A vacation is usually the high point of many people’s year, but for those with chronic pain, a supposedly fun getaway can herald anxiety. How do you cope with the long-haul flight or the interminable lines at the airport? How do you enjoy relaxing by the pool or intrepid exploration when your pain distracts you? How do you stick to your nutrition plan? How do you avoid a flare-up, which might sabotage your itinerary? That’s where chronic illness travel tips come into play.
“I love planning a vacation,” says Megan,* 34, “but I get increasingly anxious in the week leading up to the trip. I wonder whether I will enjoy it, whether it will be money wasted. I also wonder whether it’s a wise move health-wise, given how far I will be from my comfort zone and the medical professionals who usually support me.”
We asked women with chronic pain for chronic illness travel tips, including how to make traveling less stressful and more comfortable. With a little forethought, hopefully your travels will be a little more bearable — if not enjoyable.
*Names changed as these interviewees requested anonymity.
A version of this article was originally published August 2018.
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