Jump to content
Willow

Holiday Nightmare - What Would You Do?

Recommended Posts

Willow

Hi everyone,

Long read...

So, I'm due to go on a trip with my University - all Art and Design students are going. From day one I've expressed my concerns and needs so that everything can be taken into account - but I fear I've not been taken seriously, and am now facing a predicament.

We're going to Barcelona, it's basically a trip to learn about Modernism. I'm moderately excited, in theory. It's happening beginning of March.

I have limited mobility - something which I try to power through most of the time but know from experience it's best to actually plan ahead for worst case, just to alleviate any extra stress. So I would normally notify the airports when booking tickets that I need assistance - this means when I check in I can tell them that I'm unable to stand for more than a maximum of 10 minutes, so that they can tell the gate staff that I need to be allowed to board first. Its honestly been a lifesaver for me in the past and has meant I can start my holiday relatively pain free. It's also an issue when moving about cities, so I tend to purchase travel city passes ahead of time so I can hop on and off public transport no matter how short the journey.

I needed to know that this had been booked (we've known about the trip since last September and I've been voicing my concerns since then), or that we had private transport as is sometimes the case for group trips, so I knew if I needed to book things myself.

We were told we were staying in a hotel so rooms would be 2 - 3 people max, something vital for me as I cannot be sharing a room with a handful of people I barely know. I NEED somewhere I can calm down and recuperate. I also from day said that I'd need a room for just me and my friend and that I'd happily pay a little extra if they were only planning on booking rooms for 3 people.

I also needed to know that we were staying somewhere with a restaurant, so that I could just pop downstairs for food instead of having to head out into the city - I just wanted to be able to still eat even if I'm in too much pain to go out. 

SO, back to my predicament. The trip is only a month away and I have only just found out SOME details (not all, no idea about day to day itinerary, but I'm not too fussed, I'm happy to do whatever I feel like on the day, as long as I have planned a list of places I could visit and how to get there, and can just choose as I see fit from the list). I now know the flight details (no mentioned of booking assistance (which is free to do by the way), I know the HOSTEL we're staying in - cue rooms with bunk beds and lots of people, and no restaurant onsite. Travel is just whatever we want to do when we're there - no coaches have been booked for the group, no passes have been included in the price.

The trip cost me £350. I have looked tonight at how much it would be for me to book the trip myself - £410 - and that would include a seat on the exact same flight as my group (but I'd have peace of mind of knowing I'd booked assistance), a double room in a Hotel, with a restaurant on site (in the same immediate area as the Uni booked hostel), and a attraction and travel pass (includes free entry to all the places I assume we're going with Uni). So, I've emailed my tutors and expressed all of this to them - I'm prepared for the worst case response from them, and am now preparing to have to book all of this myself, losing the original £350 and spending a further £410, on top of the few hundred I had aside for actual food and stuff once there.

What would you do?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PandaPrincess

Gosh.  This sounds like a predicament, indeed.  Is there any way that you could get a refund for the original £350?  I would suggest going to your university's disability services, but I'm not sure if they can help accommodate you since it is a school trip and not academic related.  I'm really not sure what you should do in this situation ☹️.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
PandaPrincess

Well, I did some research on whether students who need accommodations for academic field trips can get help from the disability office on the uni campus, and it said on the Yale University website that the students who need special accommodations should speak with the disability office as soon as possible.  I'm sure that other universities also have policies like this in place, although I'm not sure exactly how British universities handle situations like this.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow

@PandaPrincess Thanks for your replies - I don't think the original £350 could be refunded, not all of it anyway. There is a disability adviser that I could speak to - and I have a private mentor who's job is to help me deal with anything related to university, but mostly on a basis of, something bad happens, she helps me figure out how to deal with it, she is external to the university so can't actually advise how the university go about things. But I will email the disability adviser at uni once I've heard back from my tutors (assuming the repose isn't what I'm hoping for). I had actually forgotten that I could get in touch with her, so thank you for reminding me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ben

I think you'll hate me for this, but... 

 

To be honest? You will only gain from going into this thing as open minded as you can be. Stride into it without expectation or judgement and just liberate yourself from limitation. YES, there are real restrictions that you need to keep in mind, but we live in a world where the physically disabled have won gold at the Olympics ffs. So for this trip forget about who you think you are. Because actually Willow, you're infinite. We all are.

Comments like "Ben, you're just braver than me" or "your AS is less severe than mine" seriously piss me off. Because I've had to graft my way out - seriously, I  barely left my house at one time. Now I'm plane hopping around the world on my own, regularly, and all because  I've repeatedly and consistently existed in uncomfortable, stressful and difficult environments . I've simply forced myself, regardless as to how scary it was. There was no magic potion and certainly no easy way - the key, was to recognise that this IS what growth, development and progress feels like. Yes, it's shit scary. The mind doesn't like being uncomfortable, but tough. The mind doesn't call the shots, you do. 

The old Willow would have written herself off completely. I'm convinced that this Willow will actually hop, skip and jump through this. You're just anxious (which is good so long as you embrace it.). Trust me, you'll  come out of this  strong. Okay, there are other dynamics that I'm not taking into account, but I'll go back to the "you're infinite" argument. Because you are. You've already had to go through more than most people I know, and you're here now right? And these were challenges much worse than this... 

Kill it. Make this trip legendary for you and others around you. 

Edited by Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow
17 minutes ago, Ben said:

I think you'll hate me for this, but... 

 

To be honest? You will only gain from going into this thing as open minded as you can be. Stride into it without expectation or judgement and just liberate yourself from limitation. YES, there are real restrictions that you need to keep in mind, but we live in a world where the physically disabled have won gold at the Olympics ffs. So for this trip forget about who you think you are. Because actually Willow, you're infinite. We all are.

Comments like "Ben, you're just braver than me" or "your AS is less severe than mine" seriously piss me off. Because I've had to graft my way out - seriously, I  barely left my house at one time. Now I'm plane hopping around the world on my own, regularly, and all because  I've repeatedly and consistently existed in uncomfortable, stressful and difficult environments . I've simply forced myself, regardless as to how scary it was. There was no magic potion and certainly no easy way - the key, was to recognise that this IS what growth, development and progress feels like. Yes, it's shit scary. The mind doesn't like being uncomfortable, but tough. The mind doesn't call the shots, you do. 

The old Willow would have written herself off completely. I'm convinced that this Willow will actually hop, skip and jump through this. You're just anxious (which is good so long as you embrace it.). Trust me, you'll  come out of this  strong. Okay, there are other dynamics that I'm not taking into account, but I'll go back to the "you're infinite" argument. Because you are. You've already had to go through more than most people I know, and you're here now right? And these were challenges much worse than this... 

Kill it. Make this trip legendary for you and others around you. 

Thanks Ben. I think for the most part, I'm only concerned from a physical standpoint, and the repercussions of me trying to power through an entire trip to Barcelona without any help XD

I'd love to head out into the city and eat wherever I think looks nice, and wander around until I see a place I want to visit - I have no anxiety related boundaries keeping me from that, not ones that I actually listen to anyways, I just know physically, it's not going to be possible every day, and I've no idea whether my fibromyalgia will be in full on 'lets stop Willow from getting out of bed at all' mode, or not ahaha. So really, the things I wanted to be in place for me are all to compensate for that unfortunately. With the exception of staying in a room with about 9 other girls who I barely know, which I'd really rather not do again (London college trip, I'm lookin' at you!). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RiRi

@Willow Well, this is tough. I don't know how bad your physical limitation is but I understand what you mean by preparing for worst case scenario. I actually tend to prepare for those all the time. Even if nothing bad happens, it helps with the anxiety, it helps that I prepared for it. 

Do your other classmates know that you're autistic? Is it possible to still get on the plane before everyone else with the 350 that you've already paid? My opinion is to work with what you have right now because what if you spend the 450 and it ends up being worst for you? And you end up throwing away all that money. 

Can you search for restaurants nearby the HOSTEL you're staying at? Can you call the airline and ask them for accommodations so that they can let you board the plane before everyone else? I mean, the idea is just to not have you stand there for longer than you're able to. You can sit with the rest of the classmates (I assume) if it's assigned seating but you have a limitation they don't and as such should let you in before. 

What I would spend more on is the room. If you want a place to recuperate and regain energy from being with them the rest of the day. Is there a way you can book another room maybe even in the same hostel just a room for yourself? I get what you are doing and wanting to book things for yourself because you can just never really trust anyone but you. It would also be a good idea to stay nearby where the uni group will be so that you don't feel as excluded or so that they don't exclude you. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow

@RiRi Thanks for your reply. My classmates may or may not know, to be honest I've never really thought much about telling them. My best friend at uni knows, and it has come up every now and then depending what we've been looking at in class. It's honestly not the biggest concern - they all know I have limited mobility though.

I've messaged tutors to try and ascertain exactly what scenario I am working with, and I've looked into all my other options also, just so I have plenty of choices. I would try and get in touch with the airline, and hopefully sort something out ahead of time. I'd rather not book the whole thing again! I know the hostel is fully booked so I would have to be looking elsewhere for accommodation. I'm not too concerned about being excluded. I'd be happy to have a solo trip if needs be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RiRi

@Willow These people who booked the hostel should have booked a separate room for you. Do they know of your limitations? They did a bad job if they knew and still booked you with with 2-3 other people. Even if the price would have been higher, they should have contacted you to get more money to cover the cost. It seems like they did nothing to accommodate you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Willow
31 minutes ago, RiRi said:

@Willow These people who booked the hostel should have booked a separate room for you. Do they know of your limitations? They did a bad job if they knew and still booked you with with 2-3 other people. Even if the price would have been higher, they should have contacted you to get more money to cover the cost. It seems like they did nothing to accommodate you.

Well until today I'd been told it was going to be a 3 or 4 start hotel. So, I'm annoyed about that as well. But yeah they know about all my issues - they have a report the disability adviser wrote for them before I started uni. I even told them from day one that I would need a room for just me and my friend. *shrug* 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.