All posts by tripility

Tripility is a user driven travel resource, giving disabled people, those with dietary requirements or families the informed choice for their trip.

A different take on student life

Our blog is now on our main site, here is an excerpt from our latest post. Please go to tripility to read the rest!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

This week a very useful article was pointed out to me about being a disabled student. It has been published on the BBC’s disability website OUCH and is full of handy hints for surviving your degree with the added organisation involved when you are a disabled student. Before I began my degree in 2008, I had absolutely no idea how I would manage at university, or what help there was out there to get my through my degree. Being an assisted wheelchair user, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to go to university as I wouldn’t be able to get myself to my lectures. About a year before I was due to go to university, I visited a couple of places to ask about how completing a degree would be feasible and to get an idea of where I wanted to study. In the end, I decided upon the University of Hull as I loved the friendly feel of the campus, it has a brilliant Psychology department and I was very familiar with the city. Read more...

First Hull Trains, we salute you!

Our blog is now on our main site, here is an excerpt from our latest post. Please go to tripility to read the rest!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

Recently, I made the (not so) long and arduous journey to London. As we were pootling down on the train, sipping a leisurely glass of wine, it got me to thinking about the times I have traveled by train. As a wheelchair user, I find this mode of transport a bit stressful, especially when I am traveling alone. If possible, I avoid taking my wheelchair on the train, but this is only possible if someone can pick me up from a station where there isn’t far to walk, and if I am not going to need my wheelchair after that. The reasons I am not a major fan of rail travel with a wheelchair is; firstly, there is often very limited space for the wheelchair to be placed folded down, even if you find somewhere, passengers tend to pile their stuff on it/around it making it very difficult to get to it when you want to depart. Two, I am not a huge fan of the booking assistance 24 hours before, often, I don’t book my train travel till the last minute, spontaneity anyone?! Thirdly, getting the wheelchair on and off the train, when passengers are impatiently trying to board, is a mite stressful. Often, a friend/family member puts me on the train with the wheelchair and then someone helps me off the train at the other end to try and make things easier. Read more on our main site…

Throwing ice water on your head, but why?

Our blog has now moved to our main site. Here is an excerpt, to read the full thing please click the link at the bottom of the post!

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

We can’t have failed to notice the recent craze that swept the world of social media, the Ice Bucket Challenges. For anyone that doesn’t know about them (ludicrous suggestions, I know), this is something that began in America. Essentially, some lovely generous person throws a bucket of ice water over your head, you have to stand (or sit) there and take it, then nominate others to partake in this challenge as well; once icy cold, you donate money, if you don’t complete the challenge within 24 hours, you have to donate even more money (in theory). Money donated goes to either the ALS Association (www.alsa.org) or the MND Association (www.mndassociation.org). In the few weeks that this challenge has circulated, it has raised millions for both charities. Read more on our main site……

Who thought ice water would be that cold?
Who thought ice water would be that cold?

 

 

An adventure into South America

Written by Mark; part of the Tripility team.

Next year, we are becoming a bit brave here at Tripility, as two of us are off on our travels. To all you nomadic people out there, our trip is pretty tame, but someone has wafted the word hostel about, so I am classing this as travelling! The reason we have decided to do this (apart from the obvious), is that, apart from the odd holiday here and there, we have both never really explored anywhere before. The thought of a full backpacking adventure has Debs quaking in her flip flops, so we are going to do our own version of travelling (one that mainly involves hot showers and proper beds…for the most part). We are both quite nervous about the trip, mainly as we have the added factor of our access needs. However, this is the reason we started Tripility, so people can find out access information about destinations that may have been written off before. So, (luckily for you), we plan on reviewing and blogging our way around our chosen destinations!

The first part of our trip has us landing in Brazil and staying with our extended family in Porto Alegre, after a few days there, our accessible adventure (as it will now be known as) begins! Our first leg has us heading down the coast into Uruguay, so far we don’t know much about access here, a few guides have listed it as being non existent so this could be a challenge! Lucky for us, we will be traveling with family around these parts, so if we find ourselves in inaccessible places, there is someone else to do the piggybacking…! We’ll be passing through into Argentina and heading to Buenos Aires, which again is said to be difficult with a wheelchair, but doable! After starting to plan this trip at the start of the year we decided to visit Iguassu Falls, which borders both Argentina and Brazil. Now, visiting a waterfall in two countries that aren’t world renowned for access may seem a bit of a push, but here a lot of money has been ploughed into making the area as accessible as possible, so much so that this part of the trip should be relatively pain free (compared to the rest of our South American trip). We finish this part of the journey in Rio de Janeiro, where we’ll spend a few days, before flying into the West Coast of America.

