|copyright: Sian Wootton|
I realised the other day that so far my travel tips have covered everything from researching your trip to getting there, but I've not actually covered the actual holiday itself. And that's the best bit isn't it! What all these tips and advise have been leading to. So finally today I'll cover some tips for the actual holiday itself.
So with this in mind the first tip is put all that research and planning to good use. You know you have put in a lot of effort to get there and as a consequence you have bought everything you could possibly need with you to make sure you're comfortable. Remember to include extra help for noise and light sensitivities and relaxation methods and put them to good use.
Be aware that the journey will take a lot out of you. Let yourself recover and rest properly. Also make sure you rest well to prepare for any travelling. Save those spoons up, you'll need them.
Keep to a routine as much as possible. Especially in terms of bed times etc. The closer to your regular routine the better. Pushing yourself too much will potentially spoil your holiday.
Don't put any extra pressure on yourself to do too much or push yourself beyond your capabilities of that day. Nor respond to any extra pressure from others. Take it all at your own pace. Chances are you came away to enjoy some sunshine and relax so be sure to prioritize them alongside your health.
Keep taking your tablets at the right times. Be organized with them. Keep an alarm system if need be. On the journey to and from and on any trips out make sure you have them all to hand and in doses.
Be sure to still take breaks as you would at home. Sometimes this may mean a full day in bed. Even if you are just lying on a sunbed relaxing, still make sure you take a proper rest. Listen to your body. Taking these breaks will help you make the most of the experience rather than pushing too much and winding up in a collapsed heap.
Be clear with the people that you are travelling with what you feel comfortable doing and how that affects them. I know a lot of people worry that they are stopping others from enjoying their holiday to the fullest because they need to look after you but remember they already knew the restrictions of your illness and if they didn't chances are you've not chosen them to come away with you in the first place. However it can be best before going to just be clear on how this holiday might be very quiet for all involved and that anything beyond moving from your hotel will be a bonus. Let them know that it's ok if they want to go out and leave you behind, if of course you are ok with that but hearing you reassure them that you will cope ok on your own for a few hours may help them to not feel guilty in leaving you behind. Just be very honest and candid, tell them that what you say is what you mean and not you trying to put a brave face on things. Say that if you want them to stay you will say so and likewise if you don't. And the same goes for if you want to get out.
Going in the pool or sea, get yourself a pool noodle (which you can see in the photo above.) You can get the benefit of being immersed in the water to cool you down as well as having an effect on your muscles but you don't have to kick your legs etc. Plus if you wrap it around the metal pool steps you can use it as leverage to pull yourself up.
Don't worry about getting a tan. This shouldn't be a priority. Do your best not to burn. You don't need to feel extra poorly. Enjoy the heat but be responsible. If you don't get a tan it doesn't mean that you didn't have a good time. Putting on sunscreen might upset your nerves a bit but sunburn will cause you a whole heap more bother. If you suffer from fibromyalgia and have particularly sensitive nerves maybe opt for a once a day option, but always choose a high spf.
Stick to your dietary requirements as much as possible. I'm talking food intolerance's etc here, not whether you should or shouldn't enjoy that yummy dessert, come on you're on holiday. Being in a foreign country you may find it hard to find certain free from foods, if this is a big part of your diet consider taking a few snack items with you. The world is becoming much more savvy to food intolerance's and free from food can be found in more and more places. A great website I found whilst researching in Trip Advisor http://www.celiactravel.com/ has printable explanation cards for use in restaurants and cafes, explaining your food intolerance's in the native language of where you are going. Also be aware of the extra sensitivities holidays can have on your stomach and take care of it. Pack medication to help your stomach should it throw a wobbly, such as immodium, antacids and rehydration sachets or tablets.
Stay hydrated. This is always important but even more so in the heat. Being dehydrated will make you feel more ill. Also if you feel the heat is causing your muscles to ache or niggle more using re-hydration tablets of some kind of sports drink like gatorade can help restore electrolytes and minerals and help relieve muscle pain.
Stay cool. Many of us have trouble regulating our temperatures and being out in the sun can exacerbate this, the lovely Jo from the blog purlbeadsjo has wrote a great post on ways to help you regulate your temperature, be sure to give it a read here for some great tips.
Be prepared that things won't always go to plan. Days where you can't do as you wished. Etc etc. We are kind of used to that though, aren't we? Don't let it take up to much room in your head. Breathe. And go with it. Let yourself recover.
Refunds and travel insurance. In case things go really wrong it's good to be fully covered. When booking your hotel opt for the refundable up until the day option just in case. It may be slightly dearer but it's good to have in place. Also make sure you have travel insurance and be sure to be honest in declaring your health conditions in advance. You can do this online. You need to complete a declaration which asks about whether you are affected daily by your illness and whether you have been admitted to hospital in the past 6 months. Unless you are a greater risk of needing medical treatment whilst away or are putting yourself at risk then chances are you will not need to pay more. I have a separate post on travel insurance here.
As I mentioned in my city break tips, (which you can find here) find ways to enjoy the place you have gone to on a smaller scale. Enjoy some local food. The different produce in the supermarkets. The sound of foreign accents. The different smells. The weather. The air. The things that let you know you're in a different place.
Dress up- If you are able to, of course. Enjoy wearing things that you wouldn't get a chance to at home. Give your confidence a boost and make yourself look and feel fabulous. I like to opt for dresses, as they are easy to put on, instantly give you a different look and because I don't get to wear them much at home. I love a maxi dress for effortless glam.
Most importantly, relax, have fun and enjoy. Be grateful that you have been able to make it there and experience something new and give yourself a pat on the back for trying. You did it!
I'll add these tips onto the spoonie travel tips page on this blog too (you can find it on the right of the homepage or on this link) so that you can see all the tips and advise I have put together in the one place. From researching to now including enjoying the holiday. I'll also put the city break tips on there. As well as links to all the travel interviews with other spoonies. There are more travel interviews coming soon too from some lucky ladies that have been on holiday recently.