One component of sustainable tourism is to enable as many people as possible to travel. This also includes the creation of travel offers for people who are physically or mentally handicapped. They too have the need to see something of the world and should not be excluded from it. Travel is an important factor for the participation and inclusion of people with disabilities in our society. Barrier-free travel offers should make this possible. In this article we therefore dedicate ourselves to this very important topic and give tips on barrier-free travel.
Accessibility concerns us all
The issue of accessibility does not only affect people with disabilities. Seniors, families and people who are temporarily restricted in their mobility benefit from barrier-free offers. A ramp or an elevator helps a family with a stroller, a pensioner and a disabled person alike.
Otherwise, the topic concerns us all. In Germany, where the death rate is higher than the birth rate - so we are in an aging society, it cannot be ruled out that at some point you will have to resort to barrier-free offers yourself. The average age is increasing and already today a good quarter of the people who have a severe disability are 75 years and older, half are between 55 and 75 years. It is therefore important and necessary to create barrier-free offers and expand the existing offer.
Barrier-free offers for self-determined travel
More and more providers are realizing how important the subject of accessibility will be when traveling in the future and would like to enable many people to travel independently today. This includes the arrival and departure as well as the accessibility of the accommodation and the range of accessible activities on site.
Tips to find the ideal accommodation
Before booking your accommodation, be aware of your individual needs: how wide should the doors be? Do I need a drive-in shower or is a bathtub with grab rails also possible? You should think about your very personal needs in advance. Share your requirements in advance with the accommodation of your choice and clarify everything so that you don't experience any nasty surprises on site.
The Re: Hof Rutenberg in Brandenburg, for example, impresses with its barrier-free apartment. There is a wide access ramp, grab bars in the bathroom and toilet, an emergency call facility, sliding doors and the kitchen counter is also lowered to wheelchair height. You can find a selection of other sustainable and barrier-free accommodations at Good travel.
Plan the type of arrival
In addition to looking for accommodation, you should also think about the type of journey in advance. Rail journeys in particular are more comfortable than long and sometimes strenuous car journeys. Significantly better offers have been created here in recent years. All regional trains and S-Bahn trains can be used free of charge throughout Germany with a handicapped ID card and additional token. A detailed list of which means of transport can be used free of charge is contained in the leaflet that those entitled to free travel receive with their notification. Incidentally, no tickets need to be purchased for wheelchairs, guide dogs and orthopedic aids.
Reach your destination comfortably and relaxed by train
The Mobility service center Deutsche Bahn advises and supports travelers with disabilities in planning their trips. Here you can also find everything you need to know about discounts and free rides. The app DB barrier-free is intended to provide digital support for rail travel in the future and is a good start to enable self-determined travel. It should be available soon. Until then, you can also rely on the Pages on the subject inquire online.
For barrier-free travel, it is also important to book entry and exit aids in advance. This also applies to air travel. Here you also have to register aids and disability-related excess baggage before the trip.
Medicines and mobility on site
At best, you should take necessary medication with you. Otherwise you should find out where you can get the medication on site. It is advisable to have the doctor draw up an appropriate paper on which the necessity of the medication is confirmed. At best, this should be written in the national language, but at least in English. Clarify in advance what your health insurance coverage will look like abroad. You may have to take out extra insurance here.
In order to undertake activities on site far away from the accommodation, it is advisable to find out about wheelchair taxes or specially converted rental cars in advance and to book these if necessary. So mobility is also given on site and you can explore the travel destination in a relaxed manner.
Tips for barrier-free travel
In a nutshell, here is a summary of the Good Travel tips for people with disabilities:
- Book one barrier-free accommodation
- Clarify your individual needs with the accommodation
- Think about how to get there, traveling by train is not only environmentally friendly but also very convenient
- If necessary, let yourself be guided by the Mobility service center advising Deutsche Bahn
- As soon as the app is available, you should download the "DB Barrierefrei" app
- Book boarding and disembarking aids in advance; aids and excess baggage must be checked in when traveling by air
- Take any necessary medication with you or find out in advance where you can get it in the country you are traveling to
- Find out about your health insurance coverage abroad and top it up if necessary
- Organize and secure your mobility on site
Now nothing should stand in the way of your self-determined journey. We wish you a lot of fun and joy on your next trip!