Have Amigo, Can Travel!

Friendly Wheels, Issue 62
April 2013

Featuring Amigo owner Jann Hartman of Seattle, Wash.

 

To say that Amigo owner Jann Hartman is well-traveled is an understatement! Along with her husband John, Jann has accumulated an extensive travel history, including trips to Mexico, Canada, Jamaica, Bermuda and most of Europe.


Though her travel companion John passed away six years ago and is dearly missed, Jann still enjoys adventures when she can. Jann received her first Amigo -- a used classic yellow front drive -- from a family member in the early 90's.
 

 

"Without that sweet yellow Amigo, I would not have been able to enjoy the trip of a lifetime in 2000," Jann said. On that trip, Jann and John visited 11 countries in 27 days via Eurail pass, including a trip to a post-polio conference in England before moving on to France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Iceland.

 

"I never realized how much I was not doing before I got my Amigo. I left everyone in the dust after I got it! I don't need anything fancy, I just need a good, dependable product," Jann said.


Throughout her travels, Jann has documented her experiences -- the good, the bad and the ugly! She started a blog called "Have scooter, will travel" in 2000, and has also contributed to a website called "Gimp on the go."


Even with all the wonderful experiences Jann has had, her travels have not been without a few bumps in the road. Here are some tips and tricks that Jann has learned along the way to help you be prepared, no matter where your travels may take you!

 

  • Be very specific when explaining your needs. If a destination cannot meet your needs, you may need to switch rooms or arrange for additional assistance.
  • Have your equipment serviced before your trip. Small tweaks or replacement parts may help you avoid problems down the road.
  • Adaptors are important when your "legs" run on batteries! Using the wrong adaptor can ruin electronics -- Amigo recommends a power convertor that is rated at 200 watts minimum.
  • Carry a basic tool kit in case small repairs are needed. Bungee cords can also come in handy!
  • Mark your mobility equipment clearly so people do not assume it is offered by the airport or attraction -- Jann uses post-polio stickers.
  • Never travel without duct tape -- it can fix a variety of problems!
  • Double check your Amigo when it is delivered to you by baggage claim. "Once they brought me my base and seat, but not my battery," Jann said. It is important to double check everything and make sure you have all the necessary parts.
  • Be careful on unfamiliar terrain and drive slowly -- many places that seem accessible at first glance may have hidden dangers.
 
Jann's number one rule is to be prepared. "It is important to prepare for the unexpected, and a travel agent can help you prepare and ensure that anywhere you go is truly accessible for you," Jann said. "But if something goes wrong, don't get upset -- when you travel there is always potential to run into problems."
 
 
Jann is hoping to sail on an Alaskan cruise for her next adventure. "I feel fortunate to live in this day and age where we have a lot of advantages available to us," Jann said. "Without my Amigo, I wouldn't be going anywhere."
 
 
Visit these websites for more of Jann's favorite travel resources: www.ricksteves.comwww.cruisecritic.com and www.gimponthego.com.
 
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