Going out for a short trip or a day out can be a great break for both you and the person you care for, but may seem overwhelming as there is a lot to think about.
A bit of forward planning can really help with making the day relaxing rather than stressful. Things that you may need to think about include transport, accessible toilets and places to visit, as well as discounts that you or the person you care for may be able to get.
Carers Trust has a useful section on their website with things to think about when planning a day or trip out as well as information on discounts for carers and the people that they care for.
How do I find an accessible place to visit?
The person I care for is not able to use public transport and I can’t drive
How does the person I care for get a bus pass?
Is there any help with rail travel?
Are there any discounts or concessions when out and about?
I have heard that I can get a free cinema ticket if I go to the cinema with the person I care for
Finding a suitable toilet
Travelling with medical equipment and medicine
You may want to find an attraction, a restaurant, cinema, theatre or something else.
Disabledgo provides information on accessible places to go.
Open Britain helps people plan holidays but also has lots of information about accessible activities and places to visit.
Tourism For All is a source of holiday and travel information for disabled and older people and carers. They provide information on accessible accommodation, visitor attractions and transport in the UK and some overseas destinations. They are a charity that operates on a membership basis and there is a charge to make use of all their services and information.
There are a number of community transport schemes operating in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. People who need affordable and accessible transport can register for a small fee. They can then book transport for leisure and social activities, shopping trips and health appointments. You can pay using a Diamond card or a Bristol City Council travel card. Carers can accompany the person needing the transport.
For community transport information in Bristol see the council website.
For community transport information in South Gloucestershire see the council website.
Information for Bristol
The person you care for can apply for a disabled persons bus pass or they may qualify for an older person’s bus pass. If they need someone to travel with them, they can apply for a companion bus pass which allows a companion to travel free. You can find out more on the Bristol City council website.
Information for South Gloucestershire
In South Gloucestershire people can apply for a Diamond bus pass.
A disabled person’s railcard gives a disabled person a third off their ticket price and if you travel with them you will also get a third off. The person you care for may need more practical support to manage at a station.It is best to request help in advance and there is a special form that you can complete to do this. For more information about booking help at the station, an interactive tool to help plan routes through a station and information about travelling with wheelchairs, see the National Rail website.
See the Carers Trust website for more information about rail travel.
Many places offer concessions for disabled visitors and these are usually clearly advertised in their pricing lists. You may need to take proof of eligibility. Often proof of disability benefit is adequate.
Carers Trust has a section on their website about places offering discounts to carers and the person you care for on days out. They also have a section on carers’ legal rights as carers may gain free entry to many places when visiting with the person they care for.
If in doubt it is always worth asking about any concessions or discounts. It’s probably best to ask in advance and to take proof of any disability benefits, Carers Emergency Card or Carers Allowance award letters with you. Many places don’t ask for proof but they may do.
Don’t forget to take your Carers Emergency Card with you. Many places will accept it as adequate proof that you are a carer and some venues even offer further concessions. In Bristol and South Gloucestershire, Carers Support Centre has secured almost 200 discounts locally for carers who carry a Carers Emergency whether for a day out, getting a treatment or for shopping. Find out more about our Carers Emergency Card discount scheme.
The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association. The CEA card provides a free ticket for the person accompanying the disabled person to the cinema. Find out more about the card, who is eligible and how to apply for it on the CEA website.
Finding an accessible toilet can be tricky. A Radar key gives you access to 9000 accessible toilets all over the UK. The Carers Trust website has a section on accessible toilets including how to find them. You can buy a Radar key from the Vassall Centre in Bristol or from WECIL who are based in Kingswood. Or you can order one online through Disability Rights UK website. In South Gloucestershire you can obtain one key free of charge from one of South Gloucestershire council’s one stop shops.
Changing Places Toilets
Changing places toilets are for disabled people who are unable to use a standard accessible toilet. You can find out more about these toilets and where they are located on the changing places website.
Carers Trust has a section about this on their website. This includes ideas to make travelling easier and safer when you need to take equipment and medicines with you. See Carers Trust website.