What do you do for holiday prep : What do you do to... - NRAS


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What do you do for holiday prep

Ouchyjenna profile image
23 Replies

What do you do to manage RA whilst abroad. We love to travel but I have not travelled once since diagnosis when I haven't been Ill. Various illnesses things like catching bugs, tonsillitis, ear infections etc...fatigue also gets much worse. I dont want to give up that part of my life so does anyone have any tips or suggestions of things I'm not doing to help ... thank you xxx

23 Replies
sylvi profile image

Sad to say we don't go abroad anymore, but we have three lovely holidays here in the UK. I am sorry to say I don't have any answers for you. I know there are people on here who will be able to advise you darling.xxxx

sweet-pea1 profile image
sweet-pea1 in reply to sylvi

Hi going abroad is like everything else with this rotten condition Plan and PLan again .Avoid the summer months ,we go spring or autumn. I can cope with the temperatures more easily. Plan what you really want to see and do and make sure you have rest time in between activities. We plan time for me to have a day by the pool or in resort and the others then can do the things that I cannot manage . Next month for my 64th we are trying something different we are going on a Mediteranian cruise so fingers crossed it may be the way forward. but most importantly you are going on holiday look forward to it don't fear it

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to sweet-pea1

I would be nervous about infections like norovirus on a cruise ship, so take lots of hand gel and avoid any open buffets....

(Mind you, I take lots of hand gel and avoid open buffets wherever I am!)

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Wouldn’t go on a cruise if my life depended on it.

It’s bad enough being incarcerated in an aircraft for X number of hours with the coughs & spluttering.........for X number of day on a ship, is a definite no-no for me!

How does the weather , heat or cold effect you. I’m not good in humidity. This year my husband wanted to go to Rhodes as our youngest son is now 16 and it will probably be our last holiday with him (friends much more appealing) so we pushed the boat out and chose a beach holiday with lots of water sports.

I’m going to be honest with you I thought I was going to die(very dramatic I know) but as soon as I got on the plane a flare started. The heat and humidity nearly finished me off. I couldn’t pass water for 4 days even though I was drinking 4 litres of water a day . I couldn’t walk on the beach in fact I couldn’t walk 15 yards , I couldn’t even sit the sun or swim and had 2 severe allergic reactions as my body was under stress. I spent all my time in my air conditioned room isolated from my family. I can’t do that again (I feel really guilty that my disease effects my family). This is my experience others I know are better in the heat.

I sound such a misery and I’m not that kind of person.

Hate this disease it dictates even my holidays 🤬🤬🤬🤯

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to

There are plenty of places you can go J1707...It was just unfortunate the flare started as you left ...but you were possibly overtired from all the preparations ...so things got worse in the heat.

Try somewhere like northern Portugal.....preferably not roasting hot Greek islandS... I’m sure you will find places that you can enjoy.....if you don’t have to go during school holidays....go early or late...ie not the Med inJuly/August.

Definitely don’t give up on holidays!

Meg22_NP profile image
Meg22_NP in reply to

Yes, heat and humidity cause orthostatic stress and orthostatic hypotension. Autoimmune diseases effect the peripheral nervous system and we have difficulty physically compensating. I’ve noticed most people who have an autoimmune disease have varying degrees of dysautonomia, POTS or POTS-like syndrome. A couple helpful resources for more information are dysautonomia international and Vanderbilt’s dysautonomia site. Compression socks have been life changing for me. My favorite are SB SOX Compression Socks (20-30mmHg) for Men & Women on Amazon. Hope this helps!

in reply to Meg22_NP

Very interesting and frightening . Getting an RA diagnosis took years. If GPS know nothing about this ???? I’ve been fobbed off with a lot ( not all) of theses symptoms for years. Seeing Rheumatologist in December will tell him all of my symptoms.


rab1874 profile image

Hi I think everyone’s different,I tend to find the heat helps my joints but I won’t go in the peak off summer as I think it would be too hot, I also find I can walk that wee bit further in the warmth but I always pay for it when I come home as the fatigue catches up with me , I always have my siestas when away and I find that helps me

Kalimers65 profile image

I’ve had 2 foreign holidays this year and really enjoyed them . I’m on Sulphasalazine and take occasional naproxen. I had a week in Greece with my family. I was disappointed that I couldn’t swim as both my shoulders were and are very stiff and painful ( I can only do Breast stroke) but I still had a wonderful week. I upped the naproxen . And last month I went to the Netherlands for 5 days on an art tour . It was great but I was exhausted when I got back home. So I tried to rest more. I wouldn’t have missed either holiday but upping painkillers and resting a lot when I came back helped. Both holidays were a great mental tonic for me.

denvajade profile image

Hi there we traveled to Europe and America and I have RA fibro and liver and gut illness, we went out for breakfast, did our sightseeing had lunch then I rested ie slept from 2-6 then went out again in the evening, did this for a month and I made it. Wishing you well.

oldtimer profile image

If I know that I will have to be more active than usual then I plan for a boost from steroids. Also schedule in regular rest periods and don't include too much without affecting those you travel with too much (but they have to be flexible too).

