We feel it incumbent to not only recommend and stand behind products that will serve you well, but also to protect you on your travels. In other words, we want to give you the best in mobility both at home and abroad. We accomplish this in many ways. A lot of people do not know whether they want a scooter or a power wheelchair when they come in the store. We help people identify their thoughts, dreams, and aspirations, and practicality of one vs the other. More times than not we can make it an easy decision for the individual. When discussing mobility products with you in the store or on the phone we are always going to inquire about your future travel plans. It is important for us to know not only your intentions of a scooter or power chair at home, but also wherever you might be going.


Travel Trends

TravelAge West indicates several evolving trends with respect to vacation travel. First, vacation travel will not abate in 2023. It is going at a breakneck pace compared to 2019 and shows no signs of weakening. Second, people are booking further into the future, indicating a vote of confidence in the economy. The U.S. Travel Association said that travel spending totaled $93 billion in February – 5% above 2019 levels and 9% ahead of 2022 levels. America’s excitement to travel is at record highs; 55% are planning to prioritize leisure travel more highly. Much of this travel is via the airlines as they too are seeing upticks in ticketing.


Use Caution with Airport Technology

Technology continues to evolve. Changes in airport technology coming soon include contactless payments, facial recognition software, autonomous security robots, and biometrics – all designed to make your travel easier and smoother as well as help the airlines realize greater profit margins. But technology also threatens your on-line security. One thing that continues to mind boggle cybersecurity experts is the degree to which travelers use the airports wi-fi system. Airport wi-fi is a dream come true for hackers; thousands of opportunities to steal data in a small, congested area. Despite countless attempts to warn individuals and businesses about the dangers of using airport wi-fi, individuals admit that easy access to the internet is just too important; or just too easy. Individuals want to be able to access company files and do company work during their down time between flights. They want to check email and open unsecured files. Even if you ‘pay’ for a secure wi-fi connection, you are using your payment credentials across an unsecured public network to get that secure connection. Not the smartest thing.

If you do have to access the internet to check mail or go to secure resources, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your privacy and security of your information. There are numerous inexpensive security software programs that detect malware, phishing, viruses, and other harmful attacks and stop them before they get to your files. Many are easy to download and easy to use.

Airport charging stations also represent a critical threat. The USB charging stations at airports are just like the USB ports on your computer. Besides charging, they are also uploading and downloading data. Cybercriminals can alter those USB charging ports with malware that start downloading all your phone data as soon as you plug your phone into the USB. Forbes reports that “since January 2018, 566 million records from the travel and transportation industry have been leaked or compromised in publicly reported breaches.” The best idea is to take a charging battery with you – they are inexpensive, available in stores and on-line.


Traveling Easier with Golden Technology

One thing you do not need to worry about is your mobility transportation. You are familiar with Golden’s introduction three years ago of the fold-down Carry-On scooter, also known as the GB-120. We have sold hundreds – it has been a major hit with those who travel and have mobility challenges. The GB-120 Carry On Scooter has traveled throughout Europe, around NYC, the cobblestone streets of Savannah and Charleston, and the Mojave Desert. It has successfully conquered these and many other places. Earlier this year Golden Technologies introduced its Golden Cricket and Golden Stride. Both are fold-down, light weight power chairs utilizing lithium-ion battery technology. The Cricket (GP302) is made with carbon fiber; the Stride (GP301) with aircraft aluminum. And there-in lies the difference; the Cricket comes in at 33 lbs and the Stride at 58 lbs. A lot more people can pick up a 33lb chair than they can a 58lb chair. Both have their strengths but for our purposes today we are going to focus on the Golden Cricket. You will also see the Pride Jazzy Carbon demonstrated and tested in the video. But again, we are focusing on the GP302 Golden Technologies Cricket.

The all-new Cricket Power Wheelchair is stylish, agile, and the most portable power wheelchair to date. Crafted with an incredibly strong yet lightweight 100% carbon fiber frame, the Cricket weighs as light as 33 lbs., making travel easy! Its tight footprint is perfect for navigating indoors and out. It folds down to 30” long, 22” wide and 14” thick. It is easy to pick up. You can be comfortable in the smallest of apartments or on the biggest of boardwalks. The Golden Cricket is perfect for sightseeing, shopping, or dining. It has a roomy seat cushion and durable mesh back. The Cricket aligns with the natural curves of your body providing long-lasting comfort. The Cricket features a well-styled joystick designed to make everyday tasks easier, like driving up to a table or maneuvering through a doorway. It has an impressive 22” turning radius and offers a 300 lb. weight capacity. The maximum speed is 3.7 mph, and it has an operating range of up to 9.3 miles on a single charge. The Cricket has an airline-approved 12 AH 24V lithium-ion battery. It also offers convenient offboard charging and folds effortlessly for transport. The Cricket GP302 offers excellent performance and industry best portability. For such a small powerchair the Golden Cricket has 8.5” rear tires and 7” front tires. With a 2.6” ground clearance you can ride comfortably over small obstacles (like sticks and rocks). The seat is 17” wide and 16.5” deep, providing most riders a comfortable seating area.

Lithium-ion batteries make such a difference in today’s scooters and power chairs. The Cricket battery weighs a lightweight 3.8 lbs which means if nine miles is not enough, you can always purchase a second battery to get you up to 18 miles! Additionally, lithium-ion batteries have a lifespan far superior to the lead acid batteries that we have been using for years now. We rarely see a lithium-ion product come back in our store that we sold three to four years ago. The lithium-ion phosphate batteries that we use in our store today have twice the power of traditional batteries, charge up to five times faster, and are 100% safe and reliable.


Join in the Fun

The pandemic caused many people to reconsider the priorities in their lives and what many people discovered was that they were not going to wait until retirement to enjoy their dreams. Seniors found they did have the money to take that special cruise or go on that long-awaited trip. In that sense the pandemic helped us re-prioritize and refocus.

We want to help you enjoy those awaiting moments; whether that is getting out and around more in the town where you live or going to a different state. Should you take that special trip across the oceans we want to help you find the tools and mobility equipment that will make your trip memorable, and safe. As we have discussed, please be careful with any technology, where and how you use it. Now you know that airports can be danger zones for internet usage; bear in mind that the same rules apply anywhere you are using internet and wi-fi. That would include (but not limited to) hotels, theme parks, shopping malls, coffee shops, etc. There are tools available that help secure your data and if you do travel often you may want to research what tools are best for you.


About Affordable Medical Equipment

Affordable Medical Equipment is a 16-year-old DME (durable medical equipment) company based in West Columbia, S.C. We are a small, private, family held company that strives to be the best in our industry. We accomplish this by providing unparalleled levels of customer service (listening to customer needs, doing what we say we are going to do – when we say we are going to do it, following through on promises), technical services and maintaining proper levels of inventory. Our technicians have a combined 50 years of knowledge and experience working on most of the diverse types of mobility and home care products. We work with manufacturers that provide training, documentation, and parts for the equipment they produce. Our inventory was kept above average levels even during the height of the pandemic. We worked tirelessly to find the equipment that we knew you needed during that time. We do make mistakes sometimes, but we try and keep them to a minimum and quickly addressed. You can find out more about us at www.affordablemedicalusa.com or call us at 803-926-1493.