Going on holiday is a great way to unwind and recharge the batteries. For carers, there are usually other issues to consider and it can be a challenge to get away.
The first question to consider is: are you going to go away with the person or people you care for, or on your own?
Taking a break
If you need to arrange respite care for the person you care for, it is a good idea to organise this first as there may be difficulties in booking a suitable place or services for the days you want – particularly at popular holiday times.
When the Local Authority considers your needs as part of the Carer's Assessment, they should take into account your need for time off; both on a regular basis and to take an occasional holiday. Any services they provide will usually be subject to a financial assessment (see our Respite Care section).
You can also look for local care providers; residential units and domiciliary agencies, by searching the Commission for Social Care Inspection register. In Scotland, see the Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care.
The Kiloran Trust offers respite breaks for carers.
If you want to go away together, you may have extra considerations to think about, which the following organisations can help you with:
Tourism for All has lots of specialist information about accessible places to stay, as well as advice for travellers with special mobility or other needs.
Many voluntary organisations supporting people with particular conditions have useful advice for travellers, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Parkinson’s Disease Society and The Stroke Association.
Vitalise provides specialist holidays for people with disabilities and their carers. Their centres in Cornwall, Essex, Nottingham, Southampton and Southport are open from February to December and offer 24-hour personal support and care-on-call from staff and volunteers, as well as pre-arranged trips and activities and on-site entertainment. Vitalise now also arrange holidays in Europe through partnerships with accessible hotels.
Park House is a hotel operated by the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, enabling disabled guests and their carers, to have a holiday in the Norfolk countryside together.
Carers Holidays The Carers’ Support Centre provides good value holidays for carers. If you look after someone who could not manage without your help, and the care that you provide is unpaid, you can book a carer's holiday.
Another way to get a break is to both go away - but on different holidays. There are a number of voluntary organisations or specialist providers who organise residential holidays for people with disabilities, some of which are listed below: