Travelling with Arthritis

For people with arthritis travelling can be a challenge as activities such as carrying your luggage, extra walking and long periods of sitting can take their toll and make you feel uncomfortable.

Where possible, try and plan your journey and be realistic regarding your ability. Many arthritis sufferers find driving for extended periods can cause them severe discomfort and that travelling by train, aeroplane or bus is often preferable if undertaking a trip over a long distance. When booking a flight ask, after explaining your medical condition, if it is possible to book an aisle seat or a seat that has increased leg room. It is also important to get up and walk along the aisle during the flight in order to prevent your joints from becoming stiff.

Another option is to take a cruise holiday. These usually make fewer stops and it is possible to stay on board the ship and just enjoy the numerous activities the cruise has to offer. With so much tempting food on offer it is easy to over indulge, so be careful what you eat as a diet that is not balanced may have an affect on your condition.

Before You Travel

It is also important that you talk through any worries that you have with your doctor, before you go away. Your doctor will be able to offer you advice about such things as what to do if your inflammatory arthritis suddenly flares up on holiday. Your doctor will also be able to review your medication.

There are a number of things that may be worth considering when you make your holiday booking, to make getting around easier. Try and find a hotel that is convenient to the area that you plan to spend much of your time. For example find out how far your accommodation is from the shops, beach and restaurants, depending on your taste.

If you plan to make good use of the hotel’s pool ask that you be given a room that is easy for you to reach this, and other, hotel facilities. Also, book a room that has handrails in the bathroom to enable you to access the bath, shower and toilet without too much difficulty.

Some hotels also make use of a shuttle service to take guests out and about. Ask the hotel staff for its destination and frequency of service, including the time of the last trip.

If you are planning to hire a car during your stay ask that it has power steering, power locks and windows and anything else that you may find difficult to operate otherwise.

What To Take With You

It will be much easier for you to carry if your suitcase has wheels. Things to pack could include comfortable walking shoes, plastic bags to make ice in in case of flare ups, your pillow that you use at home, as this can make sleeping easier. Use a back pack if practical when you are out and about and make sure you take enough medical supplies with you as getting supplies may be difficult, depending on where you are travelling to.

It is also an idea to take a list of medications with you in case you require medical care during your stay, along with details of your doctor.

When you are at the airport ensure you have sufficient time to reach your departure gate. Many airports offer a shuttle service and wheelchairs to help reduce the distance that you will need to walk. Luggage trolleys are also available at most airports.

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