Traveling can be fun, even with a chronic illness. Do you think I allow fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, abdominal adhesions, and coccydynia to keep me from traveling? No, I don’t. Sure I don’t travel in the same manner as I did before becoming chronically ill, but with some planning, I have been able to visit some wonderful destinations. Read on to find out how you can too!
1. Research where you want to go. Is the location and climate of your destination suitable to your chronic needs? Is it handicapped accessible? Click here for more advice on choosing your vacation destination.
2. Bring extra pain medication. The average person relaxes while on vacation, a chronically ill person pushes past their limitations. By preparing for the worst you will have what you need when you pushed your body beyond its breaking point.
3. When possible plan downtime throughout your trip. Click here to find out how I incorporate downtime into my vacations.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If your body needs to rest, REST. Go easy on yourself if you have to cancel or reschedule vacation activities. Instead of letting anger or disappointment get the best of you, focus on the things you were able to do and rejoice in those accomplishments. Click here to learn about my natural sleep remedies!
5. Be realistic with your expectations. Click here for tips on adjusting your expectations in order to a fabulous trip. Don’t plan a trip that requires your body to perform as it did before becoming chronically ill. Plan with your limitations in mind, while looking for alternative ways to do what you want.
6. Accept assistance. Whether it is from a traveling companion or the staff at the airport, train station, hotel, etc., accepting their help will decrease both emotional and physical stress.
7. Choose a mode of transportation that will keep you and your body the most comfortable. Click here for tips on choosing how to arrive at your destination. Weigh the pros and cons of going where you want via a mode of transportation that will increase your pain versus traveling somewhere else in your body’s preferred mode.
8. Plan for the worst, but don’t focus on everything that could go wrong. I may experience only one outstanding moment and fifty horrible ones during a trip. Instead of tarnishing my memories with the rotten moments, I focus on the one wonderful moment and hold tight to that feeling.
9. Plan and pack with your chronic illnesses in mind. Click here for advice on keeping your invisible traveling companions happy while away from home. You can run, but you cannot hide from your chronic illnesses.
10. Allow yourself to have FUN!!!! Sometimes we, the chronically ill, feel like we don’t deserve to be happy. We often fear to be happy because we are terrified of having that joy taken from us. Stop punishing yourself and have a good time. Remember that it is okay and possible to be ill and happy.