When we travel we have a pile of items which come with us ‘just in case’. These are items which are handy if something goes wrong with the wheelchair or help in the event things aren’t quite as we thought they’d be. Yes, it adds to our luggage, but after driving around a city looking for a store which could help with a puncture (on the one occasion we didn’t take a spare inner tube for BJ’s off-road tyres) we know how frustrating and what a time waster it is not to have the right gear when travelling. I’m sure our well-travelled readers have more to add to this list so please pop it in comments below or over on our Facebook page.
Here’s the 5 items we think a wheelchair user should pack for travel.
We carry a basic repair kit which we get from our wheelchair supplier. We make sure we have spare bearings, any of the bolts and fittings that are unique to the chair. We also travel with spanners and screw drivers that suit the fittings in order to be able to make repairs on the move.
If we are travelling with BJ’s off-road tyres we make sure we have a spare inner tube as we’ve had quite a few occasions when we’ve needed it.
We used to always travel with a piece of rope in case we needed a tie for the wheelchair. Hubby found a far superior option which was only around $5 and it’s a Grunt tie.
It was extremely handy when we were tying BJ’s wheelchair to the golf buggy as we drove around Hamilton Island.
A WHEELCHAIR LOCK
Sometimes when we travel we’ve been so keen for BJ to access experiences we’ve taken risks. Ordinarily we are cautious with security but when we travel we are often faced with a choice, miss out by being cautious or hope for the best. I hate to say it, we’ve often hoped for the best and had to leave his manual wheelchair unsecured. We did it once in New York (Yes, I do know that was stupid) and once on the Gold Coast. On both occasions BJ had to transfer from his wheelchair to a vehicle and the tour company had no where for us to store the chair. Now we travel with a Loop Lock.
The lock travels in the basket under the wheelchair if we think there’s a chance we’ll need it. We were gifted the Loop Lock and it’s been a great addition to our travels.
You can find out more about it here.
A SPARE BELT
BJ sits very well now but there have been occasions when we’ve needed to use an adjustable strap for safety. Several times we’ve borrowed beach wheelchairs and the strap which comes on the chair has been missing or broken and this strap has been the difference of us having a day at the beach or missing out.
I’m not sure if it’s just our adventures but we find the tyres of BJ’s wheelchair get really dirty with sand, dirt and sometimes mud. A dish brush is handy for cleaning tyres before putting the wheelchair in the back of the car or before entering a hotel room.
These are just our suggested 5 items to pack if you’re a wheelchair user. We’d love to hear what you never leave home without it if you use a wheelchair.