You decorated, you got to know the local community and you found the perfect listing platform – so what’s still missing? Unfortunately, holiday home accessibility is often an afterthought for many short term let owners. You have a legal requirement under the Equality Act (2010) to make reasonable adjustments – but your responsibility goes beyond the law. Creating an accessible home will significantly improve the experience of disabled guests in your property. Here are a few tips to consider when designing your holiday home.
Do your research on holiday home accessibility
We don’t claim to be experts on accessibility – so make sure you do some more research! There are plenty of fantastic organisations out there to help you make your holiday home more welcoming to disabled people. Euan’s Guide, who are based in Scotland, have some excellent resources to start with. Their guide for hotels is applicable to self-catering stays. We also recommend reading through the other sections for a more holistic view.
Staying informed will not only help you prepare your home well in advance, it will make you seem more approachable to future guests that have access needs. You won’t get everything right the first time, so you need to be prepared to listen to future guests. Have some plans in place in case you are asked about accessibility needs you didn’t know about.
Get the accessibility basics right
Of course, not being able to prepare for everything in advance doesn’t mean you can’t make a good start! There are a few basics that are a must for creating a more accessible stay. If you have space to include handrails in toilets, level flooring and walk in showers these should all be important considerations when you are redesigning your property.
Schofields have a great little checklist on their website to get you started. There are, of course, some issues that are harder to tackle. Old buildings, in particular, come with a whole host of accessibility problems that cannot be tackled. In this case, you should make sure this information is readily available to potential guests.
Create an accessibility guide for your holiday home
Speaking about making accessibility information readily available – you should always include an accessibility guide on your website. Not only does it help fulfill your Equality Act requirements, it’s also really helpful for your guests. They’ll be able to see what measures you already have in place, and make adjustments to their stay accordingly. As with our first point, you’ll have to be prepared to answer any questions that aren’t covered by the guide. Add information about accessible restaurants, bars and attractions for a nice little extra touch.
Check out Boshers’ article about accessibility guides – which includes a short template for you to work with. In general, you need to make sure it is well structured. Disabled guests and the rest of their party will already know what to look out for, so include a detailed contents section to make it a little easier to find that information quickly.
Accessibility is something that is overlooked by many in the tourism industry – but it can make or break the experience for some of your guests! Not only will your property have an edge over others in the area, you will also make it easier for someone to experience the beautiful area where your property is based. These steps shouldn’t take you too long, but will make a world of difference to disabled holidaymakers.
Short Stay St Andrews are experienced in all aspects of holiday let management – including sourcing, refurbishment and guest turnovers. With over 1000 5-star reviews, we have years of experience behind us. We’re also based right in the heart of St Andrews, so we know the local holiday home market like the back of our hand. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.
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