I get to go on a road trip! I’m so excited! The great thing about this trip is that I get to go to a conference with one of the sweetest ladies in the whole world who I’m fortunate enough to call my friend! The downside is I’ll be having to travel with chronic illness as well. My constant companion.
As I’ve been planning and packing for this trip I decided to create a checklist of sorts so that I’m always ready when I’m able to pack up and go. Along with the checklist, I’ve pinpointed a few tips to make my mini-vacation more enjoyable and keep my symptoms in check. I wanted to share them with you so when the opportunity arises you’ll be ready to hit the road!
Here are a few essential tips to remember as you travel with chronic illness:
- Plan in advance.
- Visit your doctor for his recommendation in case there are certain health conditions that would prevent or limit the ways you’re able to travel (ie: airplane).
- Renew your prescriptions and order any medical supplies you’ll need at least two weeks ahead so you’re able to pack up the supplies you’ll need.
- Make a checklist of travel items so you won’t forget anything and you won’t have to rely on your foggy brain for memory. Keep the list in a handy place so you’ll have it for your next trip!
- Get your clothes in order.
- Be sure to have multiple layers. I prefer short sleeve sweaters – they’re warm enough and will allow me to stay cooler than a long sleeve top.
- Keep a thin sweater, jacket or blanket in your bag – so it must be one that doesn’t wrinkle easily.
- Have a few coordinating and comfortable outfits listed so you can grab the pieces you need and make sure they’re washed and ready. Do it by season and range of dressy-ness – possibly snap a photo of yourself in a complete ensemble and list the pieces on the back. This way you also know how you look in it! Bonus!
- Have water and healthy snacks on hand as well as planned times and places to stop for meals.
- Have a travel med case ready to go.
- Include sanitary and incontinence items – you don’t have to announce you have them if that might embarrass you but it’s less embarrassing than the alternative.
- Have a list of your medications including the times and dosage.
- Have your doctor’s phone number available.
- Exercise self-care the week prior to leaving.
- Include some activity that will boost your self-confidence such as painting your nails, coloring your gray roots or getting a haircut (but it’s not the time to try something new). New chemicals could affect you and a new haircut you don’t love will actually lower your self-confidence.
- Inform your travel partner of any specifics you’ll require and what they need to know concerning your illness and limitation.
- Find the location of the hospitals nearest your destination and make note of the directions.
- It’s a good idea to inform your travel partner of this as well.
- Have what you need to sleep comfortably.
- Do you use a body pillow? Take it! Do you need a heating blanket? Take it! Not getting adequate, quality rest while traveling can sabotage the entire trip! Don’t skimp on your bedtime essentials.
What do your travel preparations look like? Share your best tip in the comments below!