The Essential Checklist for Traveling with a Portable Wheelchair

The Essential Checklist for Traveling with a Portable Wheelchair

Traveling with a wheelchair is a little different from your usual traveling trips. Packing, planning, and the experience during the travel are different. This necessitates a clear understanding of the steps required to simplify travel, which can be overwhelming.

Don’t worry, as you can use this article for that. Get and use this checklist to ensure that everything’s in place. With these valuable tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth journey and fun travel experience.

Master Checklist When Traveling With a Portable Wheelchair

Make sure to keep the following things and tips in mind if you want a good experience with your wheelchair:

Ensure It’s Allowed for Traveling

Make sure that your preferred mode of transportation accommodates your specific type of wheelchair for your travel needs. For example, depending on the type of battery used by powered wheelchairs, not all of them are airline-friendly. They should be approved and aligned with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) guidelines for air travel.

Bring a Portable Ramp

Some places might not be wheelchair-friendly and can’t be accessed using one, so bring a portable ramp with you. This can make access easier. Portable ramps are relatively inexpensive and mostly travel-friendly, so you can bring one, especially if traveling by car. Ensure someone can assist you in pushing and guiding your wheelchair up and down the ramp.

Let the Airport Know

Call the airport or airline at least 48 hours ahead if you travel by plane. Some airlines can only accommodate a certain number of wheelchair passengers. So the earlier you can contact them, the better. Afterward, Inform them that you’re traveling with a wheelchair. This way, they can make a note and assist during your scheduled flight if needed.

When you get to the airport on the day you're leaving, tell the check-in counter staff immediately. They'll send someone to help you with a wheelchair. If you have a bunch of bags, they might help you carry them for easier traveling.

Pack Medical Supplies in a Carry-On

You can bring your necessary medications in a carry-on regardless of your transportation method. This isn’t a problem when traveling by car or cruise. Plus, most airlines allow this without charging for extra.

Store everything in one bag so you always have everything with you. If you’re not sure if this is allowed for free, you can ask your airline to make sure.

Consider Bringing Wheelchair Accessories

Wheelchair accessories can make traveling less stressful and more convenient. Choose the ones that you would deem most usable to enjoy your trip. 

For instance, a mobility seatbelt can give you extra security during transit. At the same time, a cushion can enhance your comfort when using the wheelchair for long periods. Attaching a holder can join the mobility devices for people who use transport chairs and sometimes use a cane. This makes them easier to manage.

Pack a Basic Repair Kit for the Wheelchair

There’s always a possibility that the wheelchair can incur damage on your trip. It’s best to be prepared in case this happens, so consider bringing some of these:

  • Wheel patches, tubes, and other spare parts are available for easy replacements.
  • Allen wrenches are used to adjust certain parts of the wheelchair when they loosen or come apart.
  • Duct tape and zip ties are used to fix simple issues, like a damaged seat cushion or backseat.

Bring a Charger/Battery for Power Wheelchairs

If you’re using a power wheelchair, make sure you have a charger. This way, you can charge the battery when needed. Bringing an extra battery would also be ideal, especially if traveling via car. With these, you can continue enjoying your trip even when your battery gets low.


Traveling with a wheelchair isn’t impossible and hard. Just make sure you have everything planned and packed to make the trip less stressful, not just for you but for your companions as well.Use this checklist for the best results. If you’re still looking for a wheelchair to use or accessories to bring, you can check out our portable wheelchair collection as well!

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