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Other Travel

Here you will find info on ‘other travel’ cruising, rail and any other information you may find useful,

Traveling can be challenging for children and adults with autism. The changes in routine, unpredictability, crowds, new noises and sights can all make the experience sometimes more difficult for people on the spectrum and their families, if you know of any useful travel information that may benefit other families please drop us a line via our Contact us form. We hope you find this area useful to make your travel much easier and less stressful.

UK Holidays

Spectrum Holidays

Spectrum

The UK specialists for fun, family holiday accommodation for families with dependants on the autism spectrum. Caravans, cottages, lodges bed and breakfast accommodation can be found via Spectrum Holidays

Cruising

Cruising can be a great way to see the world, now there are cruise lines that cater for families touched by Autism.

These cruise lines are classed as ‘Autism Friendly’ and have put extra things in place for those families that need it.

Take a look and do look at all the policies and things they offer for your family when choosing your next cruise!

Carribean

Royal Caribbean is the first Autism-Friendly Cruise Line and has developed a comprehensive program with products and services specifically for children and families living with autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities.

celeb

Celebrity Cruises® offers a welcoming autism-friendly environment onboard its cruise ships. This includes sensory-friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism-friendly training for Camp at Sea staff.

Celebrity cruises have a free Social story for your cruise.

The TSA Cares Transportation Security Administrationhas a help line, TSA Cares, to assist travellers with disabilities and medical conditions during the security process.

TSA recommends that passengers call 72 hours ahead of travel for information about what to expect during screening.

Trains

Travelling by train or ferry can be a great family adventure, so long as you plan ahead. Check things out so you’ll know what to expect, and read our tips about reducing stress for you all.
Many train stations and ferry ports will offer special assistance for disabled travellers. We advise that you contact the stations or port you are travelling from and to before your trip to explain that you are travelling with an autistic passenger and ask what support they offer. 
If travelling through Europe, you might find it useful to read advice on passengers with special needs

Top Tips

  • Check accessibility along the whole journey and include any platform changes. If you need help, let all the stations know in advance.
  • Prepare your child with books and pictures about what to expect.
  • Pack toys, food and drink to use on the journey
  • Find out where the toilets are along the way, and their accessibility.
  • Have an emergency plan with contact numbers – remember your mobile might not work on the underground.
  • See if you can get a train driver or staff member to chat to your child. It can reduce stress for your child and might help avert a meltdown.
  • Avoid rush hour if at all possible.

Eurostar

eurostar

If you prefer, you can stay in your car on Eurostar the whole way from boarding to when you drive off in France. Just display your Blue Badge and tell staff that this is what you want to do when you check in. Follow the overhead signs for disabled travellers and board at the front of the train. Seeing eye/disabled assistance dogs can travel on Eurostar.

Find up-to-date information on special needs travel here on Eurostar 

National Rail

national rail

Here are a few useful links for when you’re travelling on National Rail.

Basic information for travellers with additional needs

Regional train operating companies with map

For specific journeys you might need to contact individual train companies to check for accessibility to and from the platform. Here is the National Rail link with a handy map.

You can get up to 50% off an anytime ticket depending on your child’s disability and need for a ‘companion’. The criteria are quite specific, so have a look at this link.

Disabled Person's Railcard

Disabled kids aged 5–16 may be eligible for a Disabled Person's Railcard. They pay the normal child's fare, but one adult can travel at a discounted rate of one third off the fare. The medical criteria are quite broad and include epilepsy and mobility Disability Living Allowance. There is some extra information about the railcard on the Directgov site.

Merseyrail

merseyrail

Merseyrail Trains are well designed for disabled access, with priority seating and with reserved spaces for standard-size wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Contact Customer Relations at least 1 hour in advance if you need help at a station. As long as they have at least an hour's notice, staff can be on hand to assist at any station. To book, call 0800 0277 347 (free phone number), Monday to Friday. At other times, call 0151 702 2704. Find out more information on Merseyrail.

Ferries

Brittany Ferries

Brittany

Brittany Ferries very much hopes that all passengers enjoy a totally relaxing journey on board their ships and this is particularly so for a passenger with a disability or reduced mobility. With this in mind they need you to tell them the level of assistance you will require for your travel when you make your booking with Brittany Ferries.

At Brittany Ferries, they appreciate how difficult and intimidating travelling can be for a child on the autistic spectrum. Their travel booklet has been designed to familiarise you with their ports, ships and procedures before you travel.

Stena Line

stena line

Stena Line offers passengers with special needs assistance when on a ferry crossing to Holland.

The extensive ferry travel assistance features mean that all parts of Stena Line's ferries are accessible to both wheelchair and non-wheelchair users. And, if you require further assistance, you'll be able to arrange for your requirements at the port before embarking on your ferry to Holland.

Irish Ferries

irishferries

Lending you a helping hand – Irish ferries say:

Whatever you need we will do our best to help make travel on our services as easy and comfortable as possible for passengers with reduced mobility and special needs.

In addition to mobility and sensory restrictions our disability facilities are available to passengers with mental health problems, specific learning difficulties and medical conditions which may have an impact on day-to-day activities. In order to assist we need be aware of your needs. So please let us know at least 2 days before you travel. FAQ

P&O Ferries

PO

Making your journey easier – P&O Ferries say:

If you have any special requirements or mobility issues, we’ll do everything we can to make your journey as relaxing and comfortable as possible.

If you’re booking online, just tick the box on the passenger details page if you require special assistance.

If you need further assistance, you can also get in contact with us before you travel and we can make sure our staff know exactly what you need.

Some organisations, such as The Family Fund, maybe able to provide funding for get a ways see our Funding and Grants page.

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