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Schöne Stunden im gemeinsamen Urlaub verbringen, Bild: AnnGaysorn / shutterstock

Holiday planning with disabled children – what to consider

After everything that has happened in the last two years, more of us than ever are looking forward to traveling again and getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for a week or two. Especially for young children, some of whom may not have traveled much, the first family vacation is an important moment to create wonderful memories for life. For the approximately 194,000 children in Germany who live with a disability, it is equally important that they can experience a safe, accessible and enjoyable holiday with the family, even if this may require a little more planning. Here are some important things to keep in mind when planning a holiday with disabled children.

Research before the trip

The first step in planning a holiday is choosing the destination. Even though sun, beach and sea are at the top of your priority list, you also need to consider how you can ensure that your child with a disability makes the most of their holiday. It is important to do your research and consider several destinations so that all family members can have a nice and relaxing time on vacation. More and more destinations are adapting their offer for their guests to better integrate people with disabilities. Therefore, they should also check which barrier-free facilities and activities are offered at the holiday destination or in the region. For example, whether the local beach can be reached by wheelchair or whether there are wheelchair-accessible changing rooms. Here in Germany, certain nature reserves have specially designed accessible viewing platforms, such as the Hermersbergerhof platform in the Palatinate Forest, so that children in wheelchairs do not have to feel like they cannot enjoy the beautiful nature around them.

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Safe travel

Whether you’re traveling by car, train, or plane, it’s important to make sure your child’s needs are met and they have a comfortable journey to your vacation destination. For those arriving by car, there are a number of disabled vehicles that can be purchased or rented. These are adapted to give wheelchair users enough space to travel comfortably, while ensuring the safety of other passengers and providing enough storage space for all holiday suitcases. It is important that you contact the staff of the station or airport from which you are travelling so that you can get as much information as possible in advance about the accessibility arrangements. These may include ramps, dedicated seating, or dedicated check-in and waiting areas.

Travel insurance and medical advice

Even though chronic illnesses are usually not included in international health insurance , you can still ensure that you are covered against unexpected events or accidents. Before you travel, you should talk to your child’s doctor so that they can confirm if your child’s condition is stable enough to travel. He may also be able to give you additional advice or recommendations so that your child is happy, healthy and can enjoy his holiday to the fullest.