Traveling with fibromyalgia can be tricky. It requires planning, rest times, and grace for yourself and others. It can be daunting to travel far or engage in vacation activities that will deplete your energy, both physically and emotionally.
Whether you are going on vacation, traveling for work, attending a convention, or taking a trip for some other reason, it’s vital that you pack your meds. You should pack more than you need for the trip in case you run into circumstances that prevent you from returning as scheduled. I highly recommend packing the prescription bottles themselves rather than a pill container. That way you can get a refill if necessary by showing the bottle to a pharmacist. If you’re flying, be sure to keep them in your carry-on, in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.
When I travel, I first make a list (a few days ahead of time) of everything I need. I check off each item as I pack, using a different color pen for the original trip as well as for the return trip. I choose a lightweight case with an extendable handle. I take a few necessary clothing items and I roll them up so I can fit more items in the suitcase. I get toothbrush and soap holders for convenience. I also purchase sample sizes of my shampoo, deodorant, powder, etc. I keep any makeup items in a small bag. If I’m concerned about something leaking, I put it in a zip-close bag.
If you’re traveling by car, you should get out every couple of hours and walk a bit. It will help with pain and stiffness from sitting so long. Regardless of how you travel, be sure to move around a bit when you can. If you use medical devices such as a wheelchair, walker, or cane, ensure the mode of transportation you have chosen will accommodate it. I always bring my own pillow as a comfort measure and because it took me forever to find the right pillow for myself. Do whatever is going to give you the most comfort.
When you arrive at your destination, build in some rest times. You may not be able to do all of the activities you’d planned, but that’s OK. Let the people you’re with know your needs and limitations. They can’t accommodate or understand if they don’t know. Another good idea is to have protein-rich snacks on hand, such as nuts or nut butter, Greek yogurt, and healthy protein bars. Do what you can to avoid a flare-up and be sure to pace yourself. Your body will thank you.
I am unable to travel comfortably anymore, but I’m hopeful that I can again someday. I would love to hear any travel tips that you have found work for you. Others may benefit from them as well so share away. Wishing you amazing, pain-free adventures!
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.