Are You Ready to Go Adventure Traveling with Parkinson's?
You know the routine. Plan a fabulous trip. Get to your destination. Overdo it on the first day. Spend the next 2 days in bed. Repeat.
Many of us continue to do this with each trip we take. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We know that traveling with Parkinson’s is never a walk in the park. When we travel, our daily routine is disrupted, which in turn, can cause an increase in our symptoms. Our exercise routines may not happen, which can cause even more problems.
And then there are the medications that we take. Our schedules are a mess, especially if changing more than 2 time zones. As Mr. Twitchy says, "there are a lot of moving parts involved."
Preparing for a trip
When embarking on a strenuous trip, you need to be prepared to exert yourself more than you normally would, and accept the fact that some days you are going to have to skip some activities.
It is really easy to over-exert yourself when you think that you can do it all. I know - I paid for it a couple of days. This article includes a few recommendations to help prepare for a trip.
Don't overdo it
Don’t start your trip by overdoing things on day 1 and spending the next 3 days in bed. One thing you can do is to make sure you are in good physical condition before you leave.
You may want to increase your exercise levels before you go so that you are up to participating in any activities that you want to do. Of course, you should always talk to your doctor before starting anything new.
Stick to your medication schedule
Stay on schedule with your medications. This can be very difficult with time changes and days full of activities, but try to take your meds at the same time every day. There are several useful apps that you can download to keep track.
Know your limits
Only you know your limits. Don't let others talk you into doing things that you know you cannot do. I often push myself too much and then suffer for it afterwards.
I did skip the polar plunge into the ocean on our recent cruise to Antarctica, but Mr. Twitchy got talked into doing it along with about 40 other brave, but crazy people.
Take your walking poles
Take your walking poles with you if you will be doing any hiking or walking on uneven surfaces. They can be especially helpful when walking on cobblestones or steep trails.
Not only do the poles help keep you from falling, you will look really cool with them. And one really good thing is that you can’t be looking at your phone while walking if you have poles in your hands!
Also, don’t forget your sunscreen and a hat. You are at a higher risk for skin cancer (as in melanoma) if you have Parkinson’s. Good sunglasses are also a necessity.1
Listen to your guides
Always listen to your guides about equipment and clothing needed. They know from experience what you need. You may think that parka is unfashionable, but it will do a better job keeping you warm and dry than a cute hoodie.
If they tell you to wear 3 layers of pants and shirts, do it. Leave the flip-flops at home, unless your idea of adventure vacationing is sitting on the beach in Maui.
Take lots of pics to bore your family and friends with. By the way, I found that the stabilizers on my iPhone make it easier for me to take videos than stills. Let your travel companions take the still shots instead.
And finally... have a fabulous trip!
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