A photo of a woman in a wheelchair on the solar trip boat, Ra, which is based at Whitlingham Country Park

Whitlingham Country Park solar trip boat, Ra, is fully wheelchair accessible.

It’s the time of year when many of us think about taking a holiday, either abroad or nearer to home.  For unpaid carers, looking after someone with a physical disability, learning difficulty, mental health condition or an addiction, a holiday with the cared-for person can involve a good deal of advance planning to ensure that they both have a safe and healthy journey.

Chris Preston from Arthritis Care says that holiday travel often presents particular challenges for people caring for someone with a disability:

“Many journeys involve long periods of being seated, which can aggravate some conditions, such as arthritis. Lifting and carrying luggage, standing in queues and going through security systems, here and abroad, as well as delays to train or plane journeys can be physically and mentally difficult for the person affected and the carer always has to think and plan one step ahead – which is stressful for them too.”

Susanne Anderson, from Norfolk Carers says:

“Carers travelling with someone with a “hidden” condition such as autism or dementia, for example, can find it particularly difficult to know when and where to ask for help with the practical elements of the journey and this can add to the worry about potential attitude or reactions of staff and other passengers.”

Norfolk Carers brings together the range of help and support available for travel in the new “Getting About” section of this website, where you will find amongst other things:

  • Information about travel and transport for people with disabilities, including those with ‘hidden’ conditions
  • Details of how to apply for a disabled bus and rail card
  • Details of how to apply for the Blue Badge scheme for disabled parking
  • Information about airport, rail and coach operators’ special assistance help-desks for anybody who needs help travelling and their carer
  • Details of accessible walks in Norfolk and beyond
  • Tips for disabled and less mobile air passengers

Our Advice Line can also offer practical and emotional information, support and advice for carers. Call 0808 808 9876 Mon to Fri 9-5pm, Sat 10-2pm