By Spreet Aulakh on November 19

Accessible Holiday and Travel Guide

Travelling with mobility issues can present some additional challenges that it’s best to be prepared for before embarking on your trip. To help you find the info you need to get your travels under way, we’ve pulled together some key points.

We’ve looked at the provisions made by train, plane and car rental companies in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Spain, France, Italy and Germany to find out what you can expect and what you need to do to get assistance.

Accessibility Abroad - Planes

Despite being one of the most common forms of transport for holiday travel, airplanes can still pose problems for those with mobility issues. The European Parliament introduced regulation n. 1107/2006 to try and address this. This legislation states that disabled people cannot be refused transport by an airline on the grounds of their mobility, unless this poses a serious safety risk.

Airlines and airports must employ staff to assist those with mobility issues. Currently, the legislation does not give specific requirements for what companies need to do to fulfil their obligations, so it’s down to the individual provider how they meet the demands of the law.

As a result, services provided by airlines may vary quite a lot. Check above to see which will be best for you.

If you have mobility issues or are travelling with someone who does, contact the airline you’re flying with at least 48 hours before you leave, so they can ensure they have the necessary resources for you.

Once you’ve let the airline know any needs you have, get to the airport two hours before your flight leaves. This gives you plenty of time to let people know you’ve arrived and get where you need to be.

Accessibility Abroad - Cars

There are no regulations on what car rental companies have to provide in terms of accessible vehicles – so it’s best to check before you book. To make sure the vehicle you get meets your needs, book well in advance and go direct to the car rental company rather than using third party booking sites.

If you’re driving in Europe, remember your blue badge so you can still use disabled parking facilities. Find blue badges for each country on the map below.

europe map

Accessibility Abroad - Trains

Almost every European country will provide some form of assistance for train passengers with mobility issues. The following organisation in each country is responsible for providing help:

  • • France: Accès Plus
  • • Italy: Sale Blu
  • • Spain: RENFE
  • • Germany: Services Mobility Centre
  • • UK: Individual train operators

The level of service does vary depending on the country though, and some stations may not be accessible, so check before travelling.

Accessibility Abroad - Hotels