I avoid hot countries as I do worse there - but then I always have!

If you are on medication that affects your sun sensitivity, then take suitable cover-up clothes and keep out of the sun at midday.

Make a list of everything you need to take and check it before you leave.

Use the assistance provided at stations and airports by booking in advance, but remember it may not be available when you need it!

Never had a foreign holiday, even when young and health. So now I'm old and decrepit I wouldn't think of it. Couldn't even cope with dear old Skeg any more.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to

Go on pg.....give it a try.....I still travel ...you meet great people & get waited on 24/7.

helixhelix profile image

Slow travel!

We’re on holiday at the moment about 500miles from home. Normally we would have done the drive in a (long) day, but we stopped overnight so only 4 hours or so in car each day.

And now here we do far less than previously. Boring for my husband, but he can go off by himself with the dog if need be. Rather than hotels we also stay in rental holiday homes which are more spacious as nothing worse for OH than having to sit in tiny hotel room for hours while I rest.

As others have said, plan, plan and plan some more and it will be fine.

AgedCrone profile image
AgedCrone in reply to helixhelix

Me too......I have been renting holiday homes for 20 years now.....love Airbnb.....I have found great apartments since they arrived on the scene...as you say home from home...most have WiFi & UK TV....& as I always travel alone it’s a much cheaper alternative to package holidays!

Ouchyjenna profile image

Thank you so much for your replys. You dont know how nice it feels not to be alone in my holiday worries. I'll take all your advice on board.

A friend of mine today suggested that I take cleaning wipes to clean the seat area of the plane that I'm sitting to help stave of the germs and packing way in advance so I'm not too exhausted before travelling.

I think if I'm as I'll on this holiday as I was the last few times I've been away then I might just stick to UK holidays.

AngelMar profile image

I always get a broad spectrum antibiotic off my GP before I holiday abroad, and take a basic first aid kit alongside basic meds like paracetamol, indigestion relief and probiotic capsules. Almost all hotels now have hand gel before entering the restaurant for you to use.

I go to Spain twice a year so try not to worry too much and enjoy your holiday. 🤗x

Try train travel and avoid all the recirculating engine fumes and germs. on a plane. Plan short stages and stay in a nice hotel each night. A comfortable travel cushion is recommended.

We went to Lübeck by train from London , stopover in Aachen. did some sightseeing and gentle hiking in Lübeck Celle and Lüneberg Heath, returned from Hannover.

Previously went to Carcassonne, stopover in Paris, then on to Annecy for beautiful walks by the lake.

It's not for everyone, but consider it.

Mmrr profile image

I have only travelled abroad twice since since being unwell and both times I was so fatigued I slept most of the time whilst there, and took days to recover when I came home. So I have given that up for now.

I now holiday within a few hours of home and hire a cottage/house as I find them so much more relaxed than than a hotel, there is no rush to get up at a certain time for breakfast , eat your meals and so on and no noise, crush from other people.

We do less than we used to, pace ourselves, eat out a lot and I have a few rest days when my partner does a bit more by himself.

I'ts more about just getting away, a different view and so on.

That said I'm meant to be going to Glencoe with a friend for 3 days next week , to a hotel, but a small one.

Leics profile image

I’ve been on cruises mainly in Europe although I did do a trip to New York and then a 8 day cruise around the Caribbean I find cruising is brilliant because if I don’t feel up to going out to explore then I don’t have to. The food is great never had a problem with holiday tum or infections and I have a really poor immune system so you would expect that I would be at greater risk of them, I also have really bad food allergies. I have to say I don’t use massive cruise ships I prefer the smaller ones because they’re easier to get around. The best thing about cruising is that they have a sick bay onboard which can be useful if you do find yourself picking an infection up. I also use all inclusive usually adults only holidays and mostly 4* and haven’t had a problem there either. I think if you’re selective with your choice of holiday then there is no reason to give them up. I have to say as soon as I hit warm weather my feet and ankles blow up to twice the normal size but this happened before RA so it’s the norm for me. Do your research maybe don’t go during the really hot summer months but don’t give up.


I love to travel to foreign cities but, like most people with RA, I need to heed the fatigue factor. So I always fly in the day time and only short flights. I aim to reach my Airbnb destination by 18.00 at the latest, so I can collapse and enjoy an early night, if needs be. Then I plan one day of activity and the next rest. This has been the hardest to stick to as I just want to get out n see everything at once, like I used to! It's just not possible anymore so I stay local and enjoy sitting in cafes and local markets. The internet is also great to plan the days out, make sure you miss queues and ensure the routes are mapped out. Getting lost in cities can be extremely tiring. Even though holidays are far more restricted, I still love seeing and being in other countries and they usually work out much cheaper than staying in the UK too. Good luck.


SEAgran3 profile image

Go on holiday, take your meds with you and relevant paperwork

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