Tag Archives: holidays

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!

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Santa Eulalia Access Guide

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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

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Tripility.com has launched! We need your help.

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All of us here are excited to announce that www.tripility.com has gone live! The website is aimed at providing disabled, dietary and family travel reviews. We would love it if you could check it out and provide us with some reviews from your previous holidays (along with some feedback, good and bad).

All you need to do is sign up, add any companions and travel concerns and off you go! It is just the start, we will be adding destination and restaurant reviews soon. The more reviews, the better the site will get, so if you know of anyone who can share their latest holiday experience, then please share the information with them too.

Thanks!

Mark

Cala Llonga Access Guide

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Written by Mark; part of the Tripility team.

Nestled between Ibiza Town and Santa Eulalia, Cala Llonga is a small and beautiful resort perfect for those wanting to escape the busier parts of Ibiza. Great for families and couples, Cala Llonga is dominated by a large sandy beach enclosed in a pretty bay. Here we will give you an in depth guide to the town in terms of accessibility. Please click on the map for videos of each location – recorded on our wheelchair cam!

Continue reading Cala Llonga Access Guide

The first family holiday…how many suitcases?!

This week, here at Tripility, we are bringing you another guest blogger! So far we have covered a few areas of access and gluten free holidaying (or just general waffle if it was written by me), so this week, we are looking at holidaying with children. Our lovely blogger Jackie, became a Mum in December of last year, at the beginning of this month, she and her husband had their first family holiday with the delicious Freddie. They stayed in Cornwall, at the Retallack Resort and Spa; she has given her thoughts on this below…enjoy!

Debs

Written by Jackie: an honorary member of the Tripility team!

I came across the Retallack resort whilst on the hunt for a baby friendly UK based holiday for my husband, myself and our 5 month old son. The website was great and they offered baby friendly packages, which consisted of the accommodation, alongside other activities such as baby swimming, baby sensory and a meal in the restaurant (although you had to pay extra for the babysitting service which was available). I was impressed by the packages but we decided against buying into this as we didn’t want to utilise all of the activies (we weren’t ready to leave our son with strangers!).  So we just booked a baby friendly lodge.

The lodge itself was over two levels and was considered baby friendly as the following equipment was provided: a highchair, a baby bath, a travel cot, a small steriliser and a potty. Whilst these were all useful, we didn’t use any of the equipment, mainly down to our newness to parenthood (we wanted to use our own mattress and travel cot etc). However, we would have used the baby bath but this had been placed under the boiler and was filthy. Thankfully, this did not reflect the rest of the lodge, which was on the whole very clean.; again, because of being new parents this was very important to us. The floorboards downstairs in the lodge were very creaky and made a whole load of noise…not so good when your baby’s just going off to sleep. We had a lodge with a hot tub which was lovely to use on an evening when the baby was asleep. On the whole, the lodge provided us with a great space and base for the holiday.

However, we couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed with the resort itself after viewing it on the website. The website suggested that it was much bigger with ‘baby friendly walks’, we struggled to find these walks. There were not many tarmac footpaths, nor many paths at all, thus making it difficult to maneuver with a pram.

On the other hand, the facilities were good, we used the pool a few times and the changing rooms were very baby friendly. There were baby change facilities in both male and female changing rooms, as well as a small family changing room. A nice touch was that the floor of the pool and the few steps going into the pool were padded. The changing rooms were always clean and there was also a Bumbo chair and a playpen for babies, in the female changing rooms .

There was a restaurant with adjacent lounge which was very child friendly, we had lunch with a friend and her 2 and a half year old and there were toys and plenty of space for small children to play. Other facilities for children include a small soft play area and an outdoor playground for older children. All of these areas were accessible with pushchairs, but we usually just carried our son as the lodge was close to all of the facilities.

The resort also runs baby sensory classes for local people, which people staying at the resort can take part in. We took advantage of this and we all loved it, it was great to do a class like this as a family, rather than just me and our son. There was a charge of £3.00 for the class but this was a bargain.

I also took the opportunity to use the spa and had a massage and my husband used the gym. The massage was lovely, but the gym is limited with respect to equipment.

From a baby friendly perspective, the resort was good, but we were expecting a little more from a 5 star resort. We had hoped there would be much more with respect to baby friendly walks and some of the touches to the lodge could have been better, for example the balcony was covered in spider’s webs…but overall a decent base with some good facilities for our first family holiday.

Jackie

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Javea- an ideal spot for an accessible beach holiday

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Written by Mark. Part of the tripility team.

Javea is a popular tourist spot in the Costa Blanca, we visited last year on our holidays and we were impressed by its accessibility but also as a holiday destination. Here we will give you the low down with what we found.

