Just to remind you, I’m an older person and this blog is some personal thoughts and suggestions, experiences of travelling as an older person.
I don’t yet need to know if the bathroom is large enough to take a wheelchair – in fact, I probably don’t want to be reminded that I might be less mobile myself very soon. But if there is space for a wheelchair, then it will be comfortable for me, and any other people. But I do want to know if I can find a comfortable chair, or a light that is strong enough so I can read a book or a newspaper.
Use of the Internet Guides
There are many specialist travel agents that offer holidays to older people. I’m an independent traveller, so I haven’t used these, but maybe I’m missing something. Some of the Internet guides that offer reviews for disabled people will also be helpful, some are better than others. Euan’s Guide is terrific and has come from nowhere to being one of the best.
I also want to know if I can feel comfortable and hassle-free. I want to know what to expect when I arrive at a hotel or apartment, I expect reviews to be honest and reliable and give me the kind of information I need. But I am also realistic, and use my own experience to enable me to read more into the things I can read on the Internet – whether or not to be wary about what I am reading, and do more checking for myself – research.
I don’t look for adventure holidays or thrilling rides, but I do like to experience different and interesting places, different cultures, even visit the occasional museum. I also like to feel comfortable, get a good night’s sleep (therefore a comfortable bed), enjoy comfort in hotel or apartment where I stay (it may be worth paying a little more to ensure comfort – quality is usually at a premium). I also like to know that I can find a welcoming coffee-shop, restaurant or bar – either within walking distance or easy to get to (car or public transport, depends where I am staying).
I’m travelling for pleasure, so I choose the travel options that are the least hassle; one flight or train ride with no changes for example. Maybe it’s easier to get a bus from the airport to city-centre than a quicker metro that involves two changes and trying to understand the route map. I know I need to allow time to walk slower at the airport, perhaps when changing flights.
I do have more time, so I can find the time to do research before deciding where to go and more time there to enjoy the location, enjoy people watching rather than zooming about and fleetingly visiting 10 places in one afternoon. Even time to take in a tourist hop-on/hop-off bus which I totally discounted in the past but I have since learnt that it is a good way to get your bearings and often take you to all the places you’ve decide you’d like to visit (Budapest is a great example of this, the places you are likely to want to visit are spread out, regular bus/metro take a lot of working out even if possible, long distances to walk between sites).