Planning a trip abroad as a mobility scooter user requires a little more planning than normal - but having a mobility scooter to use to get out and about should only offer a greater level of independence.
If you’re planning on travelling abroad soon and are trying to decide whether or not to bring your mobility scooter with you (or perhaps rent one at your destination), this guide covers a few key points of information and tips to consider.
Travelling with a mobility scooter by plane
If you are planning to travel abroad by plane, your first task should be to contact the airline and make sure they do accept mobility scooters on board.
It is recommended that you contact the airline prior to check-in to provide them with the details of your mobility scooter to ensure it can be safely stored in the hold for you without issues. Travellers to a European country are legally entitled to travel, have assistance, and additional transport provided free of charge.
Alternatively, if you would rather leave your mobility scooter at home, then many destinations do offer mobility scooter rental once you arrive. This can be a less stressful way of ensuring you can still get around while abroad without having to make further enquiries whether your airline can carry a scooter.
At the airport
When travelling with a mobility scooter by plane, you will be met by airline staff upon check-in to take the scooter to the plane.
If you aid getting around the airport, you will typically be provided with a standard wheelchair to move through the security checkpoints and assisted to your seat on the plane. It is a good idea to clarify all of these things with your airline when planning your trip though so you know exactly what to expect.
Travelling abroad by ship
The majority of ferries are equipped for mobility scooters, although again, it’s a good idea to contact your carrier directly and ensure you will not have any problems when it is time to board.
Staff may be on hand to assist you, but you may prefer to travel with a friend or family member to help you when navigating the ship.
Other things to consider for oversea travel
Mobility scooter insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK, but it is highly recommended to cover you against unexpected incidents such as damage to a third party’s property, an accident involving you or another person, or if your scooter is vandalised or even stolen.
Most mobility scooter insurance policies do include overseas travel (although some may have a limit on the duration of your trip) to continue this level of cover even when you are abroad. We’d recommend checking the details of your insurance before you go away in case you need to take out a different policy.
Transport to and from your accommodation
You will need to book your transport from the airport to your accommodation in advance to make sure your scooter can fit in the vehicle.
Alternatively, you could check if public transport options are available to you - but bare in mind this could be more time-consuming, especially when juggling your luggage as well as your scooter.