It’s summertime, which means school is out and families are hopping in their cars or boarding planes to get to their vacation spots. For many, traveling is considered an exciting event, one they look forward to for months in advance.


For others, such as those suffering from arthritis, traveling is difficult and even sometimes painful. That doesn’t mean you can’t travel, though! It simply means preparing ahead of time. Here are some suggestions from Jack Cush, M.D. to ensure your experience operates as smoothly as possible, despite any potential obstacles:


Don’t force yourself to do more than you are able.

Traveling is stressful on the body. There’s a lot of sitting and standing for long periods of time, and you are most likely in an unfamiliar environment, which means you don’t have all of the resources you do at your home. Considering these disadvantages, if that means you have to delay or change your travel plans, then so be it. Your body will thank you for the kindness, and you’ll feel better and more able going forward.


Increase your medication.

Confirm with your doctor, first, of course, before doing so, but as long as your doctor okays it, there’s no shame in taking an extra pill if it means avoiding additional pain. On the day of and the day after traveling, take an extra pill such as Tylenol, prednisone, or Advil to stave off painful aches.


Keep your medication in your carry-on.

This is a big one, and though it may seem obvious, it’s absolutely vital to keep your medications with you. Don’t check them in your bag so you can take them as instructed and so they don’t get lost. Although losing your luggage isn’t likely, there are circumstances where that could happen, or perhaps comes in at a later time. To ensure you stay on schedule and have access to your medicine in an emergency, keep it on you at all times. Just make sure you have proof that the medication is yours, aka the label.


Plan ahead as much as possible.

This isn’t the time to be a martyr. Call the airline ahead of time and ask for a wheelchair if needed. Anticipate the layout of your hotel and see if they can accommodate you with one closer to the elevator. Figuring out all of this ahead of time will save you time and worry on the day of your trip.