Skip to content

Tips for Traveling With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Font Size
A
A
A

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, you know rheumatoid arthritis is one thing you can't get away from. But it doesn't have to derail your travel plans.

Try these tips for taking care of your RA and avoiding joint pain while you're on the road.

Recommended Related to Rheumatoid Arthritis

Why Yoga Can Be Good for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Regular exercise is a must when you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA). "It's important to keep muscles strong to support the joints, and movement is important to reduce stiffness," says Susan J. Bartlett, PhD, an associate professor of medicine at McGill University in Montreal. Yoga can be a fun alternative to walking, swimming, biking, and other activities. Exercise, including yoga, helps you maintain a healthy weight and get fit, which in turn takes pressure off your joints. Plus it makes you less...

Read the Why Yoga Can Be Good for Rheumatoid Arthritis article > >

Traveling With RA: Before You Go

1. Do your homework. Find out as much as you can about your destination and plan all the details you can ahead, including what places you'll go, how you'll get there, and what your travel companions can do when you need a rest.

2. Time it right. Choose a time when you are most likely to be feeling your best. If you are prone to flares during the heat of the summer or the hustle and bustle of the holidays, for example, try to avoid traveling during those times.

3. Don't rush. Although vacations can be fun and restful, they can also be stressful. Try to plan an extra day at the start of your vacation to prepare and another at the end to rest and recuperate before going back to work or regular activities.

4. Ask about immunizations. If you will be traveling overseas, ask your doctor about any immunizations you may need. Keep in mind that some immunizations are not advised if you are taking medications that suppress your immune system.

What to Pack

5. Select the right suitcase. Purchase a suitcase or carry-on with wheels, and push instead of pulling it. Use both hands. Doing so will conserve energy and avoid strain on your hands and shoulders.

6. Pack light. A lighter suitcase is easier to push -- and lift, if necessary. If you find that you must lift your suitcase -- into your car trunk or the overhead bin on a plane, for example -- find someone who can help.

7. Don't forget your health info. Write out a brief medical history and list of medications you take. Include contact information for your primary care doctor and rheumatologist, as well as your health insurance information.  

8. Mind your medications. Pack more medicine than you think you will need and divide your medications among your different bags. If one bag is lost, you should still have enough medicine to get by. Leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or family member. If you lose your medications or are gone longer than expected, have them fax you your prescription.

 

Today on WebMD

rubbing hands
Avoid these 6 common mistakes.
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Four that fight inflammation.
 
mature woman threading needle
How much do you know about these RA myths and facts?
Patients who take the product would get no
This may lead to worsening symptoms.
 
Lucille Ball
Slideshow
Hand bones X-ray
Article
 
prescription pills
Article
Woman massaging her neck
Quiz
 
woman roasting vegetables in oven
Slideshow
Woman rubbing shoulder
Slideshow
 
Working out with light weights
Video
arthritis
Article