How to Select the Right Mobility Scooter for Travel

How to Select the Right Mobility Scooter for Travel

Ah, the golden years! That coveted period of post-career life that most people dream about for decades before it arrives.

"What sort of house and city do I see myself downsizing to? How can I stay connected with my family and friends? What sort of budget do I need to adhere to?"

These are just some of the questions you probably asked yourself before you officially retired.

The main question that most people grapple with before actually taking the jump into retirement is, “What will I do with all my free time?”

If you’re like 70% of American workers, you’ve dreamt of spending your retired years traveling the world—touring ancient cities and natural wonders, visiting family and friends you’ve made over the course of your life, and learning about different cultures, religions, and values held all over the globe. While mobility might become a concern as you age, that doesn’t mean travel is off the table—flying, cruising, and train riding are all still possible if you have the right travel scooter.

Take a Trip with a Travel Scooter

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Three Considerations Before Choosing a Travel Scooter

The vast array of travel scooter options means that there’s a high chance you can find a product that is tailored to your specific needs. It can also mean sifting through thousands of choices to find what you’re looking for. Make sure you consider the below factors that vary in different travel scooters before you buy.

1. Scooter Portability

If your plan to see the world involves multiple modes of transportation, such as a combination of trains, flights, and cars, portability will play an important role in your scooter selection.

Consider foldability, ease of handling, and weight.

Foldable scooters make for easy storage if you intend on riding in cars or taking day-long train rides but could be subject to damage because of their lightness and flexibility.

Scooters with either three wheels or four thinner wheels will be easier to maneuver, but four thicker wheels are more appropriate for traversing rough or bumpy surfaces, such as a gravel path. Are you a city streets kind of traveler, or do you—literally—prefer to take the unbeaten path?

Weight is also important from both a packing and handling perspective. As opposed to those heavy yet durable scooters, a lighter scooter will ensure that you’re able to pick it up and stow it if need be. Within the context of traveling, a heavy-duty scooter might hinder your mobility more than assist it.

No matter which scooter you choose, make sure to get used to the handling before you board your cruise or flight. The last you'll want to do is buy a brand new scooter right before a trip and attempt to use it for the first time at an airport. Instead, try riding, folding, packing, and lifting your scooter in familiar places like your home or around town.

2. Meeting FAA Guidelines

Buying a scooter that is FAA-approved can save you time and stress when arriving at the airport and ensure that your scooter’s battery is compliant with flight regulations.

Because your travel scooter is powered by an electric battery, you will be unable to stow it in the carry-on/cabin section of the plane. So, instead of boarding with your own scooter, you will be provided with a temporary scooter to transport you from the airport entrance to your flight, with your personal travel scooter stowed in the luggage section of the plane.

Leaving an expensive scooter in the cargo compartment of an aircraft can be stressful, but FAA guidelines have some standards for airlines to follow to ensure you have a smooth experience retrieving it. Unless you choose to pick up your scooter at baggage claim, your airline has a duty to return your scooter to you in a timely fashion.

You can learn more about additional FAA regulations for assistive devices here, or browse their visual guide as a PDF.

3. Travel Battery Options

As mentioned above, you should also consider the battery type and battery life of the scooter you’re looking to purchase. Your battery will need to charge often to keep up with the accelerated pace of travel during a vacation, so make sure you plan accordingly by bringing a charger or arranging travel plans that accommodate for a low battery situation.

A scooter with a long battery life can alleviate the pressure to always be near an outlet, and lithium-ion batteries are widely accepted as suitable for flying—FAA guidelines prohibit the mass trafficking of these batteries, but it’s less of a problem if you have one in a personal item, such as a mobility scooter.

Traveling with Scooter Batteries

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From Dream to Reality

Purchasing a mobility scooter can expand your options immensely when it comes to traveling the world in retirement. Instead of being limited to RV or car travel, a travel scooter can allow you to safely navigate transportation options from flying to bus riding.

But don't let your dream turn into a nightmare. Consider each scooter's portability, battery, and adherence to FAA guidelines before buying - or give our U.S.-based support team a call at (800) 903-0946 to discuss your options.

Whether you’re traveling alone or with friends and family, travel scooters can increase your independence and create a more stress-free way of moving around for both you and your travel buddies. Travel scooters make vacations an easier, more efficient, and more stress-free experience.

Happy scooter shopping, and best of luck on your vacation! Au revoir!


Sources

  • https://www.transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/retirement-survey-of-workers/tcrs2017_sr_three-generations_prepare_for_retirement.pdf
  • https://www.seniorlivinghelp.co/scooters-for-senior-citizens/
  • https://vidacura.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000477968-FAA-regulations-for-travelling-with-scooter-batteries
  • https://www.transportation.gov/individuals/aviation-consumer-protection/wheelchairs-and-other-assistive-devices
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