Vacation Checklist: 8 Must-Pack Items
Getting ready for a vacation, no matter how exciting, can sometimes be stressful. Traveling with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) does not need to add to that stress. If you pack wisely, your trip can be more pleasant and rewarding. Here are a few tips on what to pack and why.
Cold/Heat Wraps of Compresses–After a long day of walking or standing, these can soothe your arthritis symptoms. Before you pack these, make sure you will have a microwave, refrigerator or ice nearby.
E-reader–This lightweight device weighs the same whether you save 10 books or one on it. An e-reader will give you more room to pack and reduce weight on your joints. As an added bonus, you won’t have to agonize over which books to take while away.
Comfortable Shoes–Your travel shoes should be easy to slip on and off at airport security. For longer plane rides, you should also consider that feet tend to swell while sitting for extended periods.
Compression Socks–For longer flights, talk to your doctor about compression socks, as these can reduce swelling in your feet and lower legs.
Medication–Don’t leave your medications to the last moment. Pack early and make sure you have enough for your entire stay. If you do not have enough, try to get your prescription refilled ahead of your trip, or see if you can get it filled at your destination and take a copy of your prescription with you.
Daily Pill Organizer–An organizer saves precious packing space by reducing the number of medication bottles. Also, by organizing your medication needs for every day away, you will see if you need to refill a prescription before leaving.
Small Cooler & Ice Packs–Coolers or ice packs are critical for medication that needs to be refrigerated. If you are flying, make sure you call the airline ahead of time to find out the best way to work with them to ensure your medication stays cold.
Chair Exercise Guide–Search online for “airplane exercises” and print out a few to discuss with your doctor to see what you can and should try to do during your flight. These exercises can help prevent your joints from getting stiff and can also improve your overall circulation.
There you have it – a travel checklist to help support your needs as someone living with RA. Remember, if you think ahead and come prepared, your vacation experience will be that much more rewarding. Bon voyage!