Today let’s talk about my personal routine for planning a trip. It is quite a complicated process that takes a lot of time. Planning takes more time than the actual trip, but it’s worth it for me. Maybe I plan too much, but I don’t want to end up somewhere where it’s not accessible enough.
Step 1 – Ask Google
The first step in this process is asking Google what the best destination is in a particular month. My muscles can’t handle cold weather, unfortunately, so I have to go to a warm country.
For example, when is the best time to visit Lisbon?
The best time to visit Lisbon is either from March to May or September to October, because the weather is still warm, hotel rates are cheaper and there are fewer crowds than in summer. In those seasons, you might also be able to squeeze in a few beach days. The summer sees hot temperatures and crowded shores. – First hit on Google
“Nothing develops intelligence like travel.” – Emile Zola
Step 2 – Find accessible accommodation
Some of the most challenging things is to find accessible accommodation. I typically check for accommodation with the wheelchair accessible filter activated at Booking.com. Before booking, I’ll check Google for the email address and mail the accommodation directly.
I’ll ask for the wheelchair accessible bedroom and bathroom, including pictures and measurements. I will decide for myself, after receiving this information, whether it’s good enough. Then, I’ll check the availability but I’m not going to make the actual booking yet. First, I’m going to have to search for flights.
Sometimes I also check websites for accessible accommodation. My favorite ones are (I will update this list regularly) :
Step 3 – Search for adapted transportation
This is also an important step in the process, but not the most important one. First, I’ll do some research on public transportation in the city.
I will always use public transportation rather than taxi services if that’s available. Why? Because it’s cheaper and you can leave when you want. You will not need to make an appointment to meet at any given time. You are independent!
If this is not accessible, I’ll search for an adapted (accessible) transportation company. Then I’ll contact them and ask for details and prices. Sometimes there are more companies in one city, then make sure you ask each one of them.
Step 4 – Find flights
Last but not least, finding a flight. For this part, I will use Sky scanner or just simply Google. If I go on a trip inside Europe, I’d preferably book by Transavia, They’re cheap and the service for people with reduced mobility (PRM) is just great.
It is important to book your airport assistance at the same time as booking the flight otherwise, you might be too late. If you need medical baggage, use a wheelchair or other medical equipment, make sure you report this to your airline in time. And always make sure that you arrive at the airport on time. In another post, I described step-by-step how to take your wheelchair with you on a flight.
After researching and accomplishing all these steps, I will book the flight and hotel at the same time. Then afterward, if needed, I will book the adapted transportation.
If you are considering travel insurance, which is highly recommended, don’t wait too long. Most travel insurance companies won’t allow you to buy insurance if you booked your trip longer than 7 days ago.