With any trip or holiday - home or abroad - it's a good idea to do some planning for the travel part of your trip. If you're a disabled person, there may be a few extra things to think about before you leave home.
It's important to remember that countries differ and not all services and facilities will be available or accessible to you. If you need a particular service or facility, check that it's available before booking your trip.
Often an impairment is not obvious to other people, so make sure you explain your particular requirements clearly. Don't assume that staff at travel agents, travel offices or airports will automatically know or understand your needs. This is particularly important when booking by phone, post or on the Internet.
In the UK, information produced by travel agents, tour operators, airports and airlines should be clear and simple to use. They should also take reasonable steps to make sure that their information services are accessible to disabled people, for example that information is available in accessible formats, such as Braille, large print or on audiotape.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 aims to end the discrimination that many disabled people face. It only applies to those who provide services within the UK.
Part 3 of the DDA relates to 'service providers', which include travel agencies, tour operators and businesses that provide accommodation and other leisure services. Service providers have a duty to make sure that, as a disabled customer, you're not unjustifiably treated less favourably than other customers for a reason related to your disability.
More detailed information on Part 3 of the DDA can be found in 'Access to shops, cafes and everyday services'.
Travelling by air is not covered by the DDA. However, the Act does apply to the use of services in the UK like booking systems and airport facilities and services. For example, shops and check-in facilities in the airport are covered but in-flight services and entertainment on the plane are not.
The Department for Transport has published a voluntary code of practice for the UK air travel industry called 'Access to air travel for disabled people'.
The travel section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website contains country-specific travel advice for anyone planning a trip overseas.