The lead feature in Amplitude‘s May/June issue offers tons of outstanding amputee travel advice—how to plan, whom to consult, where to book, what to read, and so forth. Unfortunately, we ran into the same problem during layout that we usually run into when we’re packing our suitcase: There wasn’t enough room for everything to fit. In this case, the thing that didn’t fit was a list of products that might make the road a bit smoother for the amputee traveler. Some are specifically designed for that purpose; others are multiuse products that just happen to address the needs of amputees on the go.
The handful of items on this list are mainly beneficial for people traveling with a lower-limb difference. Give them a look before you hit the highway.
GTech Armour Hand & Skin Sanitizer
One of our sources never leaves home without GTech Armour, and here’s why: It’s a fantastic deodorant and disinfectant for hard-working limb-care accessories. Spray it on your sockets, liners, and socks at night before you sink into that plush hotel bed, and wake up to fresh gear that’s ready for another day of sightseeing. You’ll get more mileage out of your stuff, enabling you to pack a little lighter and play a little harder. GTech is 100 percent skin friendly, nonallergenic, and kid safe, and it doubles as plain old hand sanitizer—to which we’re still addicted, more than a year into the pandemic.
Amputee Essentials Prosthetic Leg Bag
Most U.S. airlines won’t charge you for bags that are specifically devoted to medical devices. So by lodging your leg(s) and accoutrement in their own bag, you can pack smarter and cheaper. Another benefit: If wary TSA agents need to satisfy their curiosity about your prosthesis, they won’t need to turn your regular suitcase inside out to do so. Amputee Essentials’ leg bag comes in both above-knee and below-knee dimensions; you can carry it as a duffel or sling it over a shoulder. Extra bonus: The bag includes a hanging toiletry kit that you can hook over a towel rack, giving you convenient access to limb-care products while you’re on the road.
Carex Folding Crutches
We include these with a caveat. Although they’re very highly rated on Amazon (average 4.5/5 over 2,000+ reviews), Footless Jo gave the Carex crutches a decided thumbs down for lack of comfort and difficulty of assemblage. Her opinion carries weight; balance it against the utility of a mobility device that’s practical, adjustable, relatively affordable, and specifically designed for travel. More than 1,700 Amazon customers gave the Carex crutches either 4 or 5 stars, so we feel safe in recommending them despite Jo’s poor experience.
Latitude Nano Bagpack
Q: Is it a carry-on suitcase, a messenger bag, a computer tote, or a backpack? A: It’s all of the above. We found this item at Accidentally Accessible, an online emporium for amputees and wheelchair users, and its versatility really grabbed us. As you shift among crutches, prosthesis, wheelchair, and/or other mobility modes throughout your travels, the Latitude can morph to meet the moment.
iAccess Travel App
Brandon Winfield’s smartphone app for adaptive travelers went live last March, during the same week global travel completely shut down because of COVID. No worries, he told us at the time: “We’ll still be here when everyone’s ready to start traveling again.” And so they are, with crowdsourced reviews of accessible hotels, restaurants, bars, tourist attractions, and other destinations. Recently upgraded to v2.2, the app covers venues from just about every angle. You can get details about everything from parking to sidewalks, stairs/ramps, restrooms, and seating areas. Because of the pandemic travel pause, a lot of venues out there remain unreviewed; download iAccess and get crackin’.