How To Be More Comfortable While Traveling
Traveling is exciting — whether you’re on a road trip to see a friend or flying to a different country. Regardless of your destination, you more than likely want to stay comfortable during the trip. This can be more difficult if you live with certain health conditions, such as anxiety, back pain, diabetes, mobility limitations, respiratory conditions, or vision impairments.
Sometimes, travel is necessary. You may have to travel for a doctor’s appointment, to attend a business conference, or to see loved ones in times of need. Even if it doesn’t seem like a necessity, travel for leisure may be vital for your mental health. Taking a break via traveling and vacationing can give your brain and body the rest and rejuvenation you need to grow. In any case, there are steps you can take to make the journey as comfortable as possible.
How To Prepare
Before your departure, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make a mental — or tangible — list of the following considerations:
- Layovers — Or possible flight delays if traveling by plane;
- Length of the trip — And potential rest areas;
- Mode of transportation — And the accessibility of said transportation;
- Time zones — Preparing for time differences/shifts and avoiding jet lag;
- Weather — Including temperature fluctuations and possible weather threats;
- Your existing conditions — And current medications/devices.
Awareness is the first step. Your comfort will depend highly on personal preferences and needs. Even if you don’t normally pay extra attention to your medical needs, seemingly small considerations can make all the difference for your comfortability.
Although medical needs can quickly become part of a daily routine, more forethought is required when you’re away from home. Carefully planning for medical concerns beforehand will make the trip safer and more seamless for everyone involved. Before hitting the road, be sure to:
- Label prescriptions and devices — Allowing any external services, like airport security or medical professionals, to identify items quickly;
- Get vaccinated — Checking the requirements for your destination;
- Pack extra medication — Taking more than what you would need in separate bottles, in case one is lost or the trip is extended;
- Schedule procedures in advance — Leaving time to fully heal before the trip.
Talk to your doctor about your travel plans, and they may be able to help you schedule procedures beforehand that will make your trip easier. They will also know the appropriate healing time and can give you recommendations based on this information.
A common trepidation of travelers is losing their glasses or not being able to see the sights they traveled to see. For this issue, travelers may consider booking corrective LASIK Eye Surgery or cataract surgery with a trusted surgeon. Reliable procedures such as this can boost your confidence and gear you up for a more enjoyable traveling experience.
Other appointments can lessen the tension you may feel before a trip. If you are feeling tense, emotionally and physically, a massage or yoga session may ease some of that stiffness. This will not only help you mentally, but it will help with pain and stiffness during travel.
Anxiety is common. Over 25 million people in the U.S. have some form of flight anxiety. This can extend to any mode of transportation — but if you’ve already booked the trip, you’re already taking steps in the right direction. There are steps before and during travel that may ease your anxiety. You may want to:
- Bring along mindfulness tools;
- Keep an itinerary handy;
- Give yourself extra time so you aren’t rushed;
- Practice meditation;
- Talk with a therapist and travel companions.
The best way to ease anxiety is to understand your triggers. Have a support system that understands your concerns and the best ways to help you when things get overwhelming. Accepting your anxiety and traveling along with it will get you to your destination as happily as possible.
What To Pack
Each person will have different packing preferences and personal essentials for travel. Along with the items mentioned above, you may want to consider packing:
- Blankets and pillows;
- Clear bags for medicine and devices;
- Clothes that can be easily mixed and matched;
- Face wipes;
- Gum for ear relief, particularly when traveling by plane;
- Hand sanitizer;
- Over-the-counter medications for common travel ailments;
- Tissues and toiletries.
Depending on your travel destination, you may want to pack some extra safety items. These typically will only be needed if you are traveling abroad, so pick and choose wisely. While it’s best to be prepared for anything, it’s also less cumbersome to pack lightly and efficiently. If you’re going to bring extra items, such as a first aid kit, make sure to also research efficient packing techniques.
What To Wear
Along with packing clothes, you also have to decide what to wear during travel time. Clothing can be a major factor that affects your comfort level while traveling. While sticking to your personal style, you may want to incorporate clothing items that make traveling more comfortable and easy in any situation. Some tips for maximum comfort during a trip include wearing:
- Clothing without difficult buttons or ties;
- Compression socks;
- Essential accessories only;
- Glasses rather than contacts;
- Hats or hair ties;
- Layers for easy changeability;
- Loose-fitting clothing;
- Sunglasses (with prescription if needed);
- Slip-on shoes with enough padding for walkability.
Of course, check the weather forecast before traveling and adjust accordingly. If you’re going straight from the car or plane to your first event or attraction, make sure you can change easily and quickly to an appropriate outfit. You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort as long as you make a few adjustments.
While it’s best to wear glasses instead of contacts for ease of use, glasses may make trips like theme park visits a bit more difficult. Instead of worrying about messy contact solutions, applying contacts, or even breaking or losing your glasses, you may opt to get a procedure before the trip. There are common procedures to consider, including Visian ICL surgery with the EVO ICL lens for safe vision correction. If you aren’t eligible for LASIK, PRK surgery also has similar vision-correcting techniques and results. Just talk to your doctor about recovery times before planning your trip.
Consider the easiest option for you in any case. Talk to a physician to figure out the best way to travel with whatever condition you currently live with. They may be able to recommend clothing and procedures to consider that are unique to your medical situation.
On the Ride
There are techniques you can learn to keep yourself comfortable during travel — whether you are taking a bus, train, boat, plane, helicopter, car, or anything in between. To increase comfort during the trip:
- Avoid alcohol and drink water periodically;
- Listen to an audiobook, podcast, or calming music;
- Read or talk to travel companions to distract the mind;
- Stay moisturized, and take measures to avoid or manage dry eye;
- Take breaks to get up, walk, and stretch.
Now that you’re done with the transportation, it’s time to acclimate to your destination.
When You Arrive
Before you know it, you will have arrived at your destination. Once you get there, it’s important to take some time to relax. If possible, schedule some downtime right after you arrive to adjust to your new environment. Continue your comforting routines into the trip by getting fresh air, sleeping soundly, and remembering to be present and mindful of your exciting traveling experience.
Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of vision correction, but also any risks of vision correction that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.