Changes to accessibility and equality laws in recent years mean that businesses are obliged to help people with disabilities and mobility problems. Now, it is no longer a struggle to get people with disabilities onto and off an aircraft; with legal procedures in place, priority boarding and investment in relevant technologies, holidays for people with disabilities are much less stressful than they once were. Air travel has become so cheap and so convenient that people are taking a mobility scooter with them. If you want to take your CareCo mobility scooter abroad with you, here is what you need to do.
Check Your Insurance
While you are not obliged to have insurance for your mobility scooter, it is advisable – especially for those designed for road use. If you have CareCo mobility scooter insurance or with another supplier, it’s worth checking to see whether you are covered. Most insurance policies are for use only in the UK as it’s still rare for people to take their mobility scooters abroad.
If you do have foreign holiday cover, there may be certain stipulations – that you cannot use it on the road or in certain countries. Even those that permit foreign travel may stipulate that you can only use your mobility scooter within the European Union. Before you rush out to buy insurance, however, check whether your travel insurance covers the vehicle.
Check the Laws in the Country You Will Visit
Laws in the European Union may differ on what you can and can’t do, though you may find in some resorts there are fewer hazards due to wider streets, but more hazards in areas where there are more drunk people! Wherever you are, always keep your wits about you when driving the vehicle. Watch out for pedestrians and other vehicles and be mindful where the traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road. It’s not just road laws that will differ in foreign countries, so are driving habits and what is and is not considered socially acceptable for drivers and pedestrians.
We strongly recommend researching the destination for what you may or may not be able to do with your CareCo mobility hotel.
Choose an Accessible Hotel and Accessible Resort
So much of continental Europe is idyllic. However, some of the hotels – especially in rural locations – are up mountains and in pedestrianised towns. You may find it difficult to get your mobility scooter there at all. Most countries have laws on disabled accessibility, but they only obliged to make reasonable adjustment – there are things way beyond the control of the travel company or the hotel such as local geography. Check each hotel’s website for accessibility and make sure it won’t be problematic logistically to house your mobility scooter and to get it in and out every day.
Is It Worth Taking It (Weight)?
Mobility scooters can be heavy and cumbersome although technology has advanced in recent years to make them lighter and sturdier. If you have an older model, it may send you over the weight limit for your flight. If this happens, you will need to pay extra for the excess weight. Even if your luggage remains underweight, the size itself may be restrictive to get it to the destination, through the airport, onto the transport and so on. One alternative solution is to hire a mobility scooter at your holiday destination. This can be expensive in the long-run. If you travel a lot, there is another great solution. CareCo supplies a number of travel scooters. These lightweight devices are foldable or collapsible and perfect for transport. Some even fold down into the size of a suitcase.