My PD symptoms are progressing. My wife and I have always enjoyed traveling, but I am reluctant to plan a long trip. Any suggestions?
Having PD doesn't prevent you from traveling, but you must do some things to ensure an enjoyable and safe time. Here are a few recommendations.
#1 Plan, plan, and plan some more. Any vacation requires extensive planning, but it is especially vital when you have PD. Consider where to go, how to get there, and how long to stay based on your realistic abilities. You and your spouse will have a much more pleasant time if you decide ahead of time what you are physically able to do. Planning based on your health will allow you to enjoy your trip without compromising the enjoyment for both. Now is not the time to refuse help if you need it. Airlines, cruise lines, trains, and hotels provide accommodations, so ask when considering the possibilities.
You know your symptoms, so consider each when thinking about where to go and how to get there. If walking long distances is difficult, use a wheelchair. These can be requested or rented at many places.
#2 Keep your routine as normal as possible. It is advised you continue to take your medication on the same schedule; when changing time zones, space the timing the same. Plan meals and bedtime on your regular schedule, if possible.
#3 Pack your medication in the original bottles with the name of the drug and the doctor's name on the label (significant for overseas trips involving customs). Pack extra meds in case you are away longer than expected. You may want to ask your neurologist for the name of a physician in the area you will be visiting.
#4 Consider taking shorter trips closer to home by car or train. Plan to visit fewer sites so you can enjoy them more. Trying to see too many places in a few days may be overwhelming, so plan to pace your time according to how you feel.
#5 Plan extra time for each activity; build in rest stops. Most venues allow booking tickets online, so do this to avoid standing in long lines.
#6 Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes according to the predicted weather. Remember to be prepared for rain, heat, or cold temperatures out of season.
#7 Many couples enjoy cruising for many reasons. They are slower-paced and provide accessibility accommodations on board, in cabins, and excursions. No packing and unpacking for multiple hotel rooms is also a plus.
#8 No matter where or how you decide to travel, rest the day before and the day after you return. Traveling is fun but can also be exhausting.
There are so many more things to consider than I've mentioned. For more information, go to www.apdaparkinson.org or www.parkinson.org and type in "Traveling with PD." Here, you will find articles on specific modes of transportation and tips and recommendations for each.