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Planning a Trip Abroad as a Mobility Scooter User

So you’re planning to go away, but are wondering what your options are? You may be wondering about the differences which come with travelling on a mobility scooter rather than in a wheelchair. This guide will give you some tips on travelling using a range of methods of transport, nationally or internationally. Your mobility scooter should only unlock the possibility of further destinations.

A pinterest image showing a close up of red mobility scooters in a row with the words 'Planning a Trip Abroad as a Mobility Scooter User' at the bottom of the image.

Plane

If you plan to travel by plane, you should first ensure that the airline allows the transportation of mobility scooters, before then including your scooter when making your booking. It is also advisable to contact the airline prior to check-in to provide them with some information about your mobility scooter, to ensure that it can be stored safely away in the hold during the flight. It is important to note that if you are disabled and travelling to a European country, you are legally entitled to travel with up to two items of mobility equipment at no extra charge! However, if this is still something you’re feeling unsure of, many destinations offer mobility scooter rental, so check this out if you’d prefer to leave yours at home.

Trains

Similarly to flying, it is essential to check with the rail company initially whether it is possible for mobility scooters to be carried on their trains. This information can be found in the RICA Report. You should contact the company as early as possible to confirm whether your departure and destination stops will be able to accommodate you and to request ramp access if necessary. The size of your mobility scooter can affect access to trains, therefore if you have not yet purchased yours, perhaps consider an affordable folding or collapsible scooter from Pro Rider Mobility. It is also important to note, that not all rail staff will carry mobility scooters on the train, therefore you may need a companion to help with this.

Buses and Coaches

There seems to be a theme developing here… Again, before planning to travel by bus, it is important to check that the service is able to accommodate mobility scooters by running a scooter permit scheme. You will then only be able to travel with your scooter if it is a class 2 type, at 60cm wide and 100cm long. The bus company must finally have assessed your use of a scooter as safe.

When using a coach, the company must first be contacted to be given details regarding the scooter. Some coach companies also require that you are accompanied at the point of departure or destination.

Trams

You are able to travel with your mobility scooter on most tram lines, though some services may require that you have a permit to ensure that you are able to safely manoeuvre your scooter on the tram. The guidelines on the size of scooters able to travel are the same as those for buses, meaning that so long as you invest in a suitably-sized scooter, you will be good to go on both!

Ships

Other than on sight-seeing tours and on very short journey ferries, it is a legal requirement that ships carry any disabled person, so long that it is safe to do so. Although assistance will be provided, you may prefer to travel with a companion. If you wish to travel by ferry, most companies supply information on disabled access onboard and at various relevant ports on their websites, so it’s worth checking these out before booking.

I hope this guide has been helpful. If anyone has any further tips or advice on travelling with a mobility scooter, please share these below!

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*This is a collaborative post

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Meet Emma

Hello I’m Emma. My mission is to show you the possibilities of accessible travel through my travel guides, tips and reviews. I also share personal stories, live event reviews and more.

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One Response

  1. I have travelled the world by myself, with my medium sized scooter. No problems with any airline, if you email them a copy of the specs, and carry a copy with you. Same goes for trains, coaches and buses across Europe, Australia, and Canada, it has even been in a gondola up Sulphur Mountain in Banff. Also been on cruise ships in the Caribbean and Alaska, without any problems, if you organize in advance. Only time I have been refused carriage, is with David Urqhuart Coach Travel, here in Scotland !!! FYI too….if flying with hand luggage only, I put pads and large tubs of ointment etc in the scooter bag with the charger, and have a letter from my District Nurse stating that these are necessary, I also Google a translation of the letter, for whichever country I am travelling to. Hope this is of interest.

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