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?s: Logistics of Traveling w/a Mobility Scooter

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I have rented a mobility scooter for my husband on our past two cruises.   We are about to do a longer cruise soon and the cost of renting the scooter is considerable. Adding these three cruises together, we could have probably purchased a budget priced yet well known & recommended brand of scooter based on prices offered by some major retailers. Sounds like the smart thing to do, however I am very worried about the logistics of bringing along a scooter.   We usually have two large suitcases that are close to the maximum weight of 50 pounds, plus I bring a carry-on and my husband brings a backpack.   Due to his mobility issues,  I am the one that loads and unloads the suitcases, pulls them up or down steps if necessary,  etc.  (This despite having some foot issues myself.) Sometimes I pull both cases but sometimes he pulls one. Once we are at the airport,  he is transported via wheelchair. Of course our luggage gets checked at that time. If we purchase a scooter, I will have to be the one that breaks it down for transport & storage and will have to deak with getting it transported on things like rental car shuttles, airport shuttles, possible public transportation and so forth.  I fesr I won’t be able to handle it all.  Many people have mentioned using Pride Go Go scooters and similar brands. If you travel with something like this, what problems have you run into with regard to  navigating through the issues of transportation,  the sometimes required advance  paperwork for the airlines, and managing to handle the scooter, your luggage, personal items and so on? Really hoping some of you experienced in this area can address this and provide some insight. Thanks for any information!

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Boy, do I hear ya!  Your situation sounds a lot like ours.  After using a transfer chair, I finally purchased a Travelscoot for my husband.  Yes, they are expensive, but worth it.  

I can put the carry-on on his Travelscoot.  I carry a  backpack and pull  1 large checkin.  More than that, and it becomes more than I can handle.  In fact, it’s gotten to the point we just won’t travel with more than that. 

   I can easily lift and fold down the scooter as it’s 30-35 pounds.  It does come with a travel bag, and I’ve met a couple who uses it to check the scooter in.  Once checked in, they get a wheelchair at the airport. I prefer not to check it in however. My husband drives the scooter right to the point of entry at the plane.  He gets out and walks to his seat; I push down and lock steering; take off battery and back rest.  I carry those three things (and carry-ins) on the plane.  I leave the scooter and it’s loaded into cargo.  Once the plane lands,  I deplane a bit earlier than my husband; wait for scooter; put it back together and he walks out after most on the plane have left.  It works out great.  

The transfer chair worked pretty good too. In fact, we may bring both on an upcoming cruise.  He actually prefers me pushing him throughout the ship over using the scooter.  But on land, the scooter works best. 

  Also, do loads of research if you’re planning on purchasing a different scooter.  Before the Travelscoot, I purchased another folding type.  50 pounds may not sound like much, but it was an awkward 50 pounds.  It was very slow and bumpy.  Needless to say, we sold it shortly after we purchased it.  Yes, I was trying to save money, but ended up losing quite a bit on resale.  

Edited by dcsam

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dcsam, thank you so much for  your very informative and very helpful reply. This is just the kind of info I was hoping for.  I attempted to talk to my husband about it today but he went into automatic shut down. 🙄  Eventually I got him to grudgingly listen to my sales pitch, although he still will not agree it would be convenient to have his own. He thinks it is too inconvenient to drag one along (even though he isn’t the one that would genetally deal with that aspect of it),  but most of all, I think he doesn’t want to spend the money for it. If it was the same cost as some of the prices I have found for brand new Pride GoGo scooters,  my case would be much much stronger. Unfortunately, the  light weight Travelscoot scooters are just more costly than I will ever get him to agree to. Almost 4 times more costly than the Pride prices! You have actually gone through the experiences and saved me the trouble of having to find out on my own the difficulties and pluses of owning both types of scooter. I feel the only type that would work in our case,  and that we would be satisfied with for travel, would have to be one that is lightweight, folds up, and can be pulled along like a piece of luggage.  Yet still be sturdy enough to carry a 190 pound man who is 6 foot three without a tendecy to easily tip over.  I guess if his mobility got even worse, we would either just have to stop traveling or for sure get something like that. We do have a transport chair like you, but  never take it with us. Once he had recovered a fair amount from his medical issue, we pretty much stopped using it.  Although we did use it once about a year ago. It was pretty difficult however as there were some long ramps in going up or down isn’t the easiest with those. For one thing it is much tougher to push than most wheelchairs,  and isn’t as comfortable.  Besides that, my husband resists  being pushed in a wheelchair as well. Airports generally require so much walking that he agrees to being taken through security & to the the gate by airport personnel. It was even tough to get him to agree to that at first, but he likes how it speeds up the security process enough that after that first experience, he has gone along with it. He can walk onto a plane by himself but I notice he always balances himself with his good arm against the walls of the jetway as he walks and grabs onto seats as he goes down the aisle.  He is always at risk of his leg either giving out totally or tripping over his own foot, or just being knocked off balance if someone bumps into him.  At any rate, thanks again for taking the time to answer my query. At least you have helped me stop agonizing over whether to entertain the idea of purchasing one before our cruise or continuing to rent. For now I think it’s going to have to be renting but I’m not ruling it out for the future – or if I win the lottery!   It took a whole lot of campaigning before I ever talked him into using a scooter the first time.  Once he had it, he realized it was very helpful & was glad to have it. But he still tries to resist it when he can.  Also, it is not that we couldn’t pay for the scooter if it was truly needed. It’s more

an issue of priorities and that to my dh, it isn’t important enough. 

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My husband uses a mobility scooter that is lightweight (sort of) 53 lbs.   Yes, I have the same problems of loading and unloading, dragging the suitcases and we are now on our 3rd scooter.

 

The first was a GoGo Pride but even thou it broke down the parts were too heavy for me to handle and taking it apart and putting it back together was just too much.   So we got a Tzora Lexis Light and that served my husband well for many years and we traveled all over the world thru several airports with it.

 

Last year my husband bought a NEW Tzora Lexis Light.  The new one has three wheels instead of 4 wheels and he thinks it is easier to handle.

 

I still have to help him lift it in and out of the car, which is very difficult even with both of us lifting it.   

 

The scooters that are lightweight and fold up are expensive but well worth it.  I am thinking of getting one for myself but then I don't know who or how we would handle the suitcases.  

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5 hours ago, CRUISEWITHH said:

My husband uses a mobility scooter that is lightweight (sort of) 53 lbs.   Yes, I have the same problems of loading and unloading, dragging the suitcases and we are now on our 3rd scooter.

 

The first was a GoGo Pride but even thou it broke down the parts were too heavy for me to handle and taking it apart and putting it back together was just too much.   So we got a Tzora Lexis Light and that served my husband well for many years and we traveled all over the world thru several airports with it.

 

Last year my husband bought a NEW Tzora Lexis Light.  The new one has three wheels instead of 4 wheels and he thinks it is easier to handle.

 

I still have to help him lift it in and out of the car, which is very difficult even with both of us lifting it.   

 

The scooters that are lightweight and fold up are expensive but well worth it.  I am thinking of getting one for myself but then I don't know who or how we would handle the suitcases.  

I'm on my second Tzora Lexis Light  and I have been very pleased with it!  They have been unbelievably dependable and  I like the fact that they are made in Israel and not some third world backwater. I also bought the upgraded LED battery and have never run it completely down.  I've been all over the world with it and have never had a problem.

I think the current cost is about $1500  and to me that is quite reasonable.  Yes,  I'm sure there are cheaper models, but do you really want third world quality?  Mine have lasted for years and I would never consider renting a scooter for a cruise because of the high rental cost.

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My luggage has spinner wheels and can handle it fine in my power chair.

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Our son-in-law has an electric wheelchair (which I am assuming the poster above is referring to when they say power chair-?). He played in the NFL and as a result under went a whole LOT of surgeries, especially on one of his legs. Therefore he got an electric wheelchair to help during some long recovery periods. He also had an automatic attached to his vehicle to transport it. It’s quite heavy but really easy & handy to use. My husband has used it a couple of times to attend games, but our son on law has to install the automatic lift to the back of his SUV each time it gets used, which requires a lot of strength.  The Travelscoot prices I saw on the company’s website started at over $2,500 for the lowesr priced model. Still worth it, I guess, for the convenience if they last for many years. $1,500 is much better, but for now I know my husband would still not spring for one. However, thanks for the info! It will likely help someone else who sees these posts, hopefully. We were on a ship in Feb when I noticed 2 women with identical scooters. I started talking to them and they told me the scooters were easy  to travel with, but they themselves had never learned to collapse them! One of their daughters showed up right then so I asked her about it. She rolled her eyes and said, “Well, it is easy for THEM!”  Then she added that it wasn’t TOO bad because there were other family members along that could help. I never saw the scooters folded, but they looked like the pictures I’ve seen online of Travelscoots. 

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My luggage has spinner wheels and can handle it fine in my power chair.

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No idea why that posted a second time, but yes a power chair and an electric wheelchair are the same thing.

 

mine is very lite, one about 30 kg (65 lb) the other just 17 kg.

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Well it would be pretty tough for me to lift the 75 pound one I’m sure. My son-in-law‘s lift is made of steel I think &  the wheelchair sits on it unfolded. His  playing weight was 298 pounds so his chair is heavy duty.  I have never actually seen him or anyone else lift it as it rolls on & off of the transport lift. It has very strong bands with hooks that must be attached to secure it. That takes a bit of strength as well. But it IS handy!

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Just for information purposes ( in case anyone else is curious ),  I looked up a  Tzoris Lexis Light and the weight listed was 62 lbs. 

