Adventure holidays and activities, long regarded as no go areas for disabled travellers, are now changing to accommodate people of all abilities. These types of holidays are allowing people to enjoy activities with a difference compared to the average package break, which sticks to the tourist areas and often fails to get behind the ‘real’ feel of the place that you are visiting. Many such holidays include some of the following activities.
The snow opens up numerous opportunities for adventure seekers including snowmobiling and dog sleddding. Snowmobling is especially suited to adventure holiday makers who have difficulty walking, as it is possible to explore snowy landscapes in a seated position and be in control. In some locations snowmobiling is confined to certain areas, so it is best to confirm these limitations before setting off.
Dog sledding can give disabled adventure holiday makers an unique experience, as they glide across the snow pulled by twelve dogs. Over 300 alpine resorts offer dog sledding and it is suitable for a wide range of disabilities, as you have the option to either ‘mush’ yourself or sit in the sled and let a musher guide take you sledding.
As with any winter sport it is advisable to take strong sunglasses and sun cream, along with your winter clothes. In addition, if you are going sledding, it is advisable to take dog treats!
Skydiving is one of the most exciting activities that adventure seekers can take part in. The increasing popularity of tandem parachuting, where a duel harness is used, has opened up the options for disabled people to experience the thrill of free fall. The instructor will control the descent, the deployment of the parachute and the landing. Where possible the instructor will often allow the participant to steer the parachute, under their guidance, for some part of the descent.
A certificate of fitness must be obtained by anyone, regardless of if they have a disability, before they are permitted to carry out a parachute jump. It is also important to determine if your disability makes you suitable for a parachute jump. Although a person may be declared medically fit to parachute, a chief instructor can override this decision and can, in the overriding interest of safety, not allow a jump to take place.
The activity of scuba diving is open to many disabled people, allowing them to explore the often hidden serenity of the underwater world.
Scuba diving is available for a wide range of disabilities including wheelchair users and can, where necessary, be accompanied by a dive buddy. Initially, it is often a good idea to book on a try dive session which allows you to experience scuba diving, usually in a local swimming pool, to determine if it is something that you would enjoy. It is also important to learn basic diving sign language, so that you may indicate to your guide if you are in any trouble and, for example, wish to return to the surface.
Other adventure activities for the disabled include abseiling, go karting, safaris and sailing