Help yourself move past “bearable” to “enjoyable” on your journey.
Whether you’re driving a few hours to the beach or flying abroad, if you suffer from arthritis and chronic pain, the thought of traveling any distance can be unsettling.
It’s important to take precautions prior to travel to make sure that you’re as comfortable and prepared as possible. Dr. Robert Danoff, family physician and program director of The Family Practice Residency at Frankford Hospitals in Philadelphia, PA, provides some expert advice on ways to prepare yourself for traveling.
To start, a great resource is the Society of Accessible Travel and Hospitality. This website provides great tips on how to make your traveling experience not only comfortable, but enjoyable.
Also, you should consult your physician prior to traveling to make sure you have important immunizations (depending on where you’re traveling to) and plenty of medications to not only last you the whole trip, but also a few days extra in case of delays or complications.
Here are a few more chronic pain travel tips to consider:
- If traveling by plane, ask to get priority seating before the plane gets crowded.
- Take nonstop flights if possible to avoid extra walking from gate to gate.
- If a wheelchair is needed, contact the airline ahead of time to make arrangements.
- Use lightweight luggage on wheels.
- If traveling by car, take frequent rest stops to minimize stiffness.
- When booking hotel rooms, choose a handicapped access room, preferably one close to the elevator. These special rooms have devices to make it easier for toileting, showering and getting into and out of the bed.
- Take short trips first to see how they do and to fine-tune your travel routine.
- Consider trip or travel insurance to help pay for medical services in case they are needed.