An important part of self-care is to get out and about, but at times this is easier said than done for some members of the NPUK and the idea can seem so daunting that we put it off. This post hopes to outline how you can plan your journey ahead of time to make a day trip that little bit easier, allowing everyone to make some wonderful memories this year.
1. Where to go.
This is pretty important, before planning you need to know where you want to go. There are so many great days out across Britain that are accessible friendly, it’s just a case of being in the know. For this, Google is your best friend. Often others have left reviews of their trips allowing you to get a better picture of the accessible facilities and plan your day ahead of time.
Check out some of these sites to get started:
AccessAble- This site used to be known as DisabledGo, now both a website and app it provides information on thousands of venues across the UK and Ireland.
Accessible Countryside- This is a site that highlights wheelchair walks, buggy walks, simple walks, disability sport information, campsites with disabled access and facilities and much more.
Euan’s Guide Website- This website is really valuable as it consolidates reviews of days out from other visitors.
The Rough Guide to Britain- This guide offers lists of accessible friendly days out and is available to download.
WhereWeCanGo- This is an online search facility providing wheelchair accessible events.
2. Have a Plan.
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail may be a bit drastic in this instance, but it’s always a good idea to have your trip planned out in some form. Having a plan in which you know where the accessible friendly facilities are, such as parking and toilets, makes for a smoothly running day. Of course, even with an extensive regime, you still might face some unexpected events, but that’s okay and just think of it as something to avoid or do differently in the future if applicable.
3. How are you getting there?
If you’re going to be relying on public transport to get out and about you may want to look ahead and see if the bus/train station is accessible and the transportation you’re using is accessibility friendly. Book any assistance you require ahead of time, especially for train journeys, and alert staff when you arrive if you or a friend/family member requires assistance.
4. Get in the know.
Knowing before you arrive what facilities are available will serve you well. If you have limited mobility you may be able to hire mobility aids from the place you are visiting. Accessible toilets are also vital to ensure you’re not caught short. Many accessible toilets are part of the National Key Scheme (NKS) which means they can only be used by people with a Radar NKS key. It might be a good idea to apply for one of these, if needed, to avoid the frustration of searching for a staff member simply to nip to the loo.
5. Get your documents in order.
Many attractions offer concessions to individuals with disabilities and caregivers. If possible, contact the site beforehand to ensure you bring the appropriate documents on the day in order to get discounted prices or free admission. Proof of disability often includes – Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or Carers’ Allowance, Disabled Blue Badge and Access Card.
After all it’s a day out and a time to have a bit of fun. Things may go wrong or not be exactly what you expected, but you may have individuals around to help, or if not, let members of staff know if you need further assistance. The more trips you do, the more of a routine you will get into and will have better experience of how to handle certain situations or unexpected moments.
There you have it, some simple tips on planning a memorable day out! So, where are you off to first?