I have a severe back problem and am flying alone to and from scotland this summer. I am meeting my husband in edinburgh and will be getting wheelchair assistance in the airports. I am torn between wheeled and nonwheeled luggage as my experience in flying is that I will be carrying my bag on my lap while in the wheelchair but I may have to handle a cane and my bag for a short distance. I am planning on traveling veryvery light and stowing my bag under the seat since I can't reach the overhead bins. I am wondering about other's experience. Once I am in scotland I need to use a crossbody day bag in a fairly large size due to meds and such. I can't use a backpack because I can't twist it around to the front very well and a shoulder bag throws off my balance. I need lots of pockets/organization. I like to carry a small knitting project to keep me occupied during my rest time. I also am trying to keep my clothes packing to a minimum by wearing pants that roll to capris that are nylon/lightweight quick dry. I wear size18 so I can only find tilleys for110$ and still have to be hemmed. I don't like the look of zipoff and shorts tend to ride up and are too uncomfortable. I have done many searches on these questions and I'm just going in circles. Any suggestions?
Something I've done for years, a wheeled backpack is great! I never wear it on my back and always use the wheels. The reason I use the wheeled backpack is because I like the size. It's still pretty small but can fit a lot in there. You can easily hold it on your lap if you had too. I'm not disabled, but I am very short! I always have a hard to getting my bag on the shelf above, but a kind tall man always offer to help.Fellow travelers are often very friendly. Most of the time someone offers to help, but if they don't I just bat my eyes and ask for help. So far they are happy too. Sure it's nice to be independent and I'm independent enough that I travel Europe by myself. But if you can't reach something, why injure yourself and ruin your trip? You are not a week person for asking for help when you need it. A flight attendant can even help. So, please think about the wheeled backpack. I got mine at Office Depot of all places!
I think it's great you are going to Scotland!
If you are taking the direct flight to Edinburgh, you should be able to take a wheelchair straight through to the plane door at both ends. Edinburgh's a very small airport with no long distances to travel, and your husband will be able to meet you just past customs (you'll have to clear immigrations and customs, but you can do that with a wheelchair).
When thinking about carry-on, you might want to remember that flying back to the US you will only be allowed one carry on (see www.baa.co.uk). Also, although knitting needles are allowed on planes in the US, I don't think they are here - it's up to the whims of the security folks. So you might want to pack your knitting in your checked luggage coming home to avoid problems if they get stroppy at security. (I wouldn't worry about checking something - it usually takes no more than 10 minutes to get luggage at Edinburgh and I've never had anything lost).
Have you looked at adaptive clothing sites? You may find clothing that makes it easier for you to dress. I'm not sure you'll need pants that roll to capris; Scotland's summer temperatures are usually much cooler than U.S. summer temps. I lived there for a year, and the Scots considered 80 degrees Fahrenheit to be an extremely hot day. A day that warm was rare. If you feel you must have roll-up pants, have you considered finding someone to sew them for you? As for your need for pockets, how about lots of pockets in your clothing? This site has great patterns for travel clothing with hidden pockets:
80 degrees! I'm happy when it cracks 70 degrees and the warmest days are often in late May and early June. If it's cloudy or the haar (sea fog) rolls in, it can be very chilly even in the summer.
You'll be fine with lightweight pants and perhaps one pair of capris for the warmer days. The important thing is to have layers because the weather can change in a second. Also, you want to have a good lightweight rain-jacket that you can slip on and off if it does start to rain. It rarely rains heavily, but something that'll keep the damp off is invaluable.
Check out "Catherines" stores and their website. They carry womens clothes starting at size 16 and going up, up, up. I've also found light weight pants (cotten blend) at K-mart in larger sizes (costs about $12)
An excellent source for lightweigh travel supplies is... a camping store. They are the very best at making items lightweight, ingenious and portable. Also, rather than a backpack, I prefer something more like a tote bag - it sounds like that would work for you, and they can also usually fit underneath the seat in front of you, so you don't have to worry about the overhead bin. Once again, check out camping or exercise supplies for some good options.