5 Things You Need when Traveling with Chronic Illness

love to travel. I want to see the world even though I know that’s an impossible dream. There’s simply too much to see and not nearly enough time to see it.

That’s partially because I don’t just want to see it, I want to feel it. I want to experience everything there is to experience (except for ocean-y type things, ridiculous heights and gross foods).

This insatiable desire is a real pain in the bum.

Because it is so stinking hard to travel when you have chronic illness. You get spasms and cramps, nausea and dizziness and the dehydration and sleep deprivation always means you’re going to catch whatever bug happens to be floating around the atmosphere.

It’s so annoying. But it’s manageable with some determination.

For my 21st birthday I wanted to travel someplace. So on Sunday I took off with a band of girlfriends and we merrily made our way to Philadelphia. We spent Monday exploring the sights and drove home Tuesday. There’ll be loads more juicy details on that tomorrow.

On this trip I discovered something: I really need to get together a list of all my maybe-I’ll-need-this-so-I-should-probably-bring-it items.

Here are five things I wish I would have brought along:


HOW COULD I FORGET THE MIRACLE POWDER THAT IS EMERGEN-C?! This stuff is seriously amazing. I started coming down with a cold on Sunday and by Monday night it was tonsillitis and I couldn’t talk. Thankfully we discovered a new CVS and I was able to buy some a dose up. A couple of hours later and voila! This chatterbox had her voice back.

I’ve been dosing up on DayQuil since we found the CVS as well. DayQuil is a miracle worker. It makes you feel alive when you actually feel dead. I’m pretty fond of DayQuil, needless to say.


I never crave fruit like I do when I’m on a trip. Something about that tart, juicy sweetness just makes me want to weep with joy. Unfortunately, citrus is really pricy in the big cities. I’d rather spend my money on junk food whilst there. So I should bring it with me, no? I’m particularly fond of clementines.

Now I want clementines.

Okay. It’s official.

I’m going to the store to get clementines.

Er, uh, in a minute.


Again. How did I ever forget to bring my wrist braces? I drove a total of 7-8 hours over the course of three days (we broke up the 8-9 hour drive in shifts) and my wrists were done by the end of each 2-3 hours shift. My fingers were numb and my joints were pop-n-locking… Those braces would have provided some vital support. Le sigh.


Our hotel was in the historic district of Philly, so we didn’t bother driving anywhere on Monday. Instead we just walked, and walked… and walked some more. It didn’t even take an hour for blisters to develop on my heels. Those band-aids, with soothing salve in the center, would have come in handy.


This is something that I so obviously should have thought to brought, I’ve made it the last of my list. The hard bucket seats, though in reality soft, had me numb from head to toe within the first 10 minutes of our journey. It would have come in handy to have a pillow that would allow me to mold the shape of my seat as desired.

Please, if you learn anything from my failure, learn to bring a pillow on your road trip.

— — —

And that’s about all I have for today, folks. They’re 5 items that are painfully obvious for a road trip, yet I forgot them. Hopefully this post will save you the same heartache. 😉

5 Things You Need when Traveling with Chronic Illness

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