Britain is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and with a wealth of history, nature, culture and adventure at your disposal, you might never desire to venture elsewhere. However, there are also many other places in Europe that offer stunning surroundings and cultural experiences. Whether you’re looking to escape the British winter, or explore a city that is different from your own, a WAV can help you get to where you want to go. However, before you set off for greener pastures, make sure that you’re fully prepared for what lies ahead.
Plan your wheelchair accessible vehicle adventure wisely
Whilst Europe is entirely accessible by car, it is also worth researching which places are worth visiting and which areas might be worth a miss. Whether you are entirely independent or codependent on others, it is always wise to plan your route in advance, particularly if you don’t speak the language of the country you will be visiting. Make sure that before you set off, you know where you want to go, which places you want to visit and how accessible these areas are. Make sure to invest in a map of Europe before you set off (and if you want to be really well prepared, highlight the route you intend to take on the map as well!). It might also be wise to invest in a satnav, as this will allow you to reroute yourself if necessary, as well as providing a handy tool for finding petrol stations, restaurants and hotels whilst on the route.
Remember PPPPP: Poor Planning leads to Pretty Poor Performance
Everyone knows that when you’re tired and/or hungry, you probably won’t say the nicest things or make the best decisions. That is why we recommend booking your accommodation in advance, to avoid you feeling lost in an unknown town or city and having nowhere to rest your head. It is unfortunately also the case that some hotels will be inaccessible to wheelchairs, limiting your choice somewhat and making it even harder to find a hostel or hotel on the day. Each hotel should tell you whether or not they are wheelchair accessible on their website, but if you are ever unsure, just give them a quick call and they will be able to put your mind at ease. Whilst you’re sourcing additional hotel details, it would also be worth enquiring after their parking arrangements, ensuring that you have a place where you can leave your WAV overnight that is both secure and close to the hostel/hotel. By securing your accommodation in advance, you might also be able to secure early bird discounts, saving you money as well as ensuring your trip runs smoothly.
When travelling in a mobility vehicle, always have a plan B
Even the most well thought out plans can be scuppered by unforeseen circumstances! There is no shame is securing a plan b, in fact, we would highly recommend compiling a list of backup accommodation options. Then, if anything should go wrong or your mobility vehicle starts playing up, you can ensure that you won’t be stuck for long. If you know the name and contact details of alternative hotels or hostels, you will be in a far better position to execute a plan b and continue with your travels unperturbed.
Check more than just your tyre pressure when travelling by car
If you choose to bypass airport security and explore Europe by car, be sure to make all the necessary checks before you embark on your journey. Some countries have various road signs that are a far cry from anything we see in the UK, whilst others have strict regulations as to the conditions of your wheels and what you should have in your car in case of an emergency. For example, if you are looking to explore Sweden this winter, it is mandatory that your car is fitted with winter tyres between 1st December – 31st March, and without these on your WAV, you may be liable to pay a pretty hefty fine. However, as mentioned previously, PPPPP, so prepare effectively and you’re unlikely to go wrong.
Whilst planning can sometimes be harder work than you ever envisaged, it will also undoubtedly increase your excitement levels and prepare you for what will be an incredible experience. Just be sure to cover all bases before you set off, and most importantly of all, make sure your camera is ready to capture all the action!
If you would like to find out more about where you can buy a suitable wheelchair accessible vehicle for travelling around Europe, please visit our help page where we can direct you and provide more information where necessary.