Going on a Vacation?

vacationTips on Travel

Preparation for Trip:

  1. Choose your destination knowing the fact that you have a chronic pain condition in mind.
  2. Consider staying in one place.
  3. Make sure you plan activities that will not be taxing on your physical health.
  4. Schedule down time.
  5. Don’t feel you need to participate in every activity just because your traveling companions do.
  6. Make arrangements in advance for mobility aids if needed.
  7. If traveling on a plane, book aisle seats so that you can get up if necessary.
  8. Bring items from home that will make for a comfortable trip, keeping in mind that you need to keep your luggage light.  Always use luggage with wheels, try not to carry anything on your shoulders.
  9. If you are staying in a hotel, be aware of their amenities so that you don’t have to bring personal items that they will already provide.
  10. Create a playlist of relaxing music or meditation to listen to during travel times. This will distract you from worrying about your symptoms.
  11. Pack comfortable clothes.
  12. Pack protein filled snacks to keep your energy up.
  13. Pack enough medication plus a couple of extra days in case you get stuck.
  14. Have your doctor write a list of health issues and medication to bring along with you, in case you need to seek medical care on your trip.
  15. Use a pre-set packing list prepared in case of “mental fog” during time needed for packing.

During the Trip:

  1. Keep moving. Use gentle stretches and take your time as you get up.
  2. Regular, light exercise will help to avoid flares.
  3. Listen to your body. Rest often.
  4. Set an alarm to remember to take your medication on time.
  5. Drink lots of water.
  6. If traveling by car, break up travel time by stopping to stretch every 1-2 hours.
  7. Say “no”. If you are in pain, it’s okay to forgo a planned excursion. If you are with family and friends, hopefully they will understand and either reschedule or continue without you.
  8. Plan for regularly scheduled meals, as well as bedtime and wake up time.
  9. Pace yourself. Vacations are supposed to be enjoyable.

After the Trip:

  1. If possible, plan for a “light” week so that you can ease back into regular life slowly.
  2. Also if possible, have a friend or pay someone to stock your fridge before you return so that you don’t have to worry about going to the grocery store right away.
  3. Don’t feel that you have to unpack immediately. Relax, get in to comfortable clothes, drink some water and then once you are feeling more rested, you can tackle the unpacking.
  4. Sorting through mail and voicemails can generally wait one more day. If that is a possibility for you, please hold off. It could be the difference between having a flare and not having one.

Sources: everydayhealth.com, lifescript.com, healthywomen.org, myrestoredhealth.com

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