Americans who traveled for Thanksgiving journeyed for an average of 214 miles in order to reunite with friends and family.
Traveling during the December holidays ratchets up these miles. The average traveler in the U.S. logs 275 miles during the winter break. That’s a lot of extra hours in a vehicle.
If you are living with pain, it is important that you talk to your doctor about appropriate activity levels as well as any outright restrictions on your activities. The last thing you want is to be in pain and be away from home! Here are some tips and suggestions from our staff:
- Verify travel plans ahead of time to help ensure that plans meet your accommodation needs. Double check that wheelchairs are available if you need them and that your plane is on time and your connections still viable.
- Prioritize sightseeing and leisure activity goals in case unexpected pain compromises your activity for a portion of a day. Don’t feel guilty if you stay back at the hotel and rest. It’s your vacation.
- Pack wisely: Include prescription medicine, medical devices like braces and other physical support items. Don’t forget comfort items you use to help reduce pain like ice packs, a heating pad or support pillows.
- Know your limitations and take breaks as needed as you travel, including sightseeing and socializing time with family and friends.
- Dress comfortably for the ride (with layers if you suffer from circulation issues that cause you to be cold).
- If flying, take items like medication and pillows in your carry-on.
- If the airplane is full and you are requested to “gate check” your carry-on luggage, this is because the overhead compartments are filling up. The airline wants to depart on time, so they take your bags from you to expedite the boarding. IF YOUR MEDICINE IS IN YOUR BAG, don’t let yourself be rushed into giving up your bag. Tell the agent that you need time to remove your medical devices. Often, the gate agent will relent and let you take you bag on the plane, since you are slowing down the process. In the worst case scenario, at least you will never be separated from your medication!
- Try to stretch or do some light activity in the airplane, the car, or wherever you are cooped up to prevent muscle soreness and blood clots in the leg.