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TRAVEL


Should You Take Your Wheelchair on Holiday?


By Andrew Atkinson of Mobility Smart


Do you pack light, or are you an over-preparer? Will you fill a suitcase with clothes for every even- tuality, or are you more inclined to take what you expect to need knowing that you can buy things once you’ve reached your destination? If you’re a wheelchair user, travelling comes with a whole other concern that many don’t have to think about. Do you take your own wheelchair, or do you use wheelchair rental services?


Cons to Renting You’re used to your own wheelchair. You’re comfort- able in it. You understand it. You know what to ex- pect. When you’re travelling you want to be focusing on your holiday – enjoying the sights, drinking fine wines, spending quality time with loved ones – and if you’re getting to know a strange wheelchair then you’re not giving relaxation and enjoyment your full attention. Your wheelchair will be available whenever you


need it, with no worries or stresses and no custom- er service representatives to negotiate with. Renting a wheelchair often means planning ahead a little more. You need to book a wheelchair at least 24 hours in advance in most places that you visit. Some locations require even more notice. Some rental wheelchairs aren’t particularly well maintained. Not everyone will have looked after them as well as you take care of your chair. The wheels might be stiff, the seat less comfortable, and things may be more likely to go wrong.


Tips for Cruising with an Electric Scooter


Pros to Renting Your wheelchair was probably selected with your lifestyle in mind. It’s the right wheelchair for your home terrain, but it may not be made for other locations. Wheelchairs provided in foreign countries might be more suited to your holiday experi- ence, with different wheels for different terrains for example. Wheelchairs are bulky items. Sometimes, transporting a wheelchair is more trouble than arranging for a rental. If you’re travelling by plane then you’ll likely need to check your wheel- chair... some airlines have complicated restrictions that will stop you from taking your wheelchair (particularly if electric) on board.


If your wheelchair is an expensive one, you might have


concerns about it getting damaged while travelling. Renting a wheelchair will ensure that yours won’t get damaged while you’re enjoying your holiday. Your own wheelchair might be a large and heavy one. On


holiday, you might instead prefer a compact and lightweight chair from a rental company. Whatever decision you make, remember to take your favou- rite wheelchair accessories along for the ride.


Travelling can be a wonderful, fulfilling experience that should be stress-free and enjoyable. For a slow walker or someone with limited mobility or special needs, an electric scooter can make all the difference in the world. Want some helpful tips for a smooth journey? Visit www. disabilitytodaynetwork.com/special-needs-group. Special Needs Group (SNG) is committed to making travel accessible for all. Whether you need an electric scooter, a wheelchair, oxygen equipment, a beach wheelchair (Joy on the Beach) or just about any other special needs equipment, SNG is there to help, delivering to over 135 cities in 30 countries worldwide.


For tons of #accessibletravel information and destinations see our Travel and Leisure category at www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com.


32 www.disabilitytodaynetwork.com


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