Holiday Coming Up? Be Prepared & Travel Wisely!

December 2023

Have you got a holiday booked and ready to go? Are you nervous about the thought of long flights, hours of walk, accessibility in unknown environments?

Traveling can be a rewarding experience, allowing you to explore new places, cultures, and cuisines.

However, for those living with arthritis, the thought of long flights, hours of walking, and unfamiliar environments can be daunting. Fortunately, with careful planning and some simple strategies, you can embark on your journey without letting arthritis hold you back.

In this article, we will share valuable tips on traveling wisely with arthritis to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

#1. Consult With Your Doctor

Before you start planning your trip, it’s really important to consult your GP or main healthcare provider who can assess your current condition and provide personalised advice, including any necessary adjustments to your medication or treatment plan.

#2. Plan Your Trip Carefully

Depending on where you are heading in the world, it can be really important to consider factors like climate, altitude, and activities. Whether you are going to hot summer or cold snowy winter, make sure you are prepared and choose things like activities and clothing carefully. You might want to research the availability of accessible accommodations, transportation options, and plan accordingly.

#3. Pack Smart

Packing is a very crucial aspect of traveling with arthritis. Here are some tips for packing smart.

  • Choose lightweight luggage with wheels to reduce the strain on your joints when carrying your belongings.
  • Use travel-sized containers for medications to make sure you have an adequate supply.
  • Pack a first-aid kit with bandages, pain relief medications, and any other necessary items, and you can use a lunch box.
  • Don’t forget to bring supportive shoes, orthopedics (if required) and comfortable clothing suitable for the destination’s climate.

#4. Travel Insurance

Invest in your travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. Ensure that your policy includes coverage for trip cancellations or interruptions due to health issues. Having insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection in case of unexpected health challenges during your journey.

#5. Medications and Supplements

Maintain a clear medication schedule during your trip. Carry a list of your medications, their dosages, and your doctor’s contact information. Split your medications into separate containers for each day to minimise the risk of losing them. This is why a lunchbox is a handy tool to have on hand. Consider bringing over-the-counter pain relief medications or anti-inflammatory supplements if approved by your healthcare provider for added support.

#6. Mobility Aids

If you use mobility aids such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs, make sure to bring them along. You can ask the airline and hotels to provide assistance and accommodations if you have mobility challenges. Contact your transportation provider and accommodation in advance to ensure they can meet your specific needs.

#7. Stay Active and Stretch

During long flights or road trips, it’s important to stay active and prevent your joints from becoming stiff. Perform simple stretches and range-of-motion exercises in your seat, or take short walks up and down the cabin when it’s safe to do so. This will help prevent and reduce stiffness and also improve your comfort.

#8. Rest and Pacing

Allow yourself time to rest between activities. Pacing is essential to prevent overexertion, and make sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Plan rest breaks throughout your itinerary to allow your body to recover.

For more information, read our article on The Power of Pacing for Better Arthritis Management.

#9. Dietary Considerations

Maintaining a healthy diet can have a significant impact on managing arthritis symptoms. Try to maintain a balanced diet during your trip and consider researching local cuisine options and menu’s that may be beneficial for your condition. If you can, avoid excessive alcohol consumption and opt for water or non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.

Traveling with arthritis may present some challenges, but with careful planning and these tips in mind, you can embark on memorable journeys without compromising your health and comfort.

Consult your healthcare provider, pack wisely, and prioritise self-care to make your travels enjoyable and pain-free.

By taking these steps, you can explore the world and create lasting memories while effectively managing your arthritis.

How Arthritis Queensland can help


You can make a difference by supporting the work of Arthritis Queensland. Arthritis Queensland is 95% community funded. We rely on our generous donors and volunteers to ensure that we can continue to provide solutions and support to adults and children living with the pain of arthritis.