Travel is associated with both physical and emotional stress that can be magnified if you have a condition like RA. Physical challenges such as lifting and carrying heavy luggage, spending extended periods of time on your feet, and sitting in cramped quarters (whether in a plane, car, or bus) can be particularly difficult if you have joint pain, inflammation, weakness, fatigue, or other symptoms common in RA. Emotional challenges such as the increased stress of trying to stick to a tight travel schedule, being in unfamiliar surroundings, or being out of your regular routine of eating, sleeping, and exercising can exacerbate the physical symptoms of RA and may even trigger a disease flare.
Despite all of these negatives, it is possible to travel, both safely and enjoyable, if you have RA. The key is in the planning. Take care of as much of the hard work involved in travel as you can before you step out of your home. The following are some tips for making travel easier if you have RA.