Published 19 December 2023
Taking an overnight trip is more accessible than ever thanks to our top travel tips and tricks. We've got your essentials covered.
Stepping out of your comfort-zone can feel like too much hard work when your routine makes you feel safe and supported. But with a bit of planning and the right tools, an overnight trip can be just the ticket for a short adventure that doesn't feel too overwhelming.
First step: What does the trip look like?
Having an idea of where you want to stay and what type of activities you want to do is key to a successful trip.
Be sure to plan your activities with some breaks in between to give yourself time to rest. Going out for the day can be tiring, so taking it easy and pacing yourself will help you feel more energised and refreshed.
To feel safer and more prepared in unfamiliar or over-stimulating environments, you can use the Google or Apple street view features. These let you walk around virtually, find the entrance and prepare for your trip before you get there.
This time is the perfect opportunity to ensure they have what you need, accessible toilets, and wheelchair access, it is helpful to ask for photos so you can have peace of mind it will all run smoothly.
You can find accessible places and accommodation around Aotearoa by checking out Accessible Places to plan your next stay.
If you ever need a companion or caregiver to join you for activities, some places might allow them in for free. It's a good idea to double-check beforehand just to see if this applies.
Hot tip when planning:
Calling ahead is always helpful this way you can chat with the place to make sure it is right for you. On sights like Airbnb (external link) and booking.com, (external link) it's possible to define your search by accessible features.
Specialist travel equipment
You can make a trip more comfortable by bringing your own equipment. There are some pretty cool items that help give you certainty that no matter where you go, you'll be able to move independently. Take a look at Easie Living Centre for more items like the ones below. (external link)
- Brolly sheets bed pad with/without wings
- Urine bottles
- Foldable shower stool
- Foldable commode
- Portable shower rail
Be prepared - Meltdown survival kit:
They say "prepare for the best, plan for the worst!". It's always a good idea to be ready for things to go wrong. It can be okay for things to not go to plan if you've already planned for that to happen.
From spare clothing to noise-cancelling headphones, making a list of items you need makes the process of overnight trips a lot easier. You'll know what things will best help you, but here are some popular ones:
- Spare clothing
- Sensory tools, e.g. stress balls, weighted vest, fidget toys, noise-cancelling headphones
- Something familiar and comfortable from home
- Eye mask
- Noise machine
- Shower bag
- Prescribed medication
- Wheelchair battery charger
- Portable ramp & shower chair
Our friend Kimberly from Grab Your Wheels NZ shares her top packing tips. Check it out on her website. (external link)
An overnight trip is a chance to try new things and places in an accessible way. It might seem small for some, but for others it's a huge undertaking to go somewhere new, with all the uncertainty that involves. Being prepared, having the right equipment and knowing what's ahead is the best way to reduce anxiety. Planning can even be one of the most fun parts of a trip! After all, it's as much about the journey as the destination.