How to Rent Medical Equipment When Traveling

When planning a trip, it may be beneficial to rent equipment at your destination instead of traveling with everything you need. Some items may be too large to fly with or to transport in a vehicle, and renting can ensure you have everything you need throughout your trip. Your hotel or cruise ship may have some equipment available, but there are medical equipment rental companies that can provide whatever you need at your destination. It only takes four easy steps to ensure you will have exactly what you need so you can enjoy your trip.

A woman using a wheelchair enjoying time with friends

1. Determine what medical equipment you will need when traveling

Knowing the specifics of each piece of medical equipment, down to the manufacturer, make, and model (if possible), can save you time when looking for an appropriate rental option. Some hotels and cruise ships have medical equipment available, but if you are looking for specific equipment that is as close to what you're already accustomed to, then using a rental company is the best option.

Many rental companies offer the following medical equipment as short-term rentals:

  • Bed rails
  • Bed wedge
  • Fully electric hospital bed
  • Hoyer lift
  • Recliner chair
  • Motorized recliner chair
  • Trapeze

Another option to consider when choosing to rent medical equipment while you're traveling is to think about upgrading from that you use at home. This is most commonly discussed when looking to rent a mobility device, but you may find that a motorized recliner chair may be more useful than a recliner chair given the nature of your trip. Thinking about this option will make it easier to find the right rental that suits your needs and can make your trip more comfortable.

2. Explore the rental options at your destination

There are three options for renting medical equipment: renting from your hotel, renting from your cruise ship, and renting from an outside rental company.

Looking into what's available at your hotel or on your cruise ship can be an easy option when you're looking for a wheelchair or room accommodations, as both hotels and ships have some equipment. If you want to go this route, you will need to plan ahead and know exactly what you're looking for, as the representative may not be as familiar with medical equipment as you are.

The benefits of renting equipment directly from rental companies include larger inventories. Plus, many can arrange for your equipment to be dropped off at your destination and picked up before you leave. There are several rental companies depending on where you're headed, and many have offices in multiple locations, which makes it easy to rent exactly what you need.

If you choose to work with a rental company, it's still helpful to know exactly what you're looking for, as the general name in addition to a manufacturer, make, and model will help them find you a rental that is as close to the needed piece as possible. Rental companies may not have the exact same item, but they will work with you to provide a rental that has a similar setup and function.

3. Finding a rental company

Finding a rental company that you can work with will greatly depend on where your destination is located. A quick internet search may provide some results, but therre are a couple of well-known medical equipment companies to highlight that can save you time looking for the best option at your destination.


Scootaround is a mobility and medical equipment rental company that serves the United States and Canada. They have locations in many of the most popular tourist destinations in the U.S. and are open to working with you to provide medical equipment all throughout North America. Scootaround offers a no-obligation quote for transportation, rentals, and equipment purchases.

Special Needs at Sea

Special Needs at Sea is a company that provides many services, including medical equipment and mobility equipment while at sea. This is a great option if you are going on a cruise and want to make sure you have everything you need while out at sea. This company has equipment that will fit on a cruise ship, as the doorways and hallways are narrow in some places. They will work with you to provide the necessary medical equipment, so you don't have to worry about being on the ocean or on an excursion without your necessities.

4. Begin the medical equipment reservation process

Before you start reserving medical equipment, you should have the following information on hand:

  • The timeline of your trip
  • How many days or nights you'll need the equipment
  • Your destination, complete with the address of your hotel, residence, flight, or port
  • Specific information about what you want to reserve and what functions each item needs
  • Contact information for you while you're at your destination

Most rental companies have detailed websites and will have a page to start the reservation process. This will be a digital form where you fill in your specifics and initiate the rental process. Most companies also have a telephone number if you'd rather speak to someone in person to start the process, ask questions, and verify that they can provide what you're looking for.

As an example, Scootaround's rental process is as follows:

  1. Visit the rental website
    • Review the rental options
  2. Discuss the mobility rental needs and trip details
    • On the website, this may be filling out their digital form
    • Over the phone, you will discuss the details in real-time with a representative
  3. Book the rental
    • Online, you may receive an email to continue the process, or a phone call to book the reservation
    • Over the phone, you can book with the representative
  4. Use the rented items
    • When you book your reservation, the details of the arrangement will be explained. Most items are dropped off at your destination in a predetermined location
  5. Return the rental to the location where you received it

It's best to include reserving the necessary medical equipment as part of your trip planning, so you have the best chance of guaranteeing the equipment you need is available when you need it. By setting up your reservation early, you will have what you need and it will arrive where and when you need it. If you do make your reservations early, it's a good idea to confirm your reservation a few weeks before your trip so that everything is still in place, and you still have time to make adjustments if needed.

About the Author

Cory Lee

After being diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy at the age of two, Cory Lee's thirst for adventure never ceased. He went on many trips around the U.S. when he was younger, and then started taking things internationally when he turned 15. Since then, Cory has traveled to 21 countries across six continents, all while managing to start up his travel blog Curb Free with Cory Lee, where he shares his accessible, and sometimes not-so-accessible travel adventures with others. Cory is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) and the North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA). He has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, in a nationwide segment for CBS News, Lonely Planet, and many others. His blog won the 2017 Best Travel Blog Gold Lowell Thomas Award. He hopes to inspire other wheelchair users to roll out of their comfort zone and see all of the beauty that the world has to offer.

Cory Lee's ride is a Quickie QM-710.

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Date: 4/23/2019 12:00:00 AM

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