Surviving Family Trips with Psoriatic Arthritis

Traveling is supposed to be fun. It is supposed to be an adventure, something exciting. So why is it that whenever I’m confronted with the amazing opportunity to take a trip, anxiety and fear drain the fun faster than you can say "bon voyage". But surviving family trips with psoriatic arthritis doesn't have to send you over the edge.

Taking trips with psoriatic arthritis are difficult, but what happens when you add a family of young children to the mix? Whereas on a trip, you are not only responsible for tending to your own needs, but also the needs and demands of children. While simultaneously trying to make the trip smooth and enjoyable for everyone. Is it even possible?

It can be done. Here are some ways to make it a little better for everyone.

Tips for surviving family trips

Build in downtime

When you are planning activities that you’d like to do on your family trip, be sure to include scheduled downtime, for your kids as well as yourself. Nothing spoils a trip faster than your or the kids being overly tired, cranky, and over stimulated. Trips can be exciting but all that excitement can take a toll on everyone. When you plan your day’s activities, make sure to include some quiet time for reading, doing puzzles, or relaxing.

Pack light

Nothing can cause greater pain than wandering through an amusement park hauling 30 pounds of stuff you may or may not need. Choose what you plan to take wisely because that “light” bag you packed in the morning suddenly feels like it gained 50 pounds by midafternoon. Shoulder joints and hip joints will be achy enough by the end of the day, don’t go out of your way carrying extra “just in case” stuff.

Use mobility aids like wheelchairs or walkers

Even if you don’t regularly use them, you might want to make an exception for a family trip. Using a wheelchair or walker would allow you to save some of that precious energy. It isn’t necessarily always about saving pain, they are also vitally important to save yourself from the overwhelming fatigue that can feel just as bad.

Make waiting into a game

Nothing drains my energy more than entertaining my young kids while waiting in line for a ride or event. They are so excited that waiting in line can feel like such a let down for them, making them cranky and bored. Which is a super-bad combination, especially when you have PsA.

Stay ahead of the insanity by preloading simple GROUP game apps on your phone. I’m not talking about one person staring at the screen in line while everyone else complains that they don’t have a phone. I’m talking about games like “Heads Up “ game that everyone can be involved in. This can make the time waiting in line fly by and you can save up some of that much needed energy for other things.

Bring back-up

If you are planning on parenting solo for the trip, you may want to reconsider. I know, sometimes it can’t be avoided. But if you can, find a close friend or family member, offer to pay for their admission to amusement parks or other outings. Sure, it cost more money but in many cases, I’ve found an extra set of eyes, ears, and hands to be invaluable.

No matter what, listen to your body. Rest, hydrate, wear compression socks and gloves. Have ice packs chilling in the freezer and ready for use the moment you return. With proper planning you might actually survive taking family trips with psoriatic arthritis.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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