Three Things That Make For A Perfect Vacation With Psoriatic Arthritis

Some areas of the world have faced stricter lockdown restrictions. Those of us in southern California have been under some level of a stay-at-home order for over a year. With our state finally reopening, my husband and I couldn’t wait to spend some time away from home!

Planning a trip with PsA in mind

Do you ever wonder if your spouse really understands how difficult it is to live with psoriatic arthritis? Well, any doubts I may have had about my spouse were recently put to rest.

To my surprise, he planned a vacation that made me realize just how much he pays attention to my struggles with psoriatic arthritis and other chronic conditions. Find out why this vacation was compatible with psoriatic arthritis in a post-lockdown world.

Climate matters

My number one psoriatic arthritis vacation tip is to choose a destination that your body prefers. My husband’s job requires traveling. While he has ventured out of California in the past few months, I do not feel ready to cross borders. With that said, the state of California is enormous, and there is much to see and do.

It may have been the killer deal he got on a beachfront AirBnB. Or it could have been that he knew that the area was known for being one of two United States cities to have the fewest barometric pressure changes. But whatever the reason, our stay in Imperial Beach in San Diego County turned out to be the least painful vacation I have ever had!

We experienced warm and cool days, bright sunshine, and foggy drizzle. Yet my body did not hurt as it had at home. My pain was less, including the ring of inflammation around my ribcage. We could have never left our beach view condo, and it still would have been the best getaway ever because a break from pain is just what I needed.

Plan less, do more

Tip number two is to conserve energy when possible. With the past year being one of my most painful, he purposefully didn’t plan many activities. In fact, besides the condo, the only other reservations made were to visit the Birch Aquarium. He made a point to let me know that we could cancel if I did not feel well.

Upon arrival, I ordered groceries to be delivered, and within a few hours, we had everything we needed without having to avert our gaze from the ocean waves crash onto the shore.

Being in a climate that agreed with my body and not having the stress to follow a daily schedule, we ended up doing quite a bit! In addition to the aquarium, we also ventured out to try some fun restaurants that we had seen featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and spent time exploring the area.

Pack and plan for your needs

The best vacation tip I have is to pack for your needs, not your wants. For this trip, we packed my power wheelchair along with everything I use during my worst flare-ups. My husband chose a beachfront condo, knowing that there was little to no chance of my being able to walk on the sand. And he was right. While the climate reduced pain, it cannot fix my damaged knees. Choosing an area that I could drive my chair around was ideal.

Although I didn’t need half of what I packed while away, I had peace of mind. There would be no stressing about finding what I needed in an area that I knew nothing. And when psoriatic arthritis pain did make itself known, I was able to address it sooner rather than later when it would have been much worse.

Staying at a condo versus a hotel limited my interaction with the public. Eating out at off-hours and having our meals delivered also provided comfort.

What are your top vacation tips?

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