July 12


Ten Travel Tips for the Sick and Tired

By Sue Ingebretson

July 12, 2011

asthma, chronic fatigue, diabetes, fibromyalgia, medications, plan, Travel, Travel tips, water


Travel is stressful.

Whether traveling for fun or for business, getting ready for a trip is often half the battle. But, if you happen to suffer from chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, asthma, or cancer, you might use up your energy resources even before you leave the house.

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 now to plan will save you from frustration later.

These ten tips will jump-start your travel success:

1) Make a list of medications/supplements/medical supplies/foods you’ll need while you’re gone. Having required medications and a healthy snack ready-to-go is invaluable for those unexpected travel delays. (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, put mail/newspaper on vacation hold, leave extra key for house/dog sitter, toss leftovers in the fridge, secure windows/doors, 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).

4) Plan ahead for personal accommodations necessary for air travel. Book bulkhead or exit row seating for extra room. Call airlines, if applicable, to verify that your needed medical supplies may travel as carry on items. (You DON’T want to learn what’s acceptable and what’s not 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 agenda. 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.

8) This should be obvious, but pack comfortable shoes and clothing. Also, even in the summer, 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, and blankets 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 as a priority will assure you’ve begun with your best foot forward.

Happy trails!

  1. Thanks Felicia! Lists are a necessary part of life, and they certainly can help to make events like traveling, a bit easier to manage.

  2. Sue,

    Just got back from Europe and thought I would pass along this tip.

    I bought a nice looking lightweight vest with four pockets. One was used
    for money and chapstick, one for passport and plane tickets, one for
    sunglasses and reading glasses and one for a very small camera and map.

    They all had snaps I felt very safe and didn’t have to worry about pickpockets. Also I have don’t like the discomfort of a shoulder strap and the vest added an extra layer of warmth, but wasn’t uncomfortably hot.

    Finally since I’m getting more ‘scattered’ with brain fog this was a great way
    of having everything attached to me and didn’t have to worry about leaving things behind.


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