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Thread: Flying to Italy with a power chair ... any tips?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Flying to Italy with a power chair ... any tips?

    Hi, I'm Chad - I'm Ami's husband. I've been registered forever but never ever post here or even lurk, but many people know my wife here as zillazangel - get it? he he he. Anyway.

    We are going to Italy, Florence to be exact in November. I am petrified of actually taking my power chair, but Ami thinks we should try. So we decided to come here and ask for advice, ideas, tips, arguments against it !! and the what not.

    So, commence with the scoop on going to Europe from the States with a fat ass power chair that costs more than our car and would be real bad if it got broken ....

    Chad, C4 complete for a long time, uh 17 years

  2. #2
    How do you plan to transport the chair once you get to Italy? Wheelchair accessible buses, trains and vans are few and far between and if found, VERY expensive in Italy. In addition, while there are curb cuts in some areas, they don't exist in many, so a bump up a curb is more common than not when doing the tourist thing. Lots of museums have no elevators either...you may need to find help to carry you up a flight of stairs...and no one is going to volunteer for this with a power chair. I would recommend at least taking a manual chair too, but consider not taking your power chair at all.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    We are ging to Spain next year and not taking my powerchair for all the reasons KLD mentions.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    The old city in Florence has VERY narrow streets, TINY sidewalks and lots of motor scooters scootin everywhere. I would leave the pwr chair if you can manage at all in manual.
    Couple of other hints: attach a high flag to the chair and a couple of bright scarves to increase your profile. Take the narrowest chair you have. Be sure you have some wide tires and maybe increase the front caster size and/or dump in the chair. You're going to be in for some rough riding, so be aware. 800 year old cobblestones just don't make for a smooth trip. Lots of crowds and most churches have front steps.
    That said, buy some cool leather and eats lots of gelato. And the wine is good .
    I'm planning on being Florence in October and will be taking a look at accessablitly for a possible return w/ my son (he's a para, though, so no no pwr chair issues). I'll report back here when I retrun (Rome also, if you care.)
    BeeBee

  5. #5

    Thanks

    Thanks for the info. I am a high level quad and cannot get around in a manual chair unless someone pushes me, and my wife will be there for work, so we are going to Plan B - bringing a dedicated "pusher" to push me around in my manual chair. Thanks for the insight.

    Chad

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse
    How do you plan to transport the chair once you get to Italy? Wheelchair accessible buses, trains and vans are few and far between and if found, VERY expensive in Italy. In addition, while there are curb cuts in some areas, they don't exist in many, so a bump up a curb is more common than not when doing the tourist thing. Lots of museums have no elevators either...you may need to find help to carry you up a flight of stairs...and no one is going to volunteer for this with a power chair. I would recommend at least taking a manual chair too, but consider not taking your power chair at all.

    (KLD)
    Of course, we always ALWAYS bring my manual chair when we travel for a backup. The conference for my wife's work was planning the transfers, but I think we'll go with manual only after reading this thread.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    Another consideration: recharging the power chair. Make sure you have the correct outlet (plug in) and that the current change won't blow your battery. You will most likely need a converter (for the current) and an adapter (for the plug).
    BeeBee

  8. #8
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
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    A dedicated pusher is a good idea.
    BeeBee

  9. #9
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    Ibot

    Have you considered getting the IBOT wheelchair, which climbs stairs?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Clipper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ip
    Have you considered getting the IBOT wheelchair, which climbs stairs?
    An iBot would not be appropriate for someone of Chad's level.

    I never travel with my power chair, most definitely not to Europe.

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