Going away should be something you look forward to. After all, there’s nothing quite like counting down the days until you’re relaxing in the sun with friends and family. However, when you have a chronic illness, it can sometimes come down to what you want to do vs. what you can actually do. Holidays can be exhausting, stressful and inaccessible, so it’s important that when you are looking to go away, you’re going somewhere that you can manage and most importantly have an amazing time. In this blog, we share 6 destinations for those searching for accessibility and a great time.
At Insurancewith, we understand the importance of escaping to another country, discovering new places and experiencing different cultures. That’s why we consider cover for over 1,000 medical conditions, allowing you to travel with peace of mind.
Read on for travel inspiration:
Barcelona is a popular destination for relaxing and soaking up the sun, but it is also known as one of the most accessible cities in Europe¹. In fact, 80% of the Metro station and all buses are wheelchair-accessible², which means you can still partake in visiting the sites without using more energy than necessary. What’s more, it allows you to relax and enjoy yourself without having to worry about how you will get from A to B. Public transport and city landmarks have considered every type of traveller/visitor with ramps included for those who might not be able to use the stairs. Attractions in Barcelona also often allow you to jump to the front of the queue if needed. Even some of the beaches have wheelchair access and have staff on hand able to help you, bring you refreshments and make sure you’re comfortable during your visit.
Asia is an incredible experience and something most people long to do. However, not all areas are particularly accessible. Singapore however is an exception; in fact, according to the National University of Singapore, it is actually recognised as one of the most accessible cities in the world. It has had a universal code on barrier-free accessibility for the past 20 years, investments into the country’s infrastructure with step-less buildings and curb cuts to make it easier to navigate around. In Singapore, the question is not ‘What is accessible?’ but rather ‘What isn’t?’ – from its street food hawker centres to its exciting zoos – Singapore has it all.
If you’ve always wanted to see the Northern lights then try Tromsø, Norway. A small town, similar to the size of Manhattan – it is a haven for anyone wanting to embrace the gateway to the Arctic. The town’s backdrop is of stunning mountains and the nightlife and local food are superb. The best time to go is late September, October, February and March. The town is rich in history with the Arctic Cathedral being one place to pop onto the itinerary. There is disabled access making it easy to get around and explore this incredible place. Major museums like the Polaria are all wheelchair accessible with ramps and/or lifts available. The streets are flat and well-paved, with excellent curb cuts, making exploring the harbour an easy and enjoyable experience. There are also wheelchair-accessible taxis and heated pavements, so there’s no need to worry about walking or moving around on ice.
Vienna, nestled in the heart of Austria, is an extremely easy city to get around, making it not only wheelchair friendly but also less stressful and physically demanding. Almost all the major attractions are wheelchair friendly, so there’s no need to worry about missing out or not being able to enjoy your trip to the fullest! The Stephansplatz is at the core of Vienna, filled with quaint shops, restaurants, buskers and historic monuments. The majority of the buildings have a flat entry, meaning it is easy to explore and shop till you drop. The Albertina Museum is perfect for any art enthusiast with elevator access and staff on hand who are happy to help. If you want to enjoy some entertainment the Vienna State Opera House has lifts to take you to higher platform seating and staff available to escort you through the building.
Australia might be a long plane journey, but once you’ve landed there are plenty of accessible cities to explore. Sydney itself has a public transport system and infrastructure considering those who require wheelchair access. The Sydney Tower Eye is a key building across the city’s skyline, displaying unbelievable views and offering wheelchair facilities, so you can take in the scenery without having to worry or feel uncomfortable. The Queen Victoria Building is home to beautiful boutique shops that you can browse. The architecture of the building is breathtaking and the three lifts and accessible bathrooms make it an enjoyable experience for all.
The Sydney Opera is a firm favourite and a must-see. The area around the Opera House is flat and the interior of the building includes escalators, lifts, ramps and accessible bathrooms. Other accessible attractions across this stunning city include The Royal Botanic Gardens, The Taronga Zoo and Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. There really is something for everyone!
It’s important to note that should you have a respiratory or breathing condition, exposure to smoke caused by wildfires in parts of Australia can be dangerous and could have an effect on your health.
Atlanta, USA, is the Capital of Georgia, located close to an international airport, so transportation is easy. It is an ideal destination if you are visiting the USA and are after a historical yet accessible experience. The majority of Atlanta’s attractions are completely wheelchair friendly including the Skyview Ferris Wheel, The Centennial Olympic Park as well as museums such as the High Museum of Art and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Not an obvious destination choice, but one you might regret not visiting. Other places you might not expect to be accessible include the Georgia Aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center and College Football Hall of Fame.
Whilst all these destinations are accessible; it is important that you take out a travel insurance policy which covers any medical expenses you may incur whilst you are abroad.
¹ According to research by Handiscover, an accessible accommodation finder
² According to Great Rail Journeys