Peripheral Neuropathy: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Trying to think of everything you need before taking a trip can be overwhelming. No matter how you try, you won’t be able to plan for every possible contingency. This guide will eliminate some guesswork so you can relax and have a good time. A little preparation will offer you neuropathy pain relief while you travel.

Before The Trip

Traveling Abroad? Traveling inside the US is a lot different than traveling outside the country.

  • Remember to bring adapters for all electronics to suit the country to which you are traveling. Phones, CPAP machines, and other devices may be inoperable, or you may cause electrical problems in the buildings where you stay if you plug US devices into another country’s power system.
  • Verify your medications are legal in the country where you’re traveling. The consulate will be able to give you specifics. Be sure to have a letter from the doctor providing your neuropathy treatment and transport all medications in the prescription bottle rather than a pill sorter so the authorities can verify your current prescription.
  • If you’re taking a tour, you may want to use a company specializing in tours for people with mobility issues. They will know which hotels make accommodations, how to travel, and which sites have the best access for people who can’t walk far or are using canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. If you’re not using a guide service, check for accommodations before you commit yourself to any particular hotel.
  • Prepare to answer questions about your doctor and health should you have an emergency and need to go to a hospital. If the country speaks English, this won’t be too complicated. If they don’t and you don’t speak the native language, don’t assume someone will understand you. Prep a sheet of paper with the basics translated into the right language. Include doctor contact information, medications and doses, diagnoses, and any customary symptoms that may trouble you while traveling. You can use Google Translate, or your tour guide may be able to translate for you.
  • Check with your insurance company to verify your insurance will cover you in another country. If they don’t, get travel insurance that includes pre-existing conditions so you have everything you need in an emergency.
  • Locate the closest hospital, just in case.

Note: If you will travel in the States, it is still wise to check your insurance coverage for out-of-state treatment and have your medical information handy.

In Transit

Planes

  • Buy a ticket that will allow you legroom and sit on the aisle so you can walk around periodically to improve circulation.
  • Most airports have wheelchair access and lend or rent wheelchairs to you. The flight crew should board you first and help you get situated.
  • Air pressure changes may cause peripheral neuropathy symptoms to flare up. Avoid anything that causes an inflammatory response before flying, like alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and gluten if you’re sensitive to it.
  • Hydrate. The circulated air on the plane can be very dry.

Trains

  • Call the railroad company beforehand to ask about their accommodations for people with mobility issues.
  • A sleeper car will allow you to lie down should you need to change your position.
  • Get up periodically and stretch your legs.

Automobiles

  • Make regular rest stops so you can get up and move around.
  • Try to keep the temperature in the car constant to avoid changes that could cause hypersensitivity.
  • Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare companies can help you get around an unfamiliar city. For some it may be more comfortable to have someone else do the driving.

On Vacation

  • Stay hydrated. It’s easy to forget to drink when you aren’t following your normal schedule.
  • Pace yourself. You may not get to everything a city offers, but you’ll have more fun and feel better if you listen to your body and call it quits when it has had enough. If you overdo it one day, take it easy the next.
  • Try to do your activities during moderate temperatures (cool mornings in hot climates or warm afternoons in cold climates.)
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks, and check your feet regularly. Don’t keep walking if your feet get wet, or you can get blisters. Having a second dry pair of shoes and socks handy is helpful.
  • Try to keep your room at a stable temperature and get a good night’s sleep. You will recover better each night and be in better shape the next day.

Last Thoughts

Be flexible. Every trip has its hiccups, and stress can worsen your symptoms. Be ready to call an audible if your body isn’t up to another day of touring. Grab a good book, hang by the pool, go to a show, or take a nap. Holding to a strict schedule can cause undue stress, wear you out, and cause unnecessary pain.

DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE

The information, including but not limited to, texts, graphics, images, and other material contained in this article are for informational purposes only. None of the material mentioned is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

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