Its been a while since we did our top tips for wheelchair pub crawls and some things have changed. New technologies and trends mean that it was well past time for refresh.
1. Cash is No Longer King
We previously wrote that it was better for the average wheelchair user to carry cash to pay for their rounds. We wrote this because it can be hard for the averaging wheeling drinker to get to the bar and even harder to carry a round back with them.
We said that you could avoid these problems by always carrying cash and having a trusted person go for you. We did not say give them your card because you shouldn’t really trust others with your pin and back when we wrote the original post, contactless limits were still low.
Nowadays though, many venues are cashless and even those who carry cash prefer card. Helpfully, contactless limits have gone up to around £30 per transaction. That limit is there to protect people from fraud but there is a catch and the catch is, if someone wants to spend more, all they have to do is split the order up into mini transactions that come in at around £30.
Now, we’re not saying that bartenders, waiters or even your friends will try and scam you, but you still want to know what you’re spending.
So, what do you do?
Enter digital banks.
Digital banks such as Monzo and Revolut are changing the game.
They have slick apps that allow you to track your spending transaction by transaction. By using a Monzo or Revolut card, you can set strict limits, easily track your spending and protect yourself.
Bottom line – you can be at the bar without being at the bar.
2. Uber Is Your Friend
Now, before you go all ‘Uber are evil on me…”
Uber is and has never been any more evil than every other private hire company in the world.
So, with that out of way, here we go.
Uber is an app that uses GPS to come straight to you and can drop you exactly where you want.
For pub crawls in a wheelchair, Uber can be the only way to get around quickly.
The other thing about Uber is that they have a service specifically for disabled passengers. This is called Uber Assist – by ordering a Assist, you can guarantee a driver with specialist knowledge, who will come from further away and be better equipped to help you.
Uber also provides wheelchair accessible vans for those who cannot transfer. This is cheaper than black cab and again, easier to find in most major cities.
Use Uber and whether you’re in a wheelchair or visually impaired, take the stress of out of getting around on a night out.
3. Toilet Mapping
Nothing says sexy like. ‘accessible toilet mapping’, however if you want to really enjoy your wheelchair pub crawl, then it is a must.
Because good accessible toilet is hard to come by. The key thing is to think about it ahead of time. Where you will be going out and where an accessible toilet might be.
To help you out – Changing Places have a map (http://www.changing-places.org/find_a_toilet.aspx) and Euan’s Guide (https://www.euansguide.com/) are pretty helpful.
4. The Bag
People in wheelchairs have been carrying around bags long before we could ever lay claim to suggesting.
On a wheelchair pub crawl though, you may be thinking of leaving your bag behind but you shouldn’t.
The things that you put in a bag can be your get out of jail free card.
Spill something? No worries… You’ve got spare clothes.
Hands black from spinning those rims? No worries… You’ve got wet wipes.
Learn more more about what to put in a day bag here.
5. If You’re Staying Out
If you’re staying out or wanting a weekend away, you will be needing somewhere to stay.
This can be the tricky bit because if you need a wet room or hoist, it can be difficult to find rooms that have those features.
For some big chains like Premier Inn and Holiday Inn, it is easier to book these types of rooms than you think. Just go online.
However, if you are looking for somewhere a bit quirkier to stay, then check out AirBnB.
Airbnb has specific accessibility filters that you be assured of what type of property you getting, down to there being step free access to the front door etc.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Bring Your Own Stuff
From reusable straws….
To easy to hold beakers
To non-spill beakers, you should not be afraid of packing your own stuff if that is going to make life easier for you.
How To Answer Those Awkward Questions
People ask wheelchair users awkward questions when they’re sober…
Never mind when they are drunk…
So if you’re on a wheelchair pub crawl, you have to be prepared (and accept) that you are going face some stupid questions.
So how do you deal with them?
There are no easy answers to this one and possibly the best strategy is have stock answers to the most stupid ones. The other way is just not to really respond because all though you may seem rude, opening up can lead you down a rabbit hole of further questions that you really do not want to answer.