Hi we've just booked a short (4 night) holiday in Spain at the beginning of July and though I'm happy to go I feel really apprehensive about it. It's the first time I've been abroad since diagnosis and our recent holiday to Scotland was marred by a flare which caused my ankles to swell and made walking difficult and I don't want that to happen again especially as it will be hot (I hope!). Does anyone have any advice/tips to stay well and minimize the chances of a flare on holiday please?
Holiday abroad - any advice/tips please?: Hi we've just... - NRAS
Just go & enjoy yourself, & forget all about RA....stress brings on flares.
I’ve just been to Tenerife on my own & had a great time....it was. 80°F Most days.
One thing I do now when I travel is buy the fast track express route through security to save standing in more queues than necessary,If you get it directly on the website from the airport you are travelling from it’s much cheaper than if you get it from a travel agent or tour operator ...I only paid £3.45.....& just walked straight through.
I have also just found out you can get a fast track through immigration pass as well, for when you fly back into this country.
When I returned this time we had to walk round and round and round before we got to present our passports and I noticed there were a few people shooting off in front of everybody .....and having investigated that is what they did. You have to buy it before you travel of course ...again on the airport website.
But if you do have a lot of trouble walking your best bet is to ask for assistance and get a wheelchair when you go to the front of all the queues for free .
I did that when I had a broken wrist and it worked like a charm....altho, I did feel a bit of a fraud even though I genuinely couldn’t manage to do much with one hand
Hope you have a lovely break in the sun!
On flights to Spain on Budget airlines these days you are very lucky if you can get out of your seat to go to the loo.....sadly the days of going for a wander on small aircraft are long gone .....as the cabin crew trundle through selling everything from Hello Magazine to nail polish!
It’s strictly wiggle your toes in your seat these days!😟 😟😟
I’ve just come back from a holiday in Majorca. Like you I was a bit apprehensive but it was great. The warmth was good and It was a very relaxed holiday with a mix of sitting by the pool and a bit of gentle sightseeing. A good deal of eating and drinking! If you can take painkillers or ibuprofen make sure you take plenty then you know that if pain starts you will be ok. When I went away last year to the Caribbean I had depo steroid injection before I went and I felt good. Apart from that, as has been said, keep hydrated and relax .
Have fun. X
I wish it were that simple to just forget about it.
I always have a copy of my prescriptions and original packaging in my handbag (I just have the front of the box so it is small and flat). This proves your prescription when taking painkillers into another country.
I know that you are going to Spain but in case others, reading this, are going to Greece; Greece requires a signed letter from your doctor with the reason why you are taking painkillers into the country. Taking three months supply for four days would be viewed very badly!
Oh, and the middle eastern countries don't allow even prescription (substitute) opiate based pain killers ie Tramadol. So that rules out my holidaying in Dubai!
My injections open another kettle of fish. You are not allowed to go express route with these. I learnt the hard way at Manchester airport. One and a half hours in security! I had all I needed to have but the objection was that I'd paid for express when, in fact, the injections have to be checked out with a second x-ray. Plus, the ice blocks have to be tested.
All the hassle is still worth even a few days in the sun 🌞 Enjoy!
Your post surprised me because we’ve been to Kefalonia (Greece) twice and not once have they shown any interest in my medication which I carried in a pill organizer along with all my supplements. They didn’t even check the methotrexate injections in my hand luggage - and I had a letter ready from the suppliers to share if challenged. It was the same when I went to Barbados this year. Both trips from Birmingham airport.
Wow! You have been very fortunate!
Manchester is known to be ultra cautious and chaotic too, despite numerous 'up-grades'! Maybe I should travel to Birmingham before boarding a plane
I'm going to Greece later in the year; the advice is from the Greek authorities. I contacted them via the Greek Government website.
I was actually stopped from getting onto a plane once. The crew were unhappy about the cool-bag ice blocks needed on a long trip! This was despite the tests in Security. In the end, I was allowed onto the plane but by then it had been held up for an hour! I had been one of the first in the queue to board. Needless to say, I was very upset.
I don’t need to carry ice packs ...perhaps that’s making them more nervous than the medication? When I asked the bag checker at Birmingham they said that they see people carrying medication all the time and it’s common place now so they’re more relaxed about it. A friend who has to carry daily diabetes injections when going abroad has found the same, and rarely attracts more than a second glance.
Unfortunately, the long trip to visit my daughter, requires ice-blocks and cool-bag. The ice makes the airline very jumpy. Manchester Airport has a reputation!
Have a lovely time. Warm sunshine, blue skies and just being away combine to feel wonderful!
I think you should look on the bright side and not think of having a flare just enjoy the holiday I go abroad a few times a year and since I have had RA only had a few flares while away just enjoy your time and they say in the heat you feel better just remember your medication and pain killers if you take them X
When I flare, I respond well to steroid injections as a short term measure, so I asked the nurse at my rheumatology clinic if they would give me a prescription for some steroid tablets (prednisolone I think?) to take with me in case of emergency. Carried these same tablets on two holidays now and not used them but they give me great peace of mind, which means I don’t have to worry about what to do if I flare up. I also carry extra naproxen.
This might be ‘over sharing’ so apologies in advance 😀 My knees were really bad on my first holiday to Greece and I would struggle to get up from low toilets. I had grab handles and raised loo seats using at home. Disabled loos are largely non existent on kefalonia because it’s only a small island so I was worried how I would manage without having to take hubby with me every time I used a loo. I tried a she-wee which is a device you can use to stand up and wee like a man would (my niece says female festival goers use these a lot to avoid needing to sit on dirty chemical loos!). Well I didn’t get on well with that, very messy ...lol. But instead I took a small plastic jug on holiday (that I would use at home when providing a sample to take to clinic). Carried it in my handbag whenever out and about in case I needed a wee. Again (like the steroid tablets) it just gave me peace of mind and was one less thing to worry about.
I don’t think I have anything extra to advise you but I would definitely ask for some steroids from your GP. I always take extra meds just in case. We have a place in Spain and try to get out there as often as possible, I find I’m so much better in the heat. I don’t sit in the sun much but just the warmth around your body is bliss! Have a great holiday and please let us know how it goes. X
If you're travelling from Manchester Airport check out the Hidden Disabilities Scheme. You can go through security fadt track free and on your return you can use the Assistance Lane at passport control. They give you a lanyard to wear or carry and all airport staff recognise it. I've never had a problem with meds. I carry a letter with me and have everything to hand that I need to show at security. Again, if you're wearing a lanyard the staff recognise it and give you more time. Enjoy your holiday!