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Tips For Traveling with Multiple Sclerosis

By Daryl H. Bryant (630 words)
Posted in Living with MS on April 25, 2014

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Tips For Traveling with Multiple Sclerosis

Your Multiple Sclerosis (MS) does not have to stop you from traveling to your favorite vacation destinations. There are many ways to make traveling with MS easy and stress-free. Talking with your doctor about travel plans, organizing events and activities beforehand to avoid exhaustion, and packing smartly are easy ways to get the most out of your trip. Follow these travel tips to avoid MS symptom outbreaks and save yourself a lot of stress.

1. Double-Check Accommodations
Before you drive, fly, or reach your destination, double-check and make sure all the amenities that you will need are available at your hotel. Make sure there are working elevators, wheel-chair access, exercise rooms, and anything else you may want while on vacation. If you have specific requests, be sure and ask. If you prefer having a chair in your shower, or want a particular seat on a plane, call ahead and make sure you are choosing the room and flight that can best accommodate your needs. This is your vacation and you want to be as comfortable as possible.

2. Bring a Doctor’s Note
To avoid any confusion or dramatics through airport security, bring a doctor’s note with you. Make sure the note states the nature of your symptoms and what medications you take and are carrying with you. Keep all medication in their prescription bottles. Many airports, including international ones, may not let you carry needles on the plane, but if you have a prescription and a note for your injection, it will minimize the hassle. Also, keep your doctor’s phone number and after-hours contact information on your person in case of emergency.

3. Maintain a Comfortable Body Temperature
To avoid overheating and dehydration, drink plenty of water while traveling. Some airports do not allow outside food or drink, so carry cash with you to buy some once you’re through security. If you’re traveling with a cooling vest or cooling gel packs, a doctor’s note will save you a lot of trouble. Don’t wear your vest or gel packs while going through security, and tell the TSA staff that you are traveling with these items.

4. Pace Yourself
Vacations and travel are aimed to be relaxing, so don’t overexert yourself by trying to rush to your destination. Give yourself plenty of time to drive to the airport and travel leisurely during your vacation excursions. Get plenty of rest in-between activities and save taxing events for the end of your trip so that you can recover on the ride home. When you can, rely on others to help you. Get a ride on the airport tram instead of walking to your gate, use a wheelchair or a cane to help preserve your mobility, and if possible, travel with a companion who understands your symptoms and can offer assistance when necessary.

5. Plan for Symptoms
Organize all of your prescriptions and supplies so that they can fit into one carry-on bag. This will not only keep your luggage load manageable, but it will also make them easily accessible for any possible outbreaks. Realize that symptoms may appear while you’re traveling, but if you anticipate and plan ahead, you will be able to curb exacerbation and enjoy each day of your trip.

Keep in mind that an exacerbation lasts for at least 24 hours. If new symptoms appear or old symptoms persist for longer than a day during your vacation, see a local doctor or neurologist. It’s important to research these facilities before you travel so you know where to go if necessary. You may also ask your physician for an excess supply of your medication to carry with you during your trip. There is no reason not to enjoy traveling with Multiple Sclerosis, as long as you plan ahead and prepare for all medical circumstances.

Comments (1)

shelley posted on: April 26, 2014

Thanks for the tips. Can you please add a pininterest button, it would make it easier in looking for certain articles and tips.

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