Packing for your Invisible Traveling Companions
I may be able to escape my everyday life by going on vacation, but there is no escaping my chronic conditions. Other than making sure I packed my medication, I rarely gave my conditions any consideration or thought. This led to some disastrous getaways. Thankfully I began viewing my illnesses differently a few years ago and it has made for some wonderfully memorable trips.
Finally accepting that I couldn’t escape my illnesses, I began thinking of them as extra passengers. I even named them: Fibro Fannie, Polly PsA, and Agatha Adhesion. This trio is with me wherever I go. It is much like traveling with my children. They get antsy, irritable, and have temper tantrums. Like when my children were young it is imperative that I bring along items to comfort and calm them.
*This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission when a purchase is made from my links. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this blog and funds the giveaways in my Facebook groups. This post was originally written in 2016 and parts have been updated in 2019.
More than the bare necessities
Imagine taking a road trip with your little ones and bringing nothing with you to entertain them or to comfort them. In addition to bringing their favorite videos, coloring books, blankets, pillows, and/or stuffed animals I also brought items that they would need for accidents. I kept extra clothing and a first aid kit in an easy to access bag. Thankfully I rarely needed to open that bag, but I was prepared just in case.
When packing for a trip with my temperamental trio I go beyond the bare necessities of caring for them. Besides my medication I bring items that provide my body comfort. Having things like my heating pad or icepack in my hotel room makes getting through a surprise flare a better experience than if I hadn’t brought them. Being prepared for the worst has also made it possible to get through my flare faster than if I or my human traveling companions had to find a store to purchase what I needed after the fact.
Before you begin packing, think of all the items you use to comfort yourself throughout a flare and write them down. Next go through that list and check the items that you will be able to bring along. Even though you may not be able to bring everything, you can see if those items or services you use are available at your vacation destination. For example, you can’t bring along your masseuse, but you can book your stay at a hotel/resort that offers massages. My husband teases me about the amount of luggage I bring on our trips, but he understands the importance of packing for my conditions. Sometimes I never have to use any of the extra items packed and other times I have used them all.
Here are some of the items I bring on vacation in addition to my medication and Oska Pulse:
For my body:
- Heating pad and heat patches
- Refillable icepacks and emergency icepacks
- Pain relief lotion
- Pain stick
- Neck pillow
- My favorite blanket (for road trips only, I bring a smaller throw when flying)
- Sleep mask
- Ear plugs
To entertain me if I end up having to spend time alone at the hotel:
These items do more than keep me occupied when awake for hours, but unable to go anywhere, they also serve as a distraction.
Instead of only focusing on all the fun things you want to do on your next getaway, take time to think of the worst tantrums that your invisible passengers could throw and plan accordingly.