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Tips for Traveling With Rheumatoid Arthritis

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On Your Way

9. Don't just sit there. Sitting for hours in a car, plane, bus, or train can lead to stiff joints. When driving, stop once an hour to stretch and walk. When flying or riding a bus, try to get an aisle seat so you can stretch and get up and walk.

Flying With RA

10. Avoid crowds. Avoid standing in long lines and flying in crowded planes. Ask the airline or travel agent about times with the least traffic.

11. Bring a doctor's note. If you use medications that require needles, bring a doctor's note or prescription to avoid trouble getting through security.

12. Avoid stops. When possible, arrange for nonstop flights. That way you won't have to walk long distances through unfamiliar airports.

13. Arrange for assistive devices. If you use a wheelchair, label it with your name, address, and destination airport and ask that it be loaded "last on/first off."  If you use a cane, you can take it on board with you. Although you will need to stow it at takeoff and landing, you can use it during the flight.

 

Traveling With RA: Where to Stay

14. Pick your room location. When making hotel reservations, request a room on or near the main level so you won't have to worry about stairs.

15. Request a refrigerator. If you take medications that need to be refrigerated, an in-room refrigerator is a must. It can also come in handy if you need a quick snack to take medications or to boost your energy level after a day of sight-seeing. 

16. Look for amenities. A pool can help you maintain your exercise routine, a hot tub can ease sore joints, and an on-site restaurant or room service is helpful if you don't feel like going out at mealtime.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David Zelman, MD on July 16, 2013
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