How To Comfortably Travel With Fibromyalgia

Fear of flying woman in plane airsick with stress headache and motion sickness or airsickness. Person in airplane with aerophobia scared of flying being afraid while sitting in airplane seat

Image: Maridav/Shutterstock

Travel is a necessary part of life in our modern world. Many people enjoy the excitement of getting to see a new place and to experience a change of scenery. Jobs often require occasional or frequent travel as well. Travel feels like a disruption of your normal schedule under the best of circumstances. But when you have fibromyalgia, this can take a much greater toll on your health. Here’s how you can make travel more comfortable when you have fibromyalgia.

Schedule in Extra Rest 

Travel is likely to require more rest time to help you recover, especially if you cross multiple time zones. Make sure to block out extra time to get rest before, during, and after your trip. Schedule times for naps if possible. If you work outside the home, see if you can arrange to work from home or on an abbreviated schedule in the days leading up to and immediately following a trip.

Make a Detailed Plan

Travel doesn’t have to be freewheeling and spontaneous, and flying by the seat of your pants isn’t necessary to have a good time. Planning your daily schedule is a lot more important when you have fibromyalgia. Creating a daily plan of your intended activities limits the exhaustion that comes from last-minute changes or unexpectedly long waits. Make sure your “must-see” sites are on the top of your list so that you don’t return home with regrets over things you missed.

Have a Talk with Your Travel Companions

Most people push themselves to the limits while traveling, trying to get as much done as possible in each day. This doesn’t work when you have fibromyalgia. You may have to go to fewer places, move a little more slowly, or schedule time out for a brief siesta in the afternoon. Tell your travel companions about your limitations to help prevent them from getting frustrated with you and to make you less likely to exceed your boundaries.

Take a Comfort/Survival Kit

Your home is already customized in several ways to make you most comfortable. This is true for everyone but especially so if you have fibromyalgia. Don’t look at travel as a time when you have to live without these support items – bring them with you! Whether it’s a lumbar support pillow, thermal pads, or spray bottles of cooling mist, create your own personal collection of things that will help you feel more comfortable wherever you are.

Pace Yourself

You may not have control over the pace of your days if you’re traveling for business, but choose to see the sights on your own schedule whenever possible. You may want to avoid most guided tours as these are designed with efficiency in mind and this may push you past your limits.

Pack Light

Many people pack too much for a trip. Women are especially likely to bring far more clothes than they need, in addition to toiletries and entertainment items. But this is just extra weight that you need to lug around and that’s the last thing you need when you have fibromyalgia. Choose easy-care pieces designed to easily mix and match. Take advantage of laundry service in your hotel if necessary.

Opt Out of Some Things 

Don’t feel obligated to participate in everything if you’re not feeling up for it. There’s no harm in letting your travel companions go on to see a landmark they really want to see or do something too physically strenuous for you. Let them go and have their fun while you take a rest period and catch up with them later.           

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