It’s the last blog in the SEN Travel series! We have covered travel toolkits, travel schemes, local/international travel, and of course other people.
Now, the steps I’ve mentioned in my blogs don’t need to be followed in any particular order, it’s just the way I do things but what works for my family, may not work for yours. You may be wondering what’s left to think about as all the previous steps covered leaving your home town/city/country/continent. This step is all about navigating in unfamiliar territory.
Where to stay
Make sure your accommodation suits your needs, you might want a hotel for comfort and accessibility (most hotels have lifts) but dietary requirements might mean a ‘whole place’ AirBnB is the better option.
Google Maps is great but it doesn’t help if you have accessibility requirements. Look for local transport apps like TfL’s journey planner which allow you to filter your needs and help plan a journey that meets them. Nobody wants to be that person that travels all the way to South Kensington station to see the museums only to discover that it’s only step access.
What to do
If you’re in a city such as London, chances are that you should be able to do everything you want to do within reason. Look for ‘autism-friendly’ screenings or ‘relaxed performances’ at the theatre. Always ask when making bookings what help there is available, if you’ve got young children places like KidZania have a wristband scheme that lets employees know your child may need extra help. Carer or discounted tickets are available at most attractions as well.
What to say
If there’s the possibility of a language barrier – download the Google Translate app, yes the grammar is slightly off but it’s still comprehensible.
If you follow all five my SEN Travel steps – with a few tweaks to suit your individual needs. You should hopefully have a successful SEND break!
NB This website that I came across recently is also extremely useful if you are visiting Britain: https://www.visitbritain.com/us/en/plan-your-trip/getting-around-britain/accessible-britain