Angela’s love of travel didn’t diminish with her mobility. Although she suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), she was determined to make the most of her ability to participate in her family’s love of world exploration by finding the best foldable wheelchair.

Her family had rented a villa in Tuscany and enjoyed cooking lessons taught by a local chef. They had toured France and visited Giverny, the site of Monet’s famous gardens. She got by for a while using a cane, relying only occasionally on a wheelchair as she grew tired on long trips.

But as the disease took more of her mobility, Trudy realized that if she wanted to continue to experience travel adventures, she would need a wheelchair that would be easily portable. Her teenage daughter wanted to take a service trip to Guatemala, and she was determined to go along, although she was unsure what kind of wheelchair could handle the humid weather and unpaved terrain at their destination village.

What she really needed was a wheelchair that was smart, powerful and portable, that would easily transport her through an airport, that could be stored on the plane, and that would easily get her though the day without needing to be recharged.

Visit to shop for best foldable wheelchair on the market.

In the air

Air travel is often stressful, and for people with disabilities, it helps to be prepared and know what to expect. Advocates for the disabled recommend that people who use wheelchairs let Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents know what their needs are.

Often airlines and airports have representatives who are specifically trained to work with people who have disabilities, and disabled travelers can request that they be present to ease the process. Some airports, including Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, even offer forums on how to make traveling with a disability easier so travelers know ahead of time what to expect.

The U.S Transportation Department requires that airlines provide priority storage for a passenger’s folding wheelchair on aircraft with a seating capacity of 100 or more seats. If an aircraft designed to have a capacity of 65 or more seats actually has fewer than 60, it must provide an onboard wheelchair to accommodate passengers with mobility impairments.

Other airline accommodation requirements for travelers with disabilities include movable armrests and accessible restrooms.


Ease of travel

More tourist destinations and travel companies are becoming aware of the importance of accommodating travelers with disabilities as well.

New York City offers a digital resource called Accessible NYC that steers travelers towards accessible events, entertainment venues and transportation. The city’s commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities said that of the more than 60 million people whovisit New York City every year, about 10 percent have disabilities.

There are even organizations that pair disabled travelers with an able-bodied “travel buddy” or that form travel groups that mix disabled and non-disabled travelers.

Choosing the best foldable wheelchair

In order to make the service trip to Guatemala happen, Angela needed to consider the logistics of traveling with a wheelchair. Although she would be with a group that included her daughter and other strong, willing helpers, she wanted to make sure moving her chair wouldn’t be a burden for any of them. It needed to be lightweight and easy to- fold, yet also powered so she wouldn’t need anyone to push her.

She needed the best foldable wheelchair on the market, but thought a power or electric wheelchair would be bulky and not as easily portable as a manual wheelchair.

Then her research led her to the IntelliChair, a foldable wheelchair with a powerful electric motor that can fold flat for storage. She found that many disabled and elderly wheelchair users prefer the IntelliChair folding electric wheelchair is because it is lightweight, portable and easy to carry. It seemed that it would be the best foldable wheelchair to meet all of her needs.

The wheelchair is available in both a base model and a larger version. Angela chose to purchase the bigger, faster, sturdier IntelliChair XL model, which is designed to easily tackle many types of urban and rural terrain that were previously hard to access in a wheelchair, such as grassy lawns and steep ramps. It seemed like the perfect solution for her upcoming Guatemala trip.

Visit to shop for best foldable wheelchair on the market.

Important features

The wheelchair is lightweight but sturdy, and is equipped with top-quality rubber wheels that can’t go flat. Its nimble steering mechanism made it easy for Angela to control.

The sturdy, stainless steel frame seemed like it could stand up to the rigors of not only international travel but also a tropical environment.

For extra protection on the plane, Angela ordered a travel bag. She also accessorized her chair with an attachable cup holder to help ensure she stayed hydrated in the tropical heat.

But especially important to Angela was the chair’s smart design, which made it simple to fold. Because it easily fits in the trunk or back seat of most cars, it is equally as portable on a trip abroad or to the local mall.

Also appealing to Angela and her teenage daughter was the array of colors she could choose from. Known for her fashion sense, especially her love of distinctive eyeglass frames, she was drawn to the idea that she could order the wheelchair in a statement color like pink or yellow.

And Angela knew that unlike power-hungry travelers who spend their airport waiting time tethered to a smart-phone charging station, she would be ensured a full day’s worth of travel by simply plugging in her new wheelchair overnight.


Problem solved

Angela had found the best foldable wheelchair, one that would allow her to continue traveling despite her limited mobility. Packing her passport and mosquito spray, she set off on her latest adventure.

Visit to shop for best foldable wheelchair on the market. Learn more about the IntelliChair motorized wheelchair here.