How to Plan a Wheelchair Accessible Road Trip

A wheelchair accessible road trip takes a little extra planning – here are our tips for things you need to bear in mind

Photo of black electric lift on wheelchair accessible vehicle, with mountains in the back

In association with Allied Mobility

Road trips are great fun – I’m a huge fan of them, and have enjoyed several fantastic trips in the UK and Europe. And in the current pandemic situation, more people than ever are planning a roadtrip in the UK.

If you or a friend or family member use a wheelchair, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a road trip. It just means that you need to do a little more planning before you go.

So here are a few tips to get your trip off to a great start.

Give your car a check over

Of course, you’ll need to make sure that your car is ready for the trip, and a wheelchair accessible vehicle like the range from Allied Mobility will help to ensure a comfortable journey.

Before you leave, you should check to make sure that your car has sufficient oil, coolant and windscreen wash, and give the tyres a check to make sure that they are in good condition. Now is also the time to confirm your roadside assistance membership hasn’t lapsed, or sign up for a new policy.

And make sure that the driver’s paperwork is all in order – insurance, licence etc.

Close-Up Of Man Checking Tread On Car Tyre With Gauge

Choose your destination

It may sound obvious, but your road trip will be much more enjoyable if your hotel is wheelchair accessible. Make sure that you confirm your reservation before you leave to avoid any mix ups, and let them know if you will need any special assistance.

And don’t forget to look out for some great wheelchair accessible places to visit along your route!

Check your route

Obviously you’ll want to plan out your route before you start your road trip. But when you’re planning a wheelchair accessible road trip, you need to take a little more care over the planning. Knowing your options for breaks, picnic spots and places to visit along your route will help make you feel more relaxed and in control.

Plan where you are going to break your journey overnight, and work out the mileage per day. This will help you to work out how many breaks you will need and where you will want to take them.

And it’s a good idea to check where you can fill your car up with petrol as well!

Plan regular stops

It’s a good idea to plan some stops in advance for each day of your road trip. You should generally try to take a break every 2 hours to give your eyes a break from concentrating on the road. It also allows you to use the loo and pick up refreshments if you need them.

So have a look on Google Maps for service areas or roadside rest stops where you can take a break even if you don’t need to use the facilities. And if you are travelling with someone who uses a wheelchair, bear in mind that you may need to allow for a longer break.

Man in wheelchair wearing a blue shirt and with a blue rucksack, seen from behind looking out at a city street

Pack some snacks

Packing some of your own snacks and drinks gives you more flexibility over when and where you stop for breaks. And while pandemic restrictions are in place, it may also reduce the number of times you need to go indoors and come into contact with other people.

So pack a coolbox in your car with some drinks and snacks so that you’ll have food and drink to keep you going on your road trip.

Pack all the necessities

And when you’re planning a road trip, it’s really important to make sure that you pack all the necessities.

If you’re travelling for several days, packing cubes can make your job a lot easier. You can pack a separate cube with clothes for each day, and then have a separate bag with your toiletries, medication and any electronics. Then when you go to check in at your destination each evening, you can just put your packing cube for that night into your bag and leave the rest of your clothes in the car.

As well as a variety of clothing to suit the likely weather, you should also make sure that you have a first aid kit and any necessary medications. Don’t forget to buy travel insurance for your trip, and remember to take face masks and sanitiser if the area you are visiting has Covid-19 restrictions.

With a little planning, a wheelchair accessible road trip is a fun and exciting option for your next holiday. Where would you like to visit next?

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