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Traveling and Chronic Illness: Tips And Tricks of the Trade

I travel quite a bit, both through planes and road trips, especially in the past few years.

With Christmas coming up, I figured maybe I could share the tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way when dealing with a chronic illness.

Here we go!

1. You cannot overplan. Trust me on this one.

I’m a huge planner, but with chronic illness, I truly believe you need to plan more than ever.

When you change your routine, your immune system weakens, which, when you already have a weakened immune system, basically means you’re guaranteed to get sick.

By planning, you can solidify a routine. Not only that, but it takes away a lot of the stress, which can weaken your immune system more.

I go as far as planning my meals and bed times. I do leave room for things to get moved around and switched, but even having a rough idea of what you’re doing when helps tremendously.

2. Start packing a week before.

I get sick a lot. I also am extremely forgetful. By packing in advance, I find myself less likely to forget something and it removes the last minute stress.

Plus, if I do get sick during the week I plan to pack, I can take that day and rest as opposed to trying to hurriedly pack while sick. It just gives me more flexibility.

3. Have all your medications on your person.

The amount of times my suitcase has gone missing is probably up for a world record. Your medications are super important. Keep them in the original packaging and have them in your purse or carry-on; that way they are with you at all times.

4. Take an extra day to rest.

This applies more to road trips or long plane trips over time zones, but traveling is exhausting. I live in Illinois, and I have been traveling back and forth to Michigan (about a four hour drive or so) a lot lately in preparation for the college move. I always prefer to stay overnight or go a day early to give myself time to rest from the long ride. It may cost more to pay for a hotel that night, but it will be worth enjoying your trip; trust me on that one. This has been a game-changer for me.

5. Vitamin C is your best friend.

I am a firm believer in the magic that is Vitamin C. I start drinking a ton of fresh orange juice and eating a bunch of citrus starting at about a week before my trip, through my trip, and for a week or so after. It has just about eliminated any weird traveling cold that I might be susceptible to getting. Whether you get your Vitamin C from orange juice or Vitamin C chews, be sure you are getting a good amount in.

6. Baby wipes.

These things are a life saver when keeping everything clean. I always carry around at least one package of unscented baby wipes. They are so multi-purpose it’s ridiculous, plus they can help you keep clean and avoid germs if you’re like me and allergic to hand sanitizer.

7. Don’t get sushi. You’ll thank me later

Pretty self-explanatory, but honestly food poisoning is not completely uncommon. Be wary of what you eat.

8. Have a Health History Binder.

This is especially helpful if you’re someone with many health issues. A good video on how to make one is on Chronically Jaquie’s YouTube channel. I highly recommend putting one together; that way if an emergency does occur you have all the information you need.

I might make a Part 2 if I learn more, but for right now, just be sure to have fun! After all, you’re traveling!

“See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
– Ray Bradbury

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