This review is being done from the point of view of a companion, I was pushing Debs who was using manual wheelchair.

Xàbia/Jávea

Xàbia/Jávea is located in the Costa Blanca in the Alicante region of Spain. Javea is made up of the old town, the picturesque port and the sandy El Arenal beach. It is approximately 40 miles away from Benidorm which means transport links are pretty good. It is in easy reach from Valencia or Alicante airports. To travel to Javea from the airport car hire is recommended, although travelling by coach and bus is also a possibility. Javea is mostly serviced by apartments and villas rather than hotels, the largest hotel being Hotel Parador situated at the northern end of the promenade at El Arenal beach.

El Arenal

El Arinal prominade
El Arenal prominade

We stayed in the El Arenal area at the Golden Beach apartments which were 5 minutes walk away from the beach. The El Arenal area was well suited to wheelchair users due to the wide and flat promenade which gives great access to bars and restaurants. Playa El Arenal is a long sandy beach with wheelchair access via a boardwalk. In the summer months wheelchair accessible toilets are available on the beach.  

Accessible beach boardwalk and disabled toilets on the beach
Accessible beach boardwalk and disabled toilets on the beach

El Arenal was well serviced with a great variety of bars and restaurants which we used throughout the holidays; the majority of these had ramps into the facilities and the hosts were always helpful. Access to seating was quite straight forward but we had the flexibility of Debs being able to walk small distances if necessary, there was seating directly off the promenade so powered wheelchairs should manage. It was noted on a few occasions how many wheelchair users there were so it wasn’t only us who had heard good things about the place! There were plenty of bars and restaurants at night to keep us entertained and there was always a lively and friendly atmosphere, even visitors not looking for good access would find this a good holiday destination. Those requiring a gluten free diet may struggle, Hotel Parador offers gluten free food on the menu but we didn’t see other restaurants displaying this information. Often restaurants can be quite helpful in this respect so it is always a good idea to take a gluten free travel card to inform them of your requirements.

The easy access in this location makes Javea a great location for anyone looking for a hassle free holiday without worrying too much about access to the facilities.  Walking away from the the beach we found that in most parts footpaths were in good order although some of the dropped kerbs could be improved.

We headed on to the beach on a couple of occasions to sun ourselves (the vampires from Twilight have nothing on our white pasty skin), there was always plenty of space and the boardwalk made it easier to get to the parasols when required. The accessible toilets were generally in good order and pretty clean. The sea was shallow and steadily increased in depth so bathing was never difficult.

Debs enjoying Arinal beach
Debs enjoying Arenal beach

Port

We visited the port on a couple of nights which had a more relaxed atmosphere, it did get slightly more crowded on the promenade here as it was narrower. There was a good choice of bars and restaurants here too, we only stayed for drinks but access was again very easy and we had plenty of room for maneuver with the wheelchair.  Powered wheelchair users may have more difficulty here, so if you have been here please give us your feedback.

Old Town

Javea also has an Old Town, now I have to say, we didn’t actually visit the Old Town mainly down to the fear of cobbles and narrow and most likely crowded streets. This may not actually be the case so please tell us about your experiences via the community pages or with a review when the site is up and running.

Apartment

Golden Beach apartments garden and pool
Golden Beach apartments garden and pool

We stayed at the Golden Beach apartments, this was a relatively modern block set approximately 5 minutes walk from the beach. We organised the trip via holidaylettings.co.uk and collected the keys from a lettings agent close to Arenal beach. Underground parking was provided and there was a lift up to the apartment, lighting wasn’t especially good in the car park and those with poor sight may struggle to see. The lift up to the apartment was also quite small and would not allow a wheelchair turn to be completed in it, there was a mirror to aid with reversing out.

Underground car park
Underground car park

Inside the apartment were two bedrooms, one with an on-suite bathroom and a second with a shared bathroom.  There was a living/dining area and a separate kitchen, outside to the rear was a patio area and to the front a set of five steps led from the kitchen into a small garden which joined onto the communal pool area.  The apartment we stayed in did not have ramped access to the garden and pool but apartments to the opposite side did. The apartment was not adapted for wheelchairs so it was mainly suited for those who can walk small distances without use of a chair. One note of caution was the pedestrian entrance to the complex, there was a steep slope from the gated entrance that required some effort being pushed up, other people may struggle unless there is a companion to help.

Steep slope from the gated entrance into the complex
Steep slope from the gated entrance into the complex
Five steps from the kitchen to the garden and pool
Steps from the kitchen

We’d love to hear your experiences from here or any other holiday destination so please get involved with the community or write a review of the destination and accommodation you stayed in when the site is up and running!

Thanks,

Mark

Tripility team

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