Updated: Aug 25
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.