Patient Blogs | Lupus
How I Prepare for Travel With Lupus
photo of young woman packing suitcase

Traveling with lupus always takes a lot of planning and preparation. Because I never know how I will feel, I have to be ready for any symptom or issue that could pop up. Here are some things I do to make travel easier on my body.

Medication Management

I always fill up and bring my weekly pill organizer with me when I’m traveling. It’s much easier than packing all of my pill bottles and trying to organize them once I’ve arrived. I bring extra doses of everything just in case a trip gets extended or I have a flare-up and need to increase dosages. I pack full bottles of any “as needed” medication so I have the ability to treat migraines, pain, or any other issues while I’m away.

Tools on Hand

I bring as many of my gadgets and tools as I can fit in my luggage. It can be annoying to take up precious suitcase space, but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s definitely worth it. I pack my migraine ice pack, muscle rubs, heating pad, and acupressure mat. There’s nothing worse than feeling sick when you’re away from home, so I try to have every resource available to take care of myself while I’m away.

Sun Protection

I live in Southern California, so if I’m traveling somewhere by car, I make sure I’m protected from the sun as much as possible. I’m extremely photosensitive and often feel sick after a long drive in the sun. Now, I always wear a hat, UPF jacket, long pants, and I keep sunscreen in the car. I recently bought a sunshade for the car window, which also helps!

Dietary Management

I pack a lot of snacks whenever I’m traveling because if I don’t eat regularly, I feel weak and tired. You never know if you’ll be delayed arriving at your destination or if you’ll be eating on a different schedule, so I like to have snacks around at all times!

Time Management

I like to give myself as much rest time as I can throughout a trip. Traveling in itself can be stressful and exhausting, so I try to not schedule anything after a long flight or drive. I’ve learned not to pack my days with activities, especially physical ones, so that my body has some breaks.

At the end of day, I try to just let go and enjoy. Depending on the trip, it may be worth it to push myself a little bit more than I normally would so I can fully experience a destination. You know your body best, you

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Erica Lupinacci

Erica Lupinacci

Diagnosed since 2009

Erica Lupinacci was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus in 2009. She is the co-founder of Suffering the Silence, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to leveraging the power of art, media, and storytelling to raise awareness and break the stigma surrounding chronic illnesses and disability. Lupinacci has spoken about life with chronic illness for the Yale School of Nursing, Weill Cornell Medical College, Awesomeness TV, The Mighty, and more. She is an actor and producer living in Los Angeles and most recently co-created & produced Trust Me, I’m Sick, a short docuseries about life with chronic illness. Learn more about her work on her website.

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