Traveling as a Stroke Survivor may seem overwhelming, but here are some traveling tips to make it all less stressful and more fun. I’ve compiled these from my own experiences. I hope you find these traveling tips after having a stroke to be helpful.
Talk to your doctor
This is a first for everything for us Stroke Survivors. But it’s true for most others as well. Make sure you’re healthy for travel and have all the required/recommended vaccines for your destination. Or, if you have significant anxiety about the flight, your doctor may be able to prescribe something to help. Keep in mind, however, getting up to walk around will help your circulation, so you don’t want to be passed out the entire flight.
Wear compression Socks
Compressions socks are essentially knee high socks with varied level of tightness. They help to increase the blood flow in your lower legs, ultimately reducing the risk of blood clots and swollen feet from flying. These bad boys are helpful for anyone on a long haul flight, but particularly important for Stroke Survivors.
Try a hooded neck pillow
This gem was the direct result of a Buzzfeed list, and I have zero regrets. I got one for both myself and my fiance. The neck pillow part is inflatable, so while you’re not on the plane it doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage (like a memory foam version would). International flights are ALWAYS cold, so the hood really helps with that. And it also helps with blocking out light. Plus, the extra layer to help block out sound all make for a good snooze. text amazon link
Communicate with whoever you’re traveling with
Let everyone you’re traveling with know your limits. Can you only walk a certain amount before needing breaks? Do you generally hit full fatigue by 5pm and need to settle in for the night? Do stairs need to be limited? Can you not horseback ride or ride rollercoasters? All of these things are perfectly fine to voice, and if you voice them ahead of the trip everyone will *hopefully* be aligned to avoid any tension and frustration.
Make a Plan
We all hope you don’t need one. But you do need a plan no matter what.
Educate EVERYONE you’re traveling with on the signs to watch for that would indicate they need to call for help. Also, have a plan ahead of time for how that should be executed. Make sure everyone has that plan. Include phone numbers and ways to contact key people.
Buy Travel Insurance
All booked? Congrats! Now make sure to research and purchase travel insurance if you’re planning a trip that if you had to miss wouldn’t throw thousands of dollars out the window.
Travel insurance definitely put my mind at ease for my first international trip post stroke. I still had a daily fear that I could experience another stroke.
Travel insurance is good for all sorts of reasons beyond the biggest and scariest. My sister sprained her ankle very badly just days before her honeymoon, but didn’t have trip insurance! Incase something comes up where you can’t travel at all, you’ll be able to cancel and not have wasted all that money.
Review your medical coverage
Be prepared should you need to see a doctor or go to hospital. Know how your medical coverage works when you travel. The phone call is well worth it!
Pack a Pill Box
Have your pills in a daily pill box so that you’re sure to take the medicine you need, even though your schedule may have shifted with time zone changes. The visual answer of “did I take my meds?” is very helpful.
Airplane seats can keep you very still and crammed. Get up and walk around! I typically add to this and walk back towards the bathrooms when it’s not crowded and do some stretching. This will help with circulation and nerves.
I hope you found these traveling tips after having a stroke to be helpful. Now go out and book! Considering a stay at an AirBnb? Check out my thoughts on having the best AirBnb experience.