8 Tips for Traveling with Multiple Sclerosis
- by Lauren R.
- December 12, 2016
Lauren R. is a paid employee of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
Whether you have multiple sclerosis or you support someone with MS these tips can help you prepare for your trip.
During your travel keep in mind that you may encounter stress and heat, which can affect MS so talk to your doctor prior to traveling.
How to prepare:
- Plan ahead so the trip will go as smoothly as possible and if needed, take some time for yourself to decompress (traveling can be stressful!).
- Check the weather and pack appropriately. If it’s going to be warm, ensure you have proper cooling equipment and stay hydrated.
- Prioritize your activities and don’t feel like you have to do everything. Take a nap if you need to. Save your energy during travel.
- If flying, call the airline in advance to arrange transportation from gate to gate if needed.
- Also, call the hotel ahead of time if special accommodations are needed.
What to bring:
- Pack a couple extra days of medication and supplies, because traveling doesn’t always go exactly as planned. If you are flying, you will want to keep your medication and supplies in your carry-on luggage so they are not lost or damaged.
- I also recommend bringing the current prescription labels for your medications, and make sure the name on the prescription matches the name on your ID or passport. Check with your pharmacy prior to travel; they may be able to send you a duplicate label upon request.
- Additionally, if your medications are temperature sensitive, you want to be mindful of where they will be at all times.
If you are flying and want to ensure that security is traversed smoothly allow for extra time when making your travel plans. Be sure to keep your medication and supplies in your carry-on luggage so you can show it to security easily. Medically necessary equipment is allowed through security, and the 3-1-1 rule does not apply to medically necessary liquids. When you arrive at the security checkpoint, be sure to declare and display any medication and medically necessary equipment to the transportation security officer. Another thing to keep in mind is that assistive devices must be inspected. Be sure to let the transportation security officer know of your ability to stand or walk prior to the screening and if you need to be immediately reunited with the device post-screening.
I hope these tips will help you be at ease on your next trip. Please share your own travel tips here so others can benefit!
Shared Solutions® Nurse
About The Author
Lauren R., RN MSCN, is an MS Certified Nurse who works at Teva's Shared Solutions®. She has specialized in multiple sclerosis for three years and has 10 years of nursing experience.
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Debbie Barnes | December 12, 2016Thank you! Very kind of you to take your time to do this for us, thank you!
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 13, 2016It’s comments like yours that inspire us each day, Debbie! Thanks for helping nurture the Lift MS community.
Keely | December 12, 2016Thank you for info.
George | December 12, 2016My own mistakes have taught me two things. If flying, avoid long layovers and travel light. On a very long trip we had a 7 hour layover each direction. It was a huge energy zapper. On the same trip we carried too much "stuff." We normally travel light, but even light was too much. Miniaturize or leave it at home!
Enjoy your trip!
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 13, 2016It sounds like you’ve found something that works for you, George – kudos for your efforts! Please keep us posted, and be sure to check back for more tips from the community.
Marilene | December 12, 2016If traveling overseas, you may want to check if your
hotel has an elevator as this is not always standard. I request wheelchair assistance from airlines. There's no charge but tipping is expected. I travel with a mobility scooter which I check at the airport to be shipped through to destination at no cost. Most medical supply stores will rent you mobility equipment, including scooters.
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 13, 2016Great suggestions, Marilene!
Debbie | December 12, 2016What is the 311 rule?
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 19, 2016Hi Debbie, Information on the 3-1-1 liquids rule can be found here: https://www.tsa.gov/videos/travel-tips-3-1-1-liquids-rule
Schelly | December 12, 2016Great info as always...thx so much & they are helpful.
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 13, 2016Thanks for your kind words, Schelly! Comments like yours fuel our efforts to build a helpful community.
Patricia Graham | December 12, 2016Very helpful tips!
Thank you !
Teva's Lift MS Team | December 13, 2016We’re so glad to hear our community has been helpful to you, Patricia. You’re part of what makes this blog great!
Vicky | January 10, 2017In the past, we had informed the airline that we would need transportation from gate to gate and that stairs were not doable. They were not prepared for either one and we had an entire plane of annoyed people because everyone had to wait while they got a lift to get my husband in the airplane. We had been assured at the time of booking that there would not be a problem.
Teva's Lift MS Team | January 11, 2017We understand living with MS adds extra challenges to life, Vicky. We’re so glad you’re here and hope you find helpful support.