The Arthritis Newsletter

Spring 2014

Travelling & Your Arthritis

By Sharan Rai


The end of classes is a wonderful and highly anticipated time of the semester. While you are no doubt currently spending hours upon hours studying for finals, some of you may be lucky enough to be planning a get away to a sunny destination for a few days once the madness has ended. Below are some tips to ensure that your vacation is safe, healthy, and fun!


  1. Make sure your travel itinerary allows for some flexibility. For example, if you are planning a more physically demanding activity (like hiking), and you wake up feeling not so great, then it’s good to have a back-up, more low-key plan (like checking out a nearby restaurant or going to a show).
  2. Be mindful of excessive alcohol consumption. Even though it’s a student trip tradition (and it seems like everybody around you is doing jello shots), it just really isn’t a good idea. Especially if you’re on a medication like methotrexate!
  3. Travel with people you are comfortable with. Plan a trip with friends who know and understand your condition. Doing so will make you feel less inclined to “keep up” with everybody else, which will reduce stress and benefit your health.
  4. Don’t push your limits. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re on vacation, but be sure not to overdo it. Listen to your body and take time to rest when you need it. Space your activities out, and be sure to plan for a couple of relaxed days in between all of the fun.
  5. Pack sunscreen and sunglasses. As a lupite, I constantly worry about being in the sun. As a result, I carry sunscreen and an extra pair of sunglasses in my bag at all times. If warranted by your condition, make sure you take similar precautions, especially if your vacation destination is very sunny.
  6. Ensure that your travel insurance is up-to-date. Also, make sure to obtain a letter from your physician if you’re travelling with syringes (i.e., biologics), and plan ahead for biohazardous waste disposal.
  7. Pack an extra supply of prescription medication. You never know when/if your flight is going to get delayed (for example), and it might be helpful to have a couple extra days’ worth of medication on hand just in case!
  8. Have fun! You’re only young once, so if you travel responsibly and listen to your body, you’ll be sure to have the time of your life.
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