Posted on Friday February 1, 2019
Tom and Pauline Morel thoroughly enjoy traveling. They often take trips with their family, and have gone on several cruises with their daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Matt Jankowski. (Read about one of their previous adventures here.)
Matt, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2002, learned about Amigo Mobility after he was introduced to the Michigan Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He found Amigos to be easy to use; so, he and his father-in-law, Tom, who has difficulty walking long distances, rented Amigo TravelMates to use on one of their cruises.
They ended up liking the TravelMates so much that they continued to rent the mobility carts for many vacations.
“I wouldn’t be able to travel without it,” says Tom. “The TravelMates go just about any place. They’re not big or bulky, and we could go about seven miles on a single charge.”
The last vacation Tom, Pauline, Matt and Carol took was a cruise on the Carnival Victory ship that took them from Miami to Key West to Cozumel then back to Miami.
As people who have traveled multiple times with power operated vehicles (POVs), they have a few valuable tips to offer people who may be considering traveling with a mobility cart.
Be sure to give yourself extra time, and space. It takes a little longer when packing mobility equipment, and more space too. When Tom and Matt travel together with their TravelMates, they need a vehicle big enough to carry both carts.
Make arrangements for commuting—from the airport to the hotel, etc. These small trips can become a hassle if not prepared for in advance.
Many hotels offer shuttle services to and from nearby destinations. It is helpful to call ahead to the hotel to find out if this service is offered; and, if it is, if the vehicle can accommodate a POV. If not, public transportation services sometimes offer accessible equipment. The bus seen below in Key West, Florida provided a lift and accessible seating. Renting a van or SUV or requesting a large-size taxi vehicle are other possible solutions.
Flying with a POV, so far, for these savvy travelers has been fine! Pauline noted that they’ve had more trouble flying with a gallon of distilled water to use in a breathing machine than they’ve had with the Amigos.
When they’ve flown with the TravelMates, they’ve been allowed to preboard and drive right up to the door of the plane. At the door, the TravelMates are folded and airport staff stow the carts with the luggage. After the plane lands, their TravelMates are brought to the door so Tom and Matt can use them again.
What’s next for this family of travelers? A trip to Yellowstone National Park is in the works. Tom says he plans to rent a yellow TravelMate again—with a bumper sticker that reads: “Yellowstone or bust!”
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