Our plans for North America as of yet, havent been fully decided, but we know we would like to visit; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Yosemite’s and Las Vegas. We will most likely hire a car for this part of the trip and stay in hotels, hostels and even airbnb. Debs has requested a stop in Nashville, so the plan is to either hire a camper-van or fly into Nashville and spend a few days there. After this we are heading towards New York with a few other destinations in mind, such as; Chicago, Toronto, Niagra Falls, Maine and a few more in between. We plan on being away for 11 weeks, arriving home just in time to de-sand in time for my sister’s wedding. We are just at the start of organising this trip and the helpful folks at Flight Centre are putting an itinerary together for us. Before we can go, I have to finish my PhD (no pressure) and we both have a bit more saving to do. We’ll keep you posted about the trip, from the organising of it through to when we are actually there. If any of you have done something similar or even have useful information, please share!

The brain, what a funny old thing.

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

Earlier this year, I completed a sponsored walk. Anyone that knows me will know that this was a big deal for me, as when I was 14, I became disabled though an illness. The reason I decided to complete this walk was that in March, it had been 11 years since this happened and instead of feeling upset about everything that has happened, I wanted to celebrate the progress I had made by doing something positive. Now, when someone says sponsored walk, it tends to put ideas in your head of striding great distances, often through tricky conditions. This was not the case for me, nope, my walk was a small jaunt on the seafront in the town where I live; but for me, this minuscule distance, was a massive milestone. In my head, I would pop down to the seafront, struggle through the walk (probably grumbling my way along) with my good friend Sarah and then flop back at home. However, my friends and family had other ideas! I am surrounded by a great bunch of people, who through the last 11 years have always been able to put a smile on my face, give me hand when I have needed it and generally kept me smiling through some tricky times. When they heard about my walk, they were all on board to both generously sponsor me and, be by my side for the event.

Debs walk-52

Through my excitement of seeing everyone there with me, I almost forgot that I had to actually walk with people watching me, something I am NOT a big fan of. Due to the difficulties I have with walking, I am very self conscious about the way I walk, it often causes strangers to stare or even to directly ask me, “what’s wrong with you then?”. So, the thought of people being there with the purpose of watching me walk…nightmare! What I had appeared to have forgotten is that all of these lovely people are in fact my friends, all there to continue supporting me as they always had. It turned out to be a great afternoon, the walking was not a doddle, but with everyone there it spurred me on (as did the thought of a big fat cake at the end of it!). I was pretty chuffed with my little self.

A BIG fat cake!
A BIG fat cake!

One of the big reasons I decided to do this walk (apart from the cake), was to raise money for The National Brain Appeal. This is a charity that raises money for The National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, which is based in Queens Square in London. It is a truly amazing hospital filled with the clever-ist (yes that’s a word) of people. I became a patient at this hospital nearly two years ago and I can not praise them highly enough. This month, the charity are celebrating 30 years of amazing-ness (my words not theirs), by looking back at the fundraising events people have held and where the money has been spent. If you, or anyone you know of, has been affected by a neurological illness, this charity is well worth giving to. If you have had any experience of the incredible work that The National Hospital do, or you have raised money for this charity, then let them know. Throughout August, you can share your stories of both the hospital and The National Brain Appeal on Facebook (search for The National Brain Appeal) #30years30days.

My lovely bunch of friends helped me to raise over £900, seen as though my aim was £100, I was pretty blooming chuffed with that!

walk
I think everyone thought it was a race…they were just showing off.

Visit tripility.com Register

A Gluten Free Wonder Discovered in Leeds

Written by Debs and Victoria; part of Team Tripility.

This weekend two members of team Tripility are going off to Leeds to celebrate a (future) family members 30th birthday. Whilst perusing the menu (yes, I actually do this before eating out…), I got to thinking about how little thought I have to put into what and where I eat. As long as I can actually access the restaurant, I have the freedom to choose whichever cuisine I fancy. These thoughts popped into my head as I was thinking about my lovely friend Victoria, she has coeliac disease which means that every aspect of her diet (and even what shampoo she uses) has to be thought about. Whenever we go out for something to eat together, she stresses to the waiter that every bit of food she is served, has to be gluten free. This is something that I am so used to hearing her say, that I think I have taken for granted how much she must have to blindly trust that her food doesn’t contain a trace of gluten; otherwise she could be very poorly. Victoria recently went to a new gluten free restaurant in Leeds and she told me that for the first time, she had eaten a scotch egg. Now, anyone that knows me well, knows about my absolute LOVE of scotch eggs (simple things…). So, hearing that Victoria had never before tried this delight, was quite astounding to me. Once I had got over my shock at this admission, I started to realise that developing a food intolerance changes every aspect of your food life; something that perhaps those with such a thing, take for granted.

On this note, Victoria helpfully wrote up her experiences of this new restaurant, so all you gluten free Yorkshire people (and hopefully those from further a field), could be inspired to check it out. If anyone else has had some brilliant (or terrible) experiences of dining out, when you have specific dietary requirements, let us know! We will very soon be adding a restaurant section of tripility.com, where you will be able to review your hearts out about every aspect of your dining experiences, from dietary and family requirements, to all manner of access issues; so register and stay tuned! Enough from me, over to the delightful Victoria!

Debs 

Continue reading A Gluten Free Wonder Discovered in Leeds

Santa Eulalia Access Guide

Visit tripility.com Register

Written by Mark; part of the Tripility team.

Santa Eulalia is the third largest resort in Ibiza, there is plenty to do with lots of bars, restaurants, museums and shops and is perfect for families as well as those looking for good access. There are two beaches, one of these has a disabled platform with a beach boardwalk and the other has a boardwalk without extra facilities. Santa Eulalia is in a great location just down the coast from Ibiza Town and it is only 21 km from the airport.

DSC08691

We visited Santa Eulalia whilst on holiday in Cala Llonga, Ibiza. A lot of effort had been made to make the seafront promenade and beach area incredibly accessible for wheelchairs. Much thought had been put into the access, especially for getting down to and using the beach. There was a special platform just for wheelchair users; this platform included a wheelchair accessible toilet, covered shelter and a beach wheelchair. The whole of the promenade was flat with plenty of cafe’s and restaurants with easy access.

We arrived by bus into Santa Eulalia, not sure what to expect. The bus from in Cala Llonga had a wheelchair lift, although we didn’t need to use it. The bus stop was on a narrow stretch of pavement, ideally this area could be a little bit larger so we could easily move the wheelchair around other visitors.

We waited until the other passengers had dispersed and then ventured onto the beach front in Santa Eulalia. What we found was wide promenades, step free access and fantastic wheelchair provisions right down to the beach, with the beach boardwalk and other accessible facilities. There was a slope down to this area but the gradient was never more than 5 degrees, measured on my handy angle metre app on my phone (what more could one want?).

The resort of Santa Eulalia was fantastically equipped for disabled travelers in terms of wheelchair access. It was very notable when a place is well equipped for disabled travelers when you see numerous other wheelchair users in the same resort.

Our stay in Santa Eulalia was rather short, only a couple of hours to see what it had to offer. We certainly would consider staying here in the future, compared to Cala Llonga there were a lot more restaurants and bars, which may entice people looking for a slightly more lively holiday compared to the quieter resort down the road.

The water taxi
The water taxi, not the best option if you are unable to walk at all, but manageable if you can.

Our visit ended with a return journey back to Cala Llonga on the ferry. Access to the ferry was in the port, this area was flat and had a good selection of restaurants, all which seemed accessible from the pavement.

The only part of the journey not suited to wheelchair users was getting onto the ferry itself, unless you are able to walk short distances and fold up the chair. The access onto the boat was up a narrow walkway and then down a couple of steps once on the boat, help was provided by the staff which made things a little easier.

I hope you enjoyed our rather brief guide to Santa Eulalia.

Do you know of any other resorts that are equally as accessible?

Thanks,

Mark

Visit tripility.com Register

Tripility tests Scarborough, gluten free anyone?

This week we have the return of our wonderful gluten free blogger, Victoria! To celebrate the launch of Tripility, we went out sampling some GF treats in Scarborough! Enjoy, Debs.

Visit tripility.com Register

Written by Victoria; an honorary member of the Tripility team.

How do you celebrate the launch of the wonderful Tripility website (http://www.tripility.com/about) with the superstar brain behind it all? Obviously you take her out for dinner, so that you can write a review for said website – hopefully the first of many review dinners in the Scarborough area! Our meal required both gluten free food and disabled access which led to visit The Copper Horse in Seamer. Luckily we were prepared and had a gourmet card (https://www.gourmetsociety.co.uk/) with us, which meant we were able to enjoy starters and mains with a cheeky discount.  Continue reading Tripility tests Scarborough, gluten free anyone?

New York City…what more do I need to say?

Written by Debs; part of the Tripility team.

If you are looking for an accessible city destination, New York is definitely the place. Having experienced this city as a wheelchair user, I found it to be incredibly easy to get around. The people I came into contact with were very friendly and helpful, if anyone saw you struggling to navigate a non-automatic door (although this was quite a rare find), they would stop what they were doing in order to help you. Buildings had lifts and automatic doors, even old buildings were made accessible, often by connecting through to the building next to it and using their lifts. Attractions were made easy by staff being on hand to navigate any small steps, or provide access on and off boat tours and there is no need to think about queuing. Every attraction I approached, I was encouraged to the front of the queue to avoid any hanging around, or having to navigate through any difficult barriers. Below is a mini guide to the attractions I visited and an outline of services that can be accessed as a disabled person in New York City. More information about the services can be gained through NYC Go website: http://www.nycgo.com/accessibility
Continue reading New York City…what more do I need to say?

A little guide to London…plus a mini festival no less!

Visit tripility.comRegister

 Written by Debs and Mark; most of the Tripility team!

As the sun is shinning (hoorah), I have been thinking back to the things Mark and I got up to last summer (enough to cheer me right up), so I thought I would share our experiences of our first music festival. Now, let me just put you on the right track straight away, this was a one day music festival; no tent, no lack of showering and no over-flowing portaloos, I am not that brave!  This was a very civilised one day affair at the Olympic Park, to see Mumford and Sons. We decided to turn this into a mini holiday to London and (because we are so kind), we have jotted down our access views from our trip, hope you enjoy… Continue reading A little guide to London…plus a mini festival no less!