I love to travel. It makes no matter if the trip is regional, national, or international. It makes no matter if the trip is via bicycle, car, train, boat, or plane. Business or pleasure, exploring a new place or revisiting an old one is part of my DNA. It’s compulsory. I. Must. Travel.
Yet, preparing for trips can be stressful for me because I tend to worry quite a bit during the days, nights, and hours leading up to departure. Mostly, I niggle about remembering all the things I have to do before I jet out. For example, I may worry about what to pack (did I pack an umbrella? Is it even going to rain? Will a rain jacket suffice?), setting the alarm if I’m taking a dreadful 6AM flight (I’ve been known to double, triple check the clock), or charging my phone (do I have enough battery power to get a Lyft when I arrive at my destination?). To minimize these worries, I utilize a fairly comprehensive travel checklist.
Introducing “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers”
This checklist is arranged in several sections yet really consists of two main parts. First, the pre-planning (the “before leaving stuff to do”) and the actual packing list. I compartmentalize fairly well so my list sections out medicine, health and beauty, electronics, clothing, documents, etc.
Because I’m a list maker and love taking pen to paper to emphatically check things off as I complete stuff, the format of “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers” works particularly well for me; each task is preceded with a check box. Arranged a cat sitter? Check the box. Feelings of complete satisfaction ensue. Packed an umbrella? Check the box. No more stress. Bonus? It’s just 2 pages so no straggling papers to get lost as I get ready for a trip. I simply print and carry the checklist around with me as I grab my stuff, checking off boxes as I go. Sometimes I tape the checklist to the bedroom door or bathroom mirror and work from there.
The Benefits of “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers”
There are a few benefits to having and using a checklist before leaving town. I find that using “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers” helps with the following:
- It reduces stress. As we all know, stress is no bueno for those of us living with Multiple Sclerosis. With travel comes stress, with stress comes possible MS flare-ups*, with a flare-up comes feeling really, really badly. Hopefully, you will find that using a list like this will help minimize the stress of preparing for a trip and make for feeling good while you’re away.
- It conserves energy. For me, stressing out takes up a lot of my energy. I need as many spoons as possible and I find that using this travel checklist reserves some energy for the fun stuff – traveling and exploring!
- It makes for a better night’s sleep. Completing this checklist helps give me a more restful slumber before heading out on my next adventure which, in turn, sometimes helps alleviate my symptoms (e.g. fatigue, brain fog, etc.). I find that if I get a good night’s sleep, I’m better focused for a big travel day.
Download and Customize “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers”
Would you like to have a copy of this checklist? Download it by clicking the button “Download a Printable Copy” above. This checklist is tailored to what I pack and it is very likely that you would want to adjust this to suit your specific needs. I invite you to download this, review it, and adjust accordingly, especially the “medical” tasks as we all have different prescriptions to manage and organize. Make this your own. It may be that some things to add to the “before leaving” section include a lot of research in advance for accessibility options, how to deal with a wheelchair or other specialized equipment, pre-boarding routines, care partner needs, and more. Simply add these important tasks to your own traveling checklist. And, as things change, just update. I am constantly retouching mine.
- Bonus Tip – consider using packing cubes. I do and I absolutely love them. I find them super useful because I can keep like items together (great in minimizing frustrations in trying to find things) and compress everything for suitcase space savings.
Of course, there may be many things missing from this list. What are some things included in your travel checklist? What should be added to “The Ultimate Travel Checklist for MSers”? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
In the meanwhile, whether you are heading out on a Caribbean cruise, wine tasting through Napa Valley, climbing the ice packs of Patagonia, or taking a business trip, safe travels!