Whether you’re attracted to a camping holiday by the calm simplicity of a life at one with nature, the magical experience of falling asleep under the stars, or the fact that you just really like eating cold beans out of a can, you’re not alone. Camping is one of the most popular ways to enjoy a staycation as well as an excellent way to truly experience the beauty of the countryside when abroad.
From getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city to the sheer cost-effective element, there are a wide range of reasons that make campers happy, so why should a person with a disability miss out?
Well, actually, there is no reason. Planning an accessible camping trip for your next holiday is perfectly possible, particularly with the ever-increasing number of campsites offering disabled facilities that are popping up in the UK and Europe. However, a little bit of forethought goes a long way when it comes to ensuring you have everything you need and that nothing stands in the way of a positive camping experience. Whether you’re a wheelchair user, visually impaired or have a health issue that impacts on your daily life, here are some top tips for planning your next accessible camping adventure.
During the research stage, the Internet really is your friend. Explore the Pitch Up website which has a page dedicated to campsites and holiday parks with disabled facilities. However, it’s important to never make any assumptions when booking an accessible campsite. Just because there’s a mention of 'disabled accesses' on a campsite’s website, does not mean the owners are on the same page as you. Everyone’s needs are unique so the best course of action is to call or email to check the reality matches up to your expectations.
The world is most certainly your oyster when it comes to choosing campsite accommodation but which option will work best for you? You might be happy with the average tent, but if you’d prefer something a little more tailored to your tastes, why not consider a site which offers jumbo pitches, camping pods, tipis or even yurts? Don’t forget about the bathroom, too, especially if you need a seat in the shower or assistance – larger bathrooms that can accommodate a wheelchair or an extra person to help out are a must unless you want to really try roughing it! Finally, be sure to ask about any campsite facilities that may have caught your eye such as a bar or swimming pool – checking that everything is accessible will prevent any last-minute disappointment.
As you’re unlikely to spend all your time hiding away in your tent, it’s also important to consider the local area. How will you get around? Are local attractions accessible? Are there any accessible activities you can participate in such as hand-biking? Is the local pub accessible and easy to reach? Making sure that the destination is as suited to you and your needs as the campsite is can take your camping experience from so-so to one you’ll remember for years. Additionally, most camping trips will involve a certain degree of self-catering and food preparation (unless you really are serious about those cold beans). Check that local shops are easy to reach and accessible, too, so that you can easily stock up when supplies are low.
Our planning advice for an accessible holiday is just as relevant whether you’re staying in the UK or heading abroad – and travel insurance is, too. Although we might have the NHS here in the UK, if you were to fall sick or injure yourself on your camping trip, you could find yourself faced with a seriously large medical bill. Plus, you don’t have to be far from home to find yourself inconvenienced and out-of-pocket due to a cancellation. Use our Medical Travel Compared online comparison tool today to find the right insurer for you.