weekend in May. Summer is here and many people are planning holidays, day trips and other summery activities. So for a little while, I'm going to focus my blog posts on accessibility issues related to summer holidays and days out.

General advice

Before I start dishing out my advice, here's my context...

I'm a semi-ambulant wheelchair user with an assistance dog (Canine Partner). When I walk, which isn't very much, I use either a stick or crutches, depending on where I am. When I use a wheelchair... well, I have two. My normal wheelchair is a manual active chair with Loopwheels and no handles. My off-road chair is a Mountain Trike. I'll come back to those in another post, as equipment is key to a good day out.

With no further ado, here are my general tips for planning a good day out:

Getting around

There are two aspects to this. The first is choosing how you're going to get to and from your destination. The second is how you're going to get around the venue.

I don't do public transport! I know many have to but I've never got brave enough to even try. I read so many tweets about people being abandoned, booked assistance failing and the general public being difficult, that it has put me right off. I have a car and a motorhome. Obviously the motorhome is pretty good for holidays but it is also often our choice of vehicle for days out. It gives me a toilet whenever I need it, the ability to make food and drinks that aren't going to give me an allergic reaction, and somewhere to rest if I need to.

Another advantage of the motorhome is that we can take both wheelchairs, plus crutches, sticks and the kitchen sink (literally). I usually check out paving surfaces and the general landscape of a venue and then choose which chair I'll need, but sometimes it is useful to have both and to swap part way through they day. For example, there might be an indoor and outdoor section. Indoors, my chair is probably better but outdoors, I might want my trike. I like having the flexibility to choose.

I'll leave you with some photos of our various travelling methods:

Nicki in a manual wheelchair with Canine Partner Liggy sitting next to her. They are on a normal town pavement. Nicki in a manual wheelchair with additional big front wheel attachment. Canine Partner Liggy is sitting in front of her on a cobbled street. Nicki in an off-road wheelchair with hand levers, rolling down a grassy bank.