Key features to look for in a world traveling mobility scooter (2023)
Until you have had the experience of trying to go from home, to airport, to cruise boat, to tour bus, to Uber and back again, it is really hard to know what is really needed for mobility during such an adventure. The reality is, it is very doable and very easy. The trick is just to make sure you have the right equipment to make it possible.
Here are the absolute essential features we have found a world travel scooter must have:
1) It has to be very light. No matter how many features a scooter has, if it weighs too much to get in and out of a car or to carry up and down stairs, you will grow to hate “the beast” that kills your back and saps your will to get around.
2) It has to collapse into something that can fit into a trunk and JUST IN ONE PIECE. Only certain models are small enough to fit in a trunk of a car. Many mobility scooters require the removal of the seat and/ or taking apart various sections. This is not only a nightmare because it has to happen each and every time getting in and out of a car, but it also means the seat rides on someone’s lap, which the basket rides on someone else’s lap.
3) It has to use specific airline approved battery capacities. Airline travel requires removable lithium batteries that do not exceed 300 watt hours. This is a key requirement. Most scooters use larger batteries that do not qualify and cannot go on an airplane.
4) It needs to be stable. Once given power, mobility scooters can become “tippy” and unstable. That is a recipe for injury for elderly and disabled individuals. 4 wheels and speed controls are essential to minimize these risks.
5) It needs a seat back. This sounds logical, but so many scooters have this as only optional or as no option at all. It’s exhausting to sit all day on a mobility scooter without the ability lean back and have back support.
6) It needs a grip/pull style throttle. Some scooters power by pushing a lever forward with the thumb. Try doing this for hours at a time. Most hands, especially older, arthritic hands, cannot tolerate it.
7) It needs storage. Again, this is often considered an optional perk with many mobility scooters. It does not take long to realize that a mobility scooter not only needs to transport a person, it also needs to transport their belongings as well.
8) It needs to fit in a narrow cruise door. Narrow doors are a hallmark of ships. This translates to not being very accommodating to mobility scooters. This is a difficult, but essential feature for a mobility scooter if it is intended to be used on a cruise boat.
That’s it! There you have the basic, key features that are indispensable when buying or renting a travel mobility scooter. Happy travels!