What kinds of trips and vacations are the most compatible with chronic pain? The 10-day whitewater kayaking, ziplining, and bungee jumping adventure is right out. So are a number of other types of travel, but in this post I’m accentuating the positive–the kinds of trips that travelers with pain can take and not just enjoy, but adore.
Geared for older crowds and catering to the visibly disabled wheelchair-using crowd, cruise ships come equipped with a wide variety of amenities that make it much easier for travelers with pain to enjoy a scenic vacation. I’ve already done a long post on cruising with pain. And I’ll get more cruising experience when I speak at the floating SATH congress in January, so check back in February for more info and opinions on cruising with pain.
Spa resorts tend to come in two flavors–luxury spas and health spas. Both work well for travelers with pain, because of the emphasis on relaxation and wellness. I’ve got a lot of experience with luxury spa resorts, and I love them dearly. Sitting for an hour or three in a deep soaking hot tub, then indulging in a massage, a facial, a detoxifying body wrap makes me feel fabulous. I’m trying my very first hardcore retreat “spa” next month–the Fresh Start Retreat on Vancouver Island in Canada. I’ll be blogging and tweeting live from Fresh Start while I’m there, so you all will get the real scoop as I’m choking down the wheat grass juice and cleansing drinks.
National Park Gentle Adventures
For my United States audience–we’ve got a fabulous system of national parks in this country that just beg to be visited by travelers with pain. Most national parks have on-site or near-site indoor lodgings, restaurants and food shops, and visitors centers that double as museums. National parks all follow US ADA guidelines, which means that visitors centers, restrooms, and a certain number of trails are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible trails tend to be shorter, flatter, and easy enough for travelers with pain to enjoy. Most national parks have a network of roads that allow for scenic tours without the need to hike–some also offer ecologically friendly and comfortable bus tours of park highlights.
Classic Weekend Getaways
You know the trip I mean because it’s one that healthy people take all the time. Get a room at a charming inn for Friday and Saturday night someplace that’s close enough to home to be an easy drive, but far enough away to feel “away.” Both small towns and big cities work equally well as weekend getaway destinations–I like both, it just depends on my mood. Arrange for an in-room couples massage and make reservations for dinner nearby. Spend the rest of