The summer is coming and the city breaks, holidays and travels are booked. If you use a rollator or a wheelchair in your daily life than you will take it with you as well. But travelling with a walking aid requires some extra precautionary measures. Not only for the rollator user, but for the whole travel party.
When preparing in advance, the journey will be easy and you and your company won’t face any unexpected surprises. In this blog we have ten tips that will help you with the preparation so your entire adventure will be smooth and fun.
Tip 1: Tell in advance that you are travelling with a rollator
Make sure to announce the traveling agency, the hotel and/or de airline company in advance that you travel with a rollator. They can take this into account and make traveling as easy as possible for you. Ask all your questions so you get a clear view of possible obstacles like which part of the hotel, park or terrain is accessible for you, and what are the services you can use.
Tip 2: Prepare trips online
On the websites of most museums, theme parks, zoos and attraction points you can find information for people who use walkers or a transport chairs. Check which outings are rollator friendly and if there are special queues for people with disabilities. Online you can find lots of tips about accessible tourist attractions that will decrease the risk of you getting frustrated during your holiday. It is always handy to know if there is an elevator you can use or an accessible toilet.
When you plan on visiting Amsterdam, for example, we recommend you to have a look at Able Amsterdam website, for all kinds of useful information about the accessibility in the Dutch capital.
Tip 3: Choose which rollator to bring with you
There are plenty rollators available on the market with different features and benefits. Discover what is the best rollator option for you by looking at what you need in a rollator both at home and while travelling.
Do you need a rollator for most times but also a wheelchair for when you get tired? There are models that are both a rollator and transport chair in one, like our Rollz Motion, so you can easily transform it from one to the other when needed. This way you will need to bring along only one model to your holiday, which also translates in less space in your baggage.
Tip 4: Keep your rollator in one piece during transport
There is always a risk your rollator gets damaged during transportation, while being in the trunk of a car, in the back of a taxi or in the aircraft. De consequences can be more than a scratch as it can be heavily damaged so your holiday will start with the wrong foot. A firm travel cover can be the solution to keep your rollator in one piece. Practice using the travel cover beforehand to make it easy during your travels.
Tip 5: Get a good insurance
Accidents can happen, you might get hurt, your rollator might be stolen… a good insurance can be the answer to all these. If your rollator broke down while travelling, take pictures of the damage so you can use them to get the service covered by your insurance company. Read in advance your insurance policy to know the steps you need to take in case of any unpleasant event.
If the damage is not that severe, contact the supplier of your rollator, who can give you advice about possible solutions, so that you will be able to use it again. Many things can be fixed by a normal bike shop.
Tip 6: Step in the bus from the double door
When you step in a bus or a tram, it is better to use the double-door entry, same as people travelling with a baby buggy. These doors are usually placed at the middle, where you also have more space to park your rollator and there is often the possibility to keep it within reach.
Tip 7: Which one is yours?
Some places have special arrangements for disabled people so it might happen that you need to leave your rollator aside and use a special mobility aid. With crowded occasions, a mistake can be easily made when picking your rollator back. We advise you to put your name on yours (or choose a model with an eye-catching color), to decrease the chance that somebody walks away by accident with your walker.
Tip 8: Take your time
Make the travel plans flexible, this way you won’t feel rushed and you can take your time getting from place A to place B. When you have to catch a train at a certain time, make sure to leave early to the station as you could get delayed on the way. If you arrive early, you can calmly drink a cup of coffee and write some holiday cards.
Tip 9: Keep your rollator within reach
If you travel by car (or you go to the airport by car) keep your rollator on top of the other baggages in the trunk. Or place it on the back seat. This way you can easily grab it when you reach the destination or when you make a short stop at a full station.
Tip 10: Let your rollator be checked
Before you travel it is better to let your rollator checked by specialists, who can see if the brakes are rightly adjusted or advice you on other safety measures. Your rollator should always be in its best form, to provide you with good support. Just remember to be a little careful on foreign roads, until you get into the new grip rhythm.
A good quality walking aid will increase the ease and comfort during your travel. All left for you to do is to pay some extra attention to details that are specific to a rollator/wheelchair user and arrange as much as you can ahead of your trip.