Having a chronic illness should not keep you from going on vacation. Every year, a group of my friends from high school takes a trip together. I usually tag along and bum a car ride from a friend that lives close to me. On one trip, she and I talked about how both of us located the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic before we set out on the journey.
This may sound a bit extreme to some people, but it’s just one more thing that can make your vacation more stress-free for those of us living with a chronic illness. Along with this tip, there are a few more that might make your time away from home more enjoyable.
Chronic Illness Traveling Tips
This first tip is a good one for anyone traveling. Stay hydrated, use SPF, and wear that sun hat. If you don’t have one, get out there and grab one before leaving for your sunny destination. Dehydration can cause headaches, dizziness, and low blood pressure, just to name a few things. No one needs that when trying to have a good time.
For those of us who have joint pain or muscle pain, plan ahead and know exactly where you’ll be going. You can then determine the distance between places so you’re not moving unnecessarily and aggravating symptoms.
Carve some down time into the itinerary every day to recharge or rest. A “disco nap” is worked into almost every day on our friends’ trips. Sneaking in a cat nap or a few hours to unwind is vital if you have evening activities planned.
If you have food allergies or dietary requirements, research the area restaurants to find ones that cater to your needs. This could be essential if you have multiple food allergies.
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Wheelchairs are sometimes hard to come by while on vacation. I usually rely on a cane, but when going places that require a lot of walking I need a wheelchair. The nearest zoo, for instance, has a “first come first served” policy on their wheelchairs. This is important information if you do not have your own, so research the places you’ll be going to check their policy if you will be needing a wheelchair. Some medical supply stores will rent wheelchairs for the day or week, and sites like Walmart and Amazon sell travel wheelchairs at an affordable price.
In my opinion, the most important thing when going on any trip is to know your limitations. Some of us have a limited amount of energy, and we have to choose what we’ll be spending that energy on. Do not fall into the FOMO trap and try to take part in every activity. Know what and for how long you’ll be spending that energy reserve, and then stop.
Having a chronic illness or condition should not stop you from enjoying a much needed getaway. I hope some of these tips come in handy and contribute to a great vacation.