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Travel tips

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This travel series now has so many posts, I've just found that I have so much to say and I still have a fair few posts to add too. However my posts on all the basic sub categories of planning for a holiday are all done now, so I thought I'd compile some of the tips together and also add links to each individual post if you want to find out more tips on each category. I will also add all this information onto it's own page that you will be able to access in the tabs.

So first things first. Where do you start if you have decided that you want to go on holiday? Research, research, research! Find out as much as you possibly can about pontential hotels and destinations. Make a list of all the things that would be ideal for you and find somewhere that has all these key points. Whether it's accessible rooms to being near to lots of restaurants so you don't have to go far to eat. As well as the climate. You need to be as comfortable and happy with your choice as possible to the degree that you feel as though you know it before you go. Read my post here on researching holidays.

Be particular about who you choose to holiday with. You need to be totally comfortable with them and they need to know your condition and any requirements of care that it brings. The last thing you want is to feel like you're ruining someones holiday but more importantly you need to be safe.

Make sure all your documents (passport, health card, etc) are in date.

Make a check list of all that needs to be done after you have booked your holiday and schedule when each needs to be done. Remember to PACE and do a little at a time. Here is an example:

* arrange travel insurance and inform them of your condition

* book special assistance through your airline

* contact your hotel if you have any requests such as a room in a quieter area

* book or arrange transport to the airport and back. Or airport parking

* If you have pets arrange for someone to look after them

* Make a list of anything you need to purchase

* Familiarize yourself with the airlines luggage allowance

* Order any foreign currency

* If you plan to use your card abroad then remember to tell your bank so that they don't block your card thinking it's a fraudulent payment.

* Plan your medication and prescriptions

*  Make a packing list

More planning tips can be seen here.

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Always declare your condition to your travel insurance provider. Read my tips on finding a good insurance provider here.

Special assistance can make your journey through the airport much easier. Ring your airline's special assistance help line if you want to talk about what services would be best for you. I have provided details of different airlines contact details to learn more about the special assistance services they offer here.

Take advantage of online shopping. You can buy just about anything online nowadays.

As well as your regular medication some other handy medications to take with you are bite cream, anti histamines, immodium, re-hydration sachets or tablets, sudocrem, prickly heat medication (I like to use mycil athletes foot powder, it helps calm down any stinging and can also be good for sunburn) insect repellent and plasters. All info on preparing your medication can be seen here.

 Use a packing list, they're great for making sure you won't forget anything. Keep it nearby to add things to it when you remember something else. Tick things off as you go pack them.

When choosing a pool/beach bag waterproof options are best. You will always get someone that goes cannonball crazy and floods the whole pool area and they won't necessarily be children. Or keep your valuable items in a waterproof bag inside your pool bag.
Know your baggage allowance and restrictions for both cabin and hold luggage!

If you can't find your favourite products in a travel sized form there are many different bottles and pots available to buy that you can put them in to to take away with you.

When thinking about your suntan lotion, if you have fibromyalgia or are very sensitive to touch consider using a once a day lotion so that you are not having to apply as often and aggravating your fibro.

Invest in a filtered water bottle to take with you. Making tap water better to drink whilst abroad. It could save you energy by not needing to go to the shop as often and also the expense of buying bottles of water.

The week before you go away you need  to try and do as little as possible, as all your energy needs to go travelling. So being organized using all the planning tips above and having lists is really important. See my pre- packing post here.

Always pack for the weather, culture and the activities you plan on doing. Put your research to good use.

Pack all your essentials, things you rely on to help ease any symptoms. From heat pads to essential oils and of course all your medication and supplements. Put them at the top of your suitcase along with anything you will need that first day.

Get as much help with your packing as possible. I have some tips on packing, including some tips from seasoned travellers here. There is also tips on how to pack hand-luggage only here.

Put your take off essentials in a separate bag in your hand luggage so you can take it out when you get onto the plane and aren't desperately searching for them.

Make sure your travel documents are accessible as possible. An envelope style plastic wallet is great for this. Organize all your documents into order of use.

Keep all your medication in its original packaging and keep a prescription or doctors note with them.

Make sure any liquids in your hand luggage are under 100ml and are in a see through bag. All my tips on packing your hand luggage can be seen here.

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Plan to wear your heaviest items for travelling to save weight in your case. Also plan on dressing with comfort in mind. Layers are a great idea as you never know what the temperature is going to be at the airport or on the plane. Or in fact what your body will decide to do. See some suggestions here.

On the day you go to airport tell everyone in your party to try and not get panicky or stressed as this can really affect you. You become like a sponge and soak it all up, which can completely drain you. 

Before you go to the airport, do a quick check that you have everything. Double check that packing list to reassure yourself.

For an overview of how I get ready to go on holiday from around 6 weeks before to leaving for the airport, read here

I have loads of tips and advice of what to do at the airport in this post. There's also info for nervous flyers on there. If you suffer from travel anxiety I highly recommend this video by Ingrid Nilsen

Whilst you're away relax and enjoy the holiday as much as you can. Ok your illness is not going to go away so still be careful but give yourself a big pat on the back for trying and having got there, that's a really big deal so give yourself a pat on the back. I have more advise and tips on how to cope whilst you're away here.

For help on how to cope with the heat and temperature regulation tips, I thoroughly recommend reading PurlbeadsJo's blogpost, which you can read here.

City break tips- here
Find out how I coped on a city break- here

Long haul travel tips- here

For travellers with special dietary requirements and intolerances take a look at www.celiactravel.comwhich offers advice as well as translation cards to help you explain your needs in restaurants and cafes abroad.

A review of twitter chat of tips for those with elecro sensitivities by Juliette Llywelyn @sensitivetravel

Advice for travellers with mental health needs and where to seek help should you need it.

Travel Interviews

Interview with Sophie on her trip to Lisbon
Interview with Ali on her trip to Palma Nova, Mallorca
Interview with Emma on her trip to Tsilivi, Zante and Cornwall, UK
Guest post by Pippa on her trip to Benidom
Travel interview with Lisa to Cala Galdana
Travel Interview with Anna about her trip to Malaga
Travel interview with Hannah on her trip to Mauritius, with long haul advice


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