When I travel people frequently stop and ask me about the little scooter that I use. It’s small, light and fast so I’m not surprised to hear “where did you get that?”
It’s called a TravelScoot, weighs just thirty five pounds and folds up like a baby stroller. My little scooter has been on trains (Amtrak), boats (Oceania Cruise Lines) and planes (half a dozen airlines). Of course, it’s also a regular companion in my car. I happen to drive an SUV but it can fit in the trunk of even a small car.
I’ve ridden my TravelScoot in about a dozen countries since I got it about four years ago. Its lithium-ion battery easily lasts through a day of touring and it’s toured through some rough territory including Rhodes, Greece and the ancient ruins of Ephesus in Turkey.
When flying I ride the scooter right to the plane’s door. I just remove the battery (it’s only five pounds) and store it in the overhead compartment, which is a requirement of every airline I’ve flown. The body of the scooter is taken down to the bagage compartment, usually without removing the seat or having to fold the scooter. After we land it’s brought back up to the plane door and off I ride. Once, when flying business class on an overseas trip, the cabin crew suggested that I fold it up and store it in the coat closet. Fine with me! (If you do “gate check” it be sure that it’s tagged with a gate check “return to aircraft door” tag and that you get a receipt).
Going through airport security has never been a problem, though it takes an extra few minutes as they swipe one of those explosive-sensitive pads all over it.
I’d been concerned that the lithium-ion battery would be a problem because they’ve been known to overheat and cause fires. But the F.A.A. in the U.S. and all of the airlines have guidelines for these batteries which the TravelScoot batteries meet. In fact, the batteries are labeled with their amperage and a “Meets FAA Guidelines” statement and no airline employee has ever shown a bit of concern.
There are just a few negatives about the TravelScoot that you need too be aware of.
The most troublesome is that it has a throttle that you twist, similar to the one on a motorcycle. Like a motorcycle, the throttle is only on the right handle. So, if you’re trying to maneuver through a non-automatic door by pulling it open with your right hand you need to control the throttle with your left hand, backhanded.
Also, in order to keep the TravelScoot as light as it is a power reverse gear wasn’t included in its design. So, in order to back up you need to be able to push the scooter backwards using at least one good leg.
Finally, the TravelScoot uses hand brakes, similar to those on a motorcycle or bicycle. That means you have to hold them in order not to roll if you’re stopped on an incline. This can be a little tricky, e.g. riding up a gangplank with other passengers in front and behind of you. Larger scooters have automatic brakes which make handling inclines a lot easier.
All in all, however, the pluses far outnumber the minuses and I couldn’t travel as easily as I do without my TravelScoot.
TravelScoot is made in the U.K. and is sold online at: https://www.travelscoot.com/