Summer Travel Tips for Individuals Battling Pain

Summer travel season is in full swing, and while many individuals are hitting the roads and skies over the next few months, those coping with pain may be hesitant to make plans or even dreading an already scheduled trip. 


This can be incredibly stressful for those battling acute and chronic pain, as travel is often necessary or even unavoidable. Rather than become discouraged, we recommend that our patients work with their physician or pain care team to plan ahead, with the ultimate goal of minimizing pain and maximizing the joys travel can offer. 


Pain can make travel more complicated; however, taking the proper precautions can make a huge difference. With that in mind, keep reading to see our top tips to make your journey more comfortable.


Tips and Tricks – Travel Best Practices for Pain 

Plan Early and Thoroughly: Procrastinators beware… As mentioned in the introduction, limiting chronic pain during travel requires getting creative and being ahead of the curve. The earlier you can begin planning your trip, the better – this provides the opportunity to consult with your care team, be the first to secure comfortable accommodations, like roomier seating on flights, and even save money by avoiding a last-minute booking. Finally, consider purchasing travel insurance to help hedge against surprises, like bad weather, illness or other factors that could derail your trip. 


Travel Light, Pack Smart: Being weighed down by heavy suitcases can cause an array of issues when traveling, especially when hiking through large airports or moving from destination to destination with a bag in tow. Pack according to the needs and length of your trip, but always be selective with bringing bulky items or too many outfits. If going on an extended trip, bring small detergent pods to do laundry, thus reducing the number of clothes needed. Most importantly, always keep medication and pain relief aides secure but within reach. 


Create a Health “Passport”: In addition to packing all necessary medications, ensure you have your medical information with you at all times. For example, write down a list of the medications you take, health conditions, emergency contact information and your doctor’s name and phone number. Alternatively, you can also set up an emergency ID on your cellphone or another smart device. 


Reset and Stretch Often: Travel typically means long days, lines, prolonged sitting and lack of legroom, so it is essential to listen to your body and pace yourself. Arrive early when taking public transit, like planes, buses or cruise ships, to avoid lines and provide enough time for you to pace yourself. Take breaks often, stand and stretch if possible, drink lots of water and have a snack if you feel that you’re in need of a reset. This is especially helpful to adhere to during long road trips. 


Enjoy VIP Travel: Airports are getting bigger and busier, with our local air travel hub, Jacksonville International Airport, among those growing their services and footprint. For this reason, getting from parking to your plane can involve long walks and lines, but it doesn’t have to. The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) requires foreign and domestic airlines to accommodate passengers with assistance needs for all flights traveling within, to, or from the U.S. To request these assistance services, simply contact your airline during or after booking your flight. Pro tip: Make sure to also do this for your return flight. 


Additional Travel Tips For Avoiding Pain Flare-Ups

  • Consider traveling by train: Avoid the crowds and ride in style. Trains may be slightly slower to reach their destination but boast comfort and cost savings over airlines.


  • Break up long road trips: Driving to your desired destination in one lengthy shot isn’t always the best practice for road trips. Instead, take the scenic route or recruit a travel companion to break up the drive (and hopefully split fuel costs).


  • Get comfy: Dress and pack for maximum comfort, keeping in mind the climate of your method of transportation. Additionally, bring support pillows, eye masks, essential oils, snacks and other comforts to treat yourself and stave off discomfort.


  • Bed check: If staying in a hotel or other lodging, check reviews online and check for comments on mattress firmness and comfort. Looking ahead of time can help you avoid sleepless nights post-arrival.


  • Rest & enjoy: Take it easy once you’ve made it to your destination. Rather than overdoing it after a busy day of travel, take the rest of the day or evening to settle in, get hydrated and recuperate for the rest of your trip. 


Above all, ensure you take care of your body and mind throughout your trip. Keeping up with your positive daily routines, like stretching, staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep and following your physician’s recommendations are vastly important.


Let Us Help You Make the Most of Your Trip

Do you need assistance getting back to the joys life, like travel, free of pain? If you live in the Jacksonville, FL area and are interested in improving your health, contact our team today! 


Our health and wellness team is now taking appointments for new patients and is standing by to assist you with medically proven therapeutic treatment programs to help you reach your wellness goals. So, when walking through our doors, you can expect friendly, knowledgable and compassionate care, plus dependable access to your doctor. Request an appointment today or call us at 904-724-5767. 

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