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I have a little Pride GoGo scooter because I am a budget traveler. If I rented a scooter for every cruise, I never would have been able to go on all cruises I have done. As far as luggage, I invested in a four wheel carry on (probably the largest carry on), and attach it to the back of my scooter with two bungee cords. Got a couple D-rings and bolted them to the bar under the seat. Used some heavy duty strapping to attach the D-rings. Put one bungee cord around the suitcase at the bottom front there is sort of pocket lip that holds it in place. The other bungee cord goes around the center (through the side handle) of the suitcase. They both attach to the D ring on either side. Result, the suitcase sort of becomes part of my scooter and it not towed like a trailer. I put my shoulder bag on the floor board of my scooter. That bag that goes under the seat on a plane and is always free and I pack most of my clothes in it. (ladies light weight clothing does not take up much space). I have extensive medical supplies. Between equipment, medications and various articles of clothing, my carry-on is classified as medical, thus no charge on the airlines. I also travel with a complete list of my prescriptions and letter from my doctor covering my basic needs and abilities. My doctor up-dates the letter every year, thus it is current for all trips. I travel by myself without any problems. My scooter is “gate checked”, thus I ride it to the plane and it is delivered to me at the the destination. In addition, if I happen to be traveling with another senior lady, I will usually offer to tote hers. suitcase since I can drive with one hand.

 

Convince your husband to invest in a scooter. He will never regret getting his own.

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On 4/5/2019 at 12:00 AM, mlbcruiser said:

Just for information purposes ( in case anyone else is curious ),  I looked up a  Tzoris Lexis Light and the weight listed was 62 lbs. 

My source says the Tzora Lexis Light weighs 54#.  Also, there is a significant difference in the type of battery you use.  I have the optional LED battery which weighs 10# as opposed to the standard battery which weighs 20#.

If you removed the standard battery, it would be 20# less than your 62# quote, or 42#.  Add another 10# for the optional battery and it would be total weight of 52#

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1 hour ago, 1980dory said:

My source says the Tzora Lexis Light weighs 54#.  Also, there is a significant difference in the type of battery you use.  I have the optional LED battery which weighs 10# as opposed to the standard battery which weighs 20#.

If you removed the standard battery, it would be 20# less than your 62# quote, or 42#.  Add another 10# for the optional battery and it would be total weight of 52#

We also bought the LED battery and brought down the weight of the scooter, plus, we take off the battery when lifting it in and out of the car to bring down the weight.  Still it is difficult for my husband and I to lift it, but usually when we travel, there is a very helpful porter or bystander nearby who comes to our aid when they see us trying to load or unload the scooter.  We have found that there are wonderful people all around who will offer to help and if not, then we ask for help. (haven't been turned down yet)

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1 hour ago, CRUISEWITHH said:

We also bought the LED battery and brought down the weight of the scooter, plus, we take off the battery when lifting it in and out of the car to bring down the weight.  Still it is difficult for my husband and I to lift it, but usually when we travel, there is a very helpful porter or bystander nearby who comes to our aid when they see us trying to load or unload the scooter.  We have found that there are wonderful people all around who will offer to help and if not, then we ask for help. (haven't been turned down yet)

Likewise here but we're still able to lift it into or out of the trunk.  Just remove the battery.

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I have owned the Travelscoot for about 5 years and it has made many, many trips all over the world with me.   I could not travel without it.   Airports are difficult for me and once I arrive someplace I have my scooter.   I can lift it into my car myself so that's a bonus.   When I drive it to the door of the plane I simply remove the battery and put it in the case that came with it.   I fold down the handlebars - I leave the back rest on.   The airline personnel carry it down to the hold of the plane and when I land,  the scooter is brought to me at the door of the plane.

 

I can drive the scooter with my right hand and I have my carry-on (that has wheels) in my left hand and go through airports etc. with no problems.   I put my purse underneath my seat and also the Travelscoot bag that holds the battery etc. when it's not in use.

 

It is a wise investment and I don't regret the cost for one minute.   My scooter has been over some rough ground and it is still working perfectly.  I also bought the optional basket and I use it when I go shopping.  As airline personnel commented recently "you are driving the Mercedes".

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I have a Pride scooter that breaks down to 4 pieces, most heavy piece is 25 lbs.  As far as cost goes, Medicare paid for my new scooter.  Yes, I had to go to a couple Dr. appts. and it took a couple of months, but I got a brand new scooter for my co-pay of $20.00.  Bottom line is cost should not be a factor if someone needs the scooter.  Much better than renting one of the ship.

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On 4/4/2019 at 9:43 PM, GUT2407 said:

My luggage has spinner wheels and can handle it fine in my power chair.

 

Off topic but I’m wondering if you somehow attach your luggage to your chair or if you pull it by hand.

 

Thanks in advance for your reply!

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I can attach it, but usually just one hand on the joystick one on the luggage.

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With my Travelscoot I use my right hand to control the speed (the right handlebar) and use my left hand to hold the handle of my spinner suitcase.    It works very well doing this - especially on floors without carpet I can really move along.   Carpet makes it a little bit slower.

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Sounds like you all have foldable and light scooters. We made the mistake on our first cruise in taking his 110lb. mobility scooter which does not fold. Very tricky getting to hotels going across the country from the airports - shuttles mostly did not have lifts or ramps.  We thought we could take him on some excursions, but not even one, including the one we had been promised his scooter would work for it.  For the future, I am hoping something foldable, either a scooter or wheelchair as long as it is electric. We also did not get an accessible cabin, no problem for size of door, just small inside, left outside except at night we brought in for charging.

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