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What’s a care package? A self-made one at that? 🤔
Granted, I’m not talking about the type of care package a kind soul might put together for you in a time of need: a home-cooked dish, a pint of milk etc. More of a package of bits and bobs, some completely necessary, others ‘incase of emergency’, that make a trip more of a home-away, because let’s face it, home is where our comfort lies and in the chronic illness fight we’ll take any and all the comfort we can find!
This is my holiday care package for a holiday abroad.
So, What’s inside?
I talked about my sensitivity to noise in my My Migraine Essentials post and in it mentioned some items I can’t be without. Two items I always travel with to help with noise sensitivity are:
These silicone earplugs are great as they mould well to the shape of your ear meaning you can get a snug fit and block out unwanted noise well. They wash well and are reusable and can be used in water. There are 3 pairs in a pack and they last well.
On holiday I sleep in them to drown out any unwanted noise from the aircon and from outside our apartment.
A newer addition to my stash, PartyPlug are earplugs which filter noise and reduce the level of noise overall. You can hear conversation and music but it is not overbearing. They are reusable and washable and have a really small, dinky carry case which can fit onto a keychain so they’re always to hand.
PartyPlug will definitely be making an appearance in my holiday care package this year!
If like me, the beautiful sunny seasons (my favourite) bring with them dreaded hayfever, I recommend always travelling with a backup packet of tablets. Even if it’s under control, or slightly out of season at home, I find that I can still be affected in a different country with its different pollen and trees.
Loratadine is my go too, please always check with your doctor first.
P.S I was shocked when I saw the price difference not only buying non-branded hayfever tablets but buying online!
I’m a Spoonie with forever dry and irritated eyes. Sjörgrens Syndrome and side effects from medications don’t help. While I have some prescription solutions to help with this discomfort, I also rely on good old fashioned hydrating eyedrops for quick top-ups during the day. Even more so when I’m away in a different environment and my eyes need to adjust to new weather.
Please always check with your doctor and/or ophthalmologist first.
Diarrhoea Relief Tablets
Trust me, it’s better to be safe than sorry! When you’re in a new place, facing uncertain food choices and different water supplies it’s easy for the stomach to be thrown off balance. I always ensure I have a packet of Immodium in my Holiday Care Package ‘just in case’.
Back in the day, pre-illness, I went to V festival (and had THE best time might I add) of course, being the kind of person who prefers to be safe than sorry I had packed a packet of Immodium, much to the amusement of others who thought I was being completely OTT. Of course, they didn’t think it was so over the top when they found themselves in dia need of some Diacalm in portaloo hell…and yep, I kinda felt validated 😉
I’m a fan of these melt under the tongue tablets by Immodium Instant Melts, simply because you can take them anyplace, anywhere, whether you have a drink on you or not.
This one is for my fellow Postsie’s (POTS) and those of us who are required to follow a high salt diet medically (prescribed by a medical professional). It’s not always easy to get the right amount of salt via our diets or even have salt on hand when syncope hits and so I’ve found salt tablets to be incredible. They are perfect to have on your person and to up your salt intake as required. Particularly great if you know you’re going to be in a warm country where you will be sweating more than usual.
Please ensure you contact a medical professional to see if they are suitable.
For more information on Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) and dysautonomia see here.
Freeze Gel Roll-On
Another product that I mentioned in this post that I can’t live without is the Freeze Gel roll-on from Deep Freeze. A drug-free pain relief gel which numbs pain giving cooling relief. This not only helps with pain relief but with muscle tension and in preventing migraines when I fell them coming on.
It comes in a spray, gel and roll-on. My preference is the roll-on as it’s easy for travel and non-messy.
A newer discovery is the Ice cool towel. A towel which when wet cools in temperature and stays cool for up to two hours. It lasts and is indeed cooling. I use it at the base of my neck when I have a migraine coming on or on my forehead when I am feeling faint. So far, so good. I’m looking forward to seeing how this helps in a warmer climate! I will report back! It is machine washable and made from non-chemical hypoallergenic materials.
Call me crazy but I don’t travel without a hoodie. I’m someone who owns more PJ’s and Hoodie’s than regular clothes so I can’t be without my beloved outer layer-ever in warmer temperatures!
With Fibromyalgia sadly comes Allodyniafor me and I often need my skin covering from the air (of all things!), I can find it painful and tiring, leaving me feeling more flu-y and in a deeper nerve pain. Enter my trusty hoodie (or two 😉 ). I sleep in one to keep the aircon air off my skin at night and to keep me warm and have another that is lighter to cover my skin when needed.
Perhaps not the most novel tip but I’d argue one of the most important. I always make sure I have some back up of my medication. Just incase for unbeknown reasons I can’t get home in time, be it delayed flights, unplanned hospital stays, lost medications…
I can’t be without my meds, so it keeps my mind at rest knowing I have backups. This includes regular things like paracetamol and such, that may be easy to pick up abroad but is easier when it is to hand (plus it’s really expensive abroad!!).
Prescription print off in case of emergency
My dosett contains controlled drugs and I have been stopped at airport security because of this. Therefore I always make sure I have a print off of my prescription with me. They have also come in handy when I have needed medical treatment abroad. To obtain one I simply request it through the reception at my Doctors Surgery.
A little extra tip I’ve learnt is that if you follow certain dietary restrictions it can be handy to have a couple of snacks that are suitable to your dietary needs packed. I have Coeliac’s disease and so follow a gluten-free diet. I have to say that in Europe the supermarkets are pretty awesome when it comes to gluten-free snacks but I still like to go with a few essentials just in case.
For those who are gluten-free, these travel cards are very handy! They are cards, the size of a credit card, which state:
“I have Coeliac Disease and cannot eat food containing gluten or food that has been cooked with gluten, even small amounts make me ill. I cannot eat Wheat, durum, semolina, couscous, bulgar, rye, barley, oats I can eat Fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, rice, potatoes, corn, egg, cheese, milk, beans and nuts Thank you for helping me eat safely.”
So that’s what’s in my holiday care package. Make yours your own. Take some ideas, leave others. The point is to create something that makes you feel more supported if you’re ever away from home; be that a holiday or an overnight stay, or even a hospital stay. It all applies.
As spoonies our homes become our support in a way, they are complete with aids, medication drawers, foods we can stomach and so to have a little something all in one part of your luggage that you know offers some support can offer a sense of security when away from home.
I hope you’ve found this helpful.
Do you think it’s a good idea?
What do you keep in your holiday care package? Let me know below?
Note: I am not a medical professional. These are items that help me, I’m hoping that by sharing they may also provide some comfort to yourselves also. However, always contact a medical professional before trying anything new.
Thank you for this list. I don’t travel abroad but this even gives me ideas of putting together a bag to grab to take with me on errands days of things I often wish I had when I am away from home for a long day. Great post.
Yep exactly that! I have a similar bag in the car too! Perfect for those ‘just in case’ moments! Glad you found this post helpful!