Question from Chantris: I will be traveling to Puerto Rico the first of the year with a group of girlfriends. We are staying in a beautiful Airbnb that looks to be pretty accessible except for the showers which don’t have chairs or benches. I am partially paralyzed from the waist down and a bilateral lower limb amputee. Anyone have a portable chair they’d recommend that they travel with? Ideally it would be compact enough to fold into a suitcase.
Hi Chantris, I’m Pinky ; one of your Forum moderator’s . Fabulous question for our community, because quite a few of us know your challenge well from having shown up at a supposedly “accessible” hotel/room; only to discover the room is nowhere close to the ADA standards we like to hold hotels too in the States.
In fact, I have the exact same issue with the hotel I love to stay in St. Martin. They aren’t technically an accessible hotel, but with the exception of needing a shower seat in the walk-in shower… everything else totally works with my wheelchair to stay there. (Well, I do also bring an extra portable shower bar; just in case). They have tried giving me plastic chairs to try in the shower, but they just ends up causing sores or you slide off. So, I had heard of these amazing benches in a magazine awhile back and just have to share with you my find.
Mobility Solutions makes several types of portable benches; all designed to travel. If you don’t need a slide bench to get over a tub edge, then check out their “Go Anywhere: Sport Tub Bench”. The thing is so small you could literally fit it in a carry-on bag. PLUS… right now it’s on sale for $169! (Vs. Reg $399; which is still a bargain). They also have the slider bench style for $619 (vs. Reg. $1550); and several other models that you can easily travel with to Puerto Rico. Plus, check out the accessories section on the order page, which allows you to customize the chair more to suit your personal needs (and chair colors) with armrests, headrests, positioning belts, travel suitcases for chairs, etc…
Now you probably already know this but wanted to share with our whole community in case they weren’t aware; but almost ALL airlines will allow you to fly with as much medical equipment luggage that you need to travel with. And I have tested those limits with giant duffels full of my positioning pads and floor pads for PT/OT as well as many other items I need to be able to be away from home. Never have been given any problems with it; you just need to alert the airline before arriving at the airport (usually through the airlines “Special Services” departments) online or by calling. Just don’t put anything else in those bags that could be interpreted as just your personal belongings because some international places I fly home from have inspected the contents of the bag at check-in. (Also, never been told no in those locations).
Hoping some of the communities’ suggestions will help you find the right one for you? Just be careful where you order from that you confirm they have the item “actually” in-stock right now and not on backorder. Sadly, a lot of medical supply places never actually have the items in their possession when they sell it to you; they just order it from the manufacturer and have it shipped to themselves first or drop-shipped directly to the customer. Even be careful on Amazon unless they are making a guarantee it can be delivered in a short window of time; preferably in-stock at an Amazon warehouse. The third-party vendors on Amazon are just the same medical supply stores that you find on Google and who don’t keep anything in-house.
Please, please, come back and tell us all about your stay and what equipment you tried out (And if it worked/didn’t work for your needs)? That would be very helpful to us all in the community for when we run into the same situation or may want to try Puerto Rico.
Have a Fabulous time.
Keep on traveling everyone; It’s our world too!
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