Travel Hacks for Parkinson’s Fighters

Travelling after Parkinson's

While traveling with Parkinson’s may not be a carefree experience, you can still enjoy an awe-inspiring trip to the mountains or plan a weekend getaway to the beach if you engage in some smart planning and preparation. Here is a step-by-step guide to making the most of your trip, without thinking too much about your symptoms.

Things to do before journey

  1. Visit your doctor to figure out how you should handle medicine timing with changes in time zones (in case of international travel). If possible, ask your doctor to provide you with a prescription for extra medication to cover the length of your trip.
  2. Before you travel, ask for a medical certificate that explains why you are carrying certain medication. This will be helpful when you will go through customs.
  3. Check with the embassy of the country you are visiting to know if they have any restrictions on the prescribed medication.
  4. Always travel with a list of your medications, along with dosages and scheduled times for dosing and notations of allergies. This information will be essential if you end up visiting emergency room while traveling.
  5. Efficient packing can make a big difference. Making a checklist of the essentials beforehand will help you not be over packed. Choose comfort over fashion. Since your mobility should be a priority during travel, pack comfortable clothes (wrinkle-free items with elastic waistbands, pull-overs without buttons).
  6. Make sure that you customize your bag in a way that each item is distinguishable. Personal hygiene items and toiletries are easier to handle if you have a compartment-type bag. Rolling bags or bags providing easy access to each compartment are your best bets.
  7. Pack your medicines in your carry-on bag to avoid any chance of being separated from them. It is also important to carry them in their original packaging if you are passing through security at an international airport.

Things to do during journey

  1. Whether you are travelling by air, train, bus or car, you need to utilize this time to activate your muscles. Pumping your legs or stretching your calf muscles can be done anywhere. 
  2. Stretch your back, shoulders and arms every few hours.
  3. Elevate your feet while sitting to avoid blood pooling in feet.
  4. Drink plenty of fluids during your journey if you have low blood pressure.

Things to do during your hotel stay

  1. Ask for a hotel room on the first floor that is equipped with shower chairs and grab bars if you tend to freeze.
  2. Even If you have arranged an accommodation where meals are provided, you may want to check what is served to you.
  3. Making slight changes in your PD diet is okay. But, you should always avoid overdoing it.
  4. Keep your room clutter and other fall hazards-free in case you need to use the bathroom at night.

Things to do during sightseeing

  1. Get an early start to avoid heavy traffic, which can leave you feeling pressured.
  2. Be realistic about how much energy you have for sightseeing or eating out.
  3. Either break the trip up into shorter distances with frequent stops, or travel with a companion.
  4. Consider eating out during ‘off hours’ to avoid being rushed and prevent fall.

This Blog is contributed by Dr. Rimpy kanwar. She has more than 8 years of working experience in the field of Physical Therapy. Her expertise lies in ortho-neuro and Pulmonary rehabilitation cases. 

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