10 TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE SICK AND TIRED
Travel is stressful.
Whether traveling for fun or for business, getting ready for a trip is often half the battle. But for those who are feeling not-so-healthy on a good day, travel is a whole ‘nother fettle of kish!
Do you have chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, asthma, or cancer? If so, you may worry (with good reason) that you’ll use up the limited energy you have — even before you leave home.
Planning ahead is a good idea for any traveler, but it’s absolutely essential for those who are sick or live with chronic conditions. Spending the time to plan now, will save you from frustration later.
Keep these ten tips in mind to ease you into becoming a successful traveler:
1) Make a list of medications/supplements/medical supplies/foods needed while you’re gone. Having required medications and a healthy snack ready-to-go is invaluable for those unexpected travel delays. (HINT: Don’t skip list-making even if foggy-thinking isn’t one of your symptoms.)
2) Make a list of “before we go” to-do’s needed around the house (i.e. turn off/on automatic watering systems, adjust settings for your home’s heating or air conditioning systems, place mail/newspapers on vacation hold, leave extra key for house/dog sitter, toss leftovers in the fridge, secure windows/doors, empty the trash, etc.).
3) Make a list of clothing to pack (looking at items on paper helps to organize and coordinate outfits maximizing the use of your luggage, and minimizing the need for multiple accessories).
4) Plan ahead for personal accommodations necessary for air travel. Book bulkhead or exit row seating for extra room. Call the airlines, if applicable, to verify that your needed medical supplies may travel as carry on items. (You DON’T want to learn what is and isn’t acceptable as you go through airport security.)
5) Drink water. Being properly hydrated helps to improve pain levels, memory, digestion, and fatigue, so start your trip off right. Drink plenty of water and, if applicable, bring it with you as you travel.
6) Include rest/relaxation opportunities on your travel and sightseeing agendas. PLAN to take frequent breaks to stretch, breathe, walk, or exercise.
7) Consider breaking longer trips into shorter segments. For instance, a one or two night stay in New York City makes a nice break when traveling to Europe from the west coast. And, if taking a road trip, consider staying in one location a day or two before moving on.
8) This should be obvious, but pack comfortable shoes and clothing. Wear clothing in layers that can be added or removed as necessary. Even in warm weather, pack scarves, jackets, etc. for that too-chilly airplane, museum, or restaurant.
9) If luggage space isn’t at a premium, bring along your favorite pillows, neck rolls, heating pads, blankets, and coffee or tea mugs to make travel away seem like home.
10) Above all, be kind to yourself. Be patient as you enjoy new and unfamiliar surroundings. Setting your health care concerns as a priority will assure you’ve begun with your best foot forward.
Do you have interesting travel plans this summer? Do share!