For most people that use a mobility scooter being able to easily transport it is an important feature. Most small mobility scooters are also known as travel or footpath scooters are designed to be easy to disassemble or fold and transport. The following article will list some essential tips and advice for transporting your mobility scooter which will ensure a safe and enjoyable traveling experience with your scooter.
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Know how to fold or disassemble your mobile scooter
It’s important before traveling that you fully understand how your mobility scooter disassembles or folds up for traveling. Otherwise, you will be unprepared and may cause accidental damage to your scooter. If you are unsure we would recommend consulting the manual of your scooter, checking with whichever mobility shop you bought the scooter from, or checking YouTube for a video showing how your particular model of scooter disassembles. For example, for our small mobility scooter rentals, we created a video showing how easily our rental scooter disassembles for the car.
Most airlines are very accommodating when traveling with a mobility scooter. You will need to inform your airline that you will be bringing a mobility scooter with you and typically they will want to know the make and model of your scooter, along with the size, weight, and battery type. Generally speaking, you can drive your scooter to the terminal and bring it out to the plane when boarding. The scooter is usually stored in the hold under the plane during the flight. As a side note, I would recommend taking out travel insurance in case of any accidental damage to your scooter. While it’s unusual, your scooter could be accidentally damaged during your flight.
If traveling by train you may need to contact the train station in advance and request assistance. For example in Ireland, you (unfortunately) need to contact the train station before your arrival and inform them so that they can have a ramp put down at the platform so you can get on/off the train on your mobility scooter. Also, it’s important to check your departing and arrival train stations for updates. For example, an elevator may be out of order which could impact your ability to use your mobility scooter at the station.
If traveling on a bus with your mobility scooter it’s important to check with your local bus station for any requirements or limitations. In Dublin, Ireland you need to apply for a scooter permit before bringing your scooter on their buses. Also, not every bus will have a ramp or space for a mobility scooter so it’s important to check first before finalising your travel plans. Also, you need to think about the type of ground or terrain you will be using the scooter on outside the station. For example, will there be footpaths available, will the ground be suitable for my scooter? Small scooters typically have smaller wheels so won’t be able to navigate steps or curbs. It’s just something to bear in mind.
It’s really important to recharge your scooter batteries properly so when traveling you need to consider how and where you will recharge your scooter batteries. I’d strongly recommend charging your batteries for a good 8 hours before traveling. Most small mobility scooters have removable battery packs that can be removed from the scooter and charged separately which can make recharging easier. Also, if traveling to a different country it would be advisable to check that country's electricity voltage as if it differs from your own country it could result in damage or issues using your charger.
When traveling you may be using your scooter outdoors quite a lot in possibly unfamiliar areas so for security reasons please don’t leave your scooter unattended for too long and always remove the key when leaving your scooter unattended. It would be very unusual for someone to steal a mobility scooter but it can happen so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, be aware that rain can damage your scooter so I would recommend bringing a cover or poncho with you in case of any weather emergencies!
Give your scooter a good check over before leaving. Check that everything is working as it should be. Drive your scooter around your home and check for any unusual or unfamiliar noises. If there are any issues it’s better to discover them now than when traveling. I would also recommend having some wheelchair taxi numbers on hand for wherever you are traveling to just in case of an emergency and your scooter breaks down. It’s always better to be prepared. Safe travels!