I like my work (I really do). And as it turns out I am not alone. According to the recent survey How many Brits like their jobs and their wages? more than two-thirds of us either like or love what we do. But being happy with the nine to five shouldn’t stop us wanting a holiday. “I work hard,” we say, “I deserve a break,” and having committed to taking a holiday the only question to answer is Where?
Mobility matters when choosing your holiday destination
Planning a holiday can be difficult.
Do you look for sun, sea and partying? Or do you prefer peace and quiet with just a good book for company?
Do you dream of looking out the window of a train hurrying from Marrakesh to Casablanca? Or do you picture a terrace in Sorrento, sipping an apparel spritz while the sun sets over the bay of Naples?
Then there are the pragmatic considerations: what does it cost and can you afford it? What about the language? Can you cope with that much sun? And how many museums are too many museums?
And if you have restricted mobility then the pre-holiday checks become even more important. You need to check if the airport, train station, bus station or taxi, can meet your needs.
And will your hotel or apartment supply the practical aids you need to facilitate your independence?
Mobility needs are important when it comes to choice
What about getting around outside the hotel? Will it be easy for you to get across the town or the city? Are tourist sites accessible? What restaurants are welcoming and which ones should be avoided? What are the best beaches for disabled tourists? And are public spaces properly accessible?
There are many excellent online sources when considering the importance of mobility in the elderly. A recent article from The Guardian newspaper shows us a vision for what a disability accessible city might look like.
Many organisations now specialise in arranging accessible holidays both in the UK and abroad. They include:
One of the most significant advances in our recognition of mobility matters is Google’s decision to add wheelchair-accessible routes to its Google Maps app for navigating cities. Users will now be able to select “wheelchair accessible” as an option, and the app will show routes to the destination that the user should be able to navigate safely.
Product manager Rio Akasaka said: “In city centres, buses and trains are often the best way to get around, which presents a challenge for people who use wheelchairs or with other mobility needs. Information about which stations and routes are wheelchair friendly isn’t always readily available or easy to find.
“To make public transit work for everyone” he continued, “we’re introducing ‘wheelchair accessible’ routes in transit navigation to make getting around easier for those with mobility needs.”
Travel aids for the elderly, and others with limited mobility, matters
Admittedly the number of cities this service covers is limited at first: just London, New York, Tokyo, Mexico City, Boston, and Sydney. But the plan is to roll it out more widely and quickly. It is surely a realistic expectation that before long Google Maps will offer wheelchair-accessible routes as standard wherever you are. Importantly, these advancements are improving the quality of experience for everybody with restricted mobility.
We like what Google are saying about their commitment in this field. They are working on a local level to build guides that are the product of the knowledge and input of local. They are helping us progress toward a more accessible world for everyone.
And if it means we leave less to chance when planning your holiday then that has to be a good thing!