How to Plan a Disability-Friendly ‘Staycation’

In this post, guest blogger Emma Bennett shares some great tips for planning a disability-friendly ‘staycation’, including some of her favourite UK holiday destinations! 

Woman Successful Disabled

What is a staycation?

A staycation is a vacation but in your home country. A UK holiday can be a brilliant idea if, like me, you don’t really enjoy travelling by plane or you fancy a cheaper alternative to a trip abroad! I’m going to give you a step by step guide to organising a disability-friendly holiday in the UK to make the trip as easy and stress-free as possible.

Choosing a place to go

First things first, you need to decide where to go! To give you some inspiration, here is my list of top 10 UK holiday destinations:

  1.        Alnwick, Northumberland – plenty of countryside and home to The Alnwick Garden
  2.        Edinburgh, Scotland – Edinburgh Castle is a great place to visit
  3.        Todmorden, West Yorkshire – great for country walks and local markets
  4.        St. Ives, Cornwall – lovely beaches where you can take a boat tour
  5.        York, North Yorkshire – visit the York Minster, National Railway Museum
  6.        Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire – take a trip to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre
  7.        Blackpool, Lancashire – theme parks, a beach and exciting attractions
  8.        Saltaire, West Yorkshire – pretty village, lots of lovely restaurants and a world heritage site
  9.        Llandudno, Wales – visit the Great Orme landmark or go on a cable car
  10.        Liverpool, Merseyside – lively city full of sightseeing opportunities

Organising your accommodation

Once you’ve decided where you would like to visit, it’s time to find somewhere to stay. It’s easy to book accommodation online, here are three useful websites for booking accommodation: Accomable, airbnb (select wheelchair accessible when searching if necessary), Good Access Guide.

Before deciding on a place you should ask yourself:

  • Is this place accessible for me? (including doors, corridors and bathrooms)
  • Can this place support me with what I need?
  • Is there a shared dining area and is this okay for me?
  • Do they have the equipment available that I need?
  • Is there a pharmacy or doctors nearby for emergencies?

I would recommend emailing or calling the hotel or B&B to tell them all about your requirements beforehand. Tell the staff about any support you need in advance so they have time to prepare everything for you.

Packing your bag

I always leave packing to the last minute! Here is a list of things that might be useful to take with you:

  • blue badge
  • radar key
  • any equipment you need
  • communication tools
  • any medicines you need (it’s useful to take medicines in a separate bag so they are easy to access)
  • a list of emergency telephone numbers
  • the local Ring and Ride information
  • ear plugs or ear defenders to use when travelling in noisy areas
  • special items from home to ease anxiety in new places
  • a copy of your itinerary so you know exactly where you are supposed to be at all times
  • a map or maps app to help you get around
  • small cards containing your support needs to give to others if you need help
  • bus pass

Getting there

On your staycation, you might use the train to get there. Make sure you allow enough time in between any connecting trains so you don’t have to rush. If you don’t like large crowds of people, avoid travelling at rush hour (8-10am, 4-6pm Weekdays).

You can apply for a disabled person’s railcard which will make your tickets much cheaper. Book your tickets in advance so you know where you’ll be sitting and call the station to check whether the seat you have booked is near to an accessible toilet. Also let them know about any support needs you have so they have time to fully prepare.

You could take an audiobook or some entertainment for the journey, and remember to pack some snacks!

Things to do on a staycation

So we’re finally here, what next? It might be useful to do some research before you arrive, in case you need to book any tickets in advance.

Here are some ideas for you:

Trip Advisor is a good website to find out what attractions are popular in the area, and it’s also useful for choosing somewhere to eat! Call restaurants beforehand if you have specific dietary requirements and to check accessibility.

Useful websites

That’s it from me. I hope you enjoy your staycation and discover more of your country, there’s so much to see! I’ll leave you with 5 useful websites that you might find helpful when planning your trip. Good luck!

That’s it from me. I hope you enjoy your staycation and discover more of your country, there’s so much to see! I’ll leave you with 5 useful websites that you might find helpful when planning your trip. Good luck!

Transport Information from GOV.UK

Google Maps

Disabled Holiday Directory

Tourism for All

Disabled GO


Emma Bennett works for an eLearning company in Yorkshire, High Speed Training, who provide CPD accredited online courses in a variety of Safeguarding topics. Emma is Volunteer Coordinator and a Trustee for CLASSS and former administrator and researcher for Young Lives Leeds and Voluntary Action Leeds.





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