Question about traveling with a rollator…

    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2007 at 2:14 am

      I just got a rollator this past week… It has 10 inch wheels to help me walk around our rural home (gravel driveway and road, pastureland, etc) and I have really enjoyed it… I actually was able to go to the mall today with my daughter, granddaughter and 4 other young girls (…birthday party outing) and could keep up with everyone and did not have to worry about a place to sit down as they shopped…

      Now, my husband and I are going to NYC this next week… I was planning on taking the rollator with us to help me get around, but I am now concerned about being able to use it in the subways, buses, etc… It is rather bulky, weighs 21 pounds, and I am starting to worrry again… How do you that have these “contraptions” (said in a loving way because I really like mine) use them in a city like New York… I have been reading about the transit system and it seems like not all the stations have elevators etc… Can you manuver one on an escalator…??? How do you get through the turnstyles…??? We will also be going to some Broadway shows… How is that going to work…??? :confused: You get the idea…

      Any suggestions would be appreciated… 🙂


    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2007 at 2:30 pm

      Hello Aimee,
      I don’t use a rollator so I can’t offer any suggestions, but I have gone into the city in my wheelchair and got on and off a train without any problems. I remember with the train, a conductor helped me on and off and put me in a place where the wheelchair could go. And a city smart friend of mine was able to push me around and take me places. I don’t walk well enough to just try it with a walker.

      If you’re going to be in NYC long enough, you could consider getting on the Long Island Railroad and coming out to Long Island to meet Codystanley. If you’d like to try it, just send me an email so we can talk. [email][/email]

    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2007 at 5:14 pm

      Hi Aimee, I do have a red rollator with small wheels. It can be folded up. Can yours? I’ve never been to New York with mine but earlier this year I took it to Thailand. We lived in Chiang Mai for two months. The country is not very handicap friendly and I could not have done it without my wife. To get on an escalator she folded up the rollator and I held on to the railing for dear life. Our apartment was one story up and here again she carried it up while I was pulling myself up on the handrail. The last flight did not have one and I had to hold onto the wall. Our friend who owned the building had one installed about a week later. Getting on a songtao, a converted truck with two benches used for public transportation, was a challenge, too. Carol or the driver took it inside for me and I somehow was able to swing my body in. I even managed to get into a three-wheel tuktuk, an open two-seater converted motorcyle. (see photos)

      At least we knew what we were getting into because we had lived in Thailand for two years before. New York apparently is new to you but I bet it’s a lot more handicap friendly than Thailand was. So I wouldn’t worry about it too much and enjoy it.

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    • Anonymous
      November 4, 2007 at 8:51 pm

      Hi, I also recently got a rollator and took it on a trip to a conference. It was the first time I had traveled since getting GBS and I was really worried, but everyone was really nice. You did not say if you are planning to fly to NYC, but I used the rollator to the airplane doors and then they took it and placed it in the hand carry-on cargo and got it out and had it really before I exited the plane at the other end. I also used an airline supplied and airline personnel manned wheelchair through the airports and the airlines were very gracious about this. I let them know before hand that I would need one, but I am not completely sure that was necessary. Some of my colleagues took turns to push the rollator alongside. It made a nice surface to put their carry-ons! I would have never made it through these big airports walking–even so I was exhausted at the end of the journey each direction. Life is quite different now. I do appreciate much more the amazing ability humans have to walk so effortlessly most of the time and hope for the day that this returns to all of us.

      I also was worried about using the rollator everyplace especially crowded restaurants and so I also took my cane. I tied two pieces of (matching blue) ribbon on the side of the rollator to hold the cane off the floor and so it did not bang into anything or fall off and so that I could remove it easily. Both were open loops, but the top one I looped to hold the cane steady. Most of the time I could take the rollator to where I planned to sit and leave it at the end of the row of seats, but there are a few times (like at restaurants or the conference meetings) that I left it at the side of the room or with the Maitre D’. I did put a “luggage tag” like thing on it with name and address so I would not lose it and kept the cane to walk with. I bet at Broadway Shows, you could check it at the coat and hat place if you could not take it to the row of seats. If you have not gotten seats yet, perhaps you should check into handicap seats which might have a space beside the chairs for the rollator or a wheelchair. You maybe can do this on-line before hand.

      i cannot say anything about subways, but one day I tried to carry it up an escalator and it worked, but I definitely would not recommend it. It takes a good deal of balance and you do not want to fall. It there is no way around using an escalator, you be in charge of yourself holding to the handrail and let your hubby take charge of the rollator for the escalator ride. I would bet there is an elevator around, though. Much safer.

      As you say, it did help a ton to be able to stop and sit down and rest periodically. I always used this as a time to look around and see the surroundings more, since it takes so much more concentration to walk now. It probably screamed tourist, but I did not care so much. I was able to GO and so happy about that.

      FYI, everyone, I also was cruising the web looking at travel and disability (because I was really nervous about physical challenges away from my known environment) and found a company that will rent electric scooters in quite a number of large cities. I have not done it yet, so I do not know the cost, but I am planning to go to another conference at an enormous conference center and am thinking about renting one of these since I cannot walk very far. If anyone has either taken their scooter on plane trips (I am told you have to prearrange this and tell them the type of battery because it is potentially explosive) or rented one at the destination, can you let us know how it went. Also if anyone is interested in the information about renting a scooter during travel, I could post it. I have the information at work.

      With Hope for cure of these diseases and accessibility for all those challenged by them.

    • Anonymous
      November 5, 2007 at 12:20 am

      I would appreciate if you would post that info about renting power chairs while traveling. I do walk with AFOs & a cane most of the time, but if I really want to walk a lot, a power chair would be nice. I do own a folding manual chair, which I know I could take on a trip, but then my husband would have to push me, as I have a permanent broken collarbone on my right side. Well, that is true, but the real truth is I am terrible at pushing a wheelchair myself, it is a lot of work!

    • Anonymous
      November 5, 2007 at 12:07 pm

      I will be travelling to help another CIDP person across the country and am wondering what help I can ask of airlines and airports! I’ve not travelled in a long time and one ‘used’ to be able to ‘engage’ a travel agent to smoothe out these issues. Seems as if they don’t exist anymore? Soo, any input you good people can share, I sure would appreciate! With new security issues, it’s like I don’t even know the right questions to ask? I would love to travel, I have turned down offers for free air trips to NYC to help going with a friend in a clinical cancer trial, but that ‘walking thing’ has put me off big-time. If a rollator could help even a bit, I will definitely go for it! Thanks all. I wish I had answers tho..

    • Anonymous
      November 5, 2007 at 8:44 pm

      Hi, here is the information about the rental of an electric scooter for travel. The company I found is called Scootaround and says they have about 500 locations (different cities). I have not rented so I do not know if they are reasonable or good, but they are big (so maybe not too terrible) and they are affiliated with Avis. The website is [url][/url] and add /locfinder.asp to this to find the cities in which they have scooters available.

      On information for traveling with special needs, I was recently traveling on Frontier and they have a nice website linked to the Dept of Transportation website about what all airlines are supposed to do for travelers with physical challenges. I found similar information on Delta (which I am flying on soon). The Frontier site is [url][/url] .

      I emailed a customer service representative at Frontier with questions about traveling with the rollator and having a wheelchair available at the airports. She was really nice and helpful on reply.

      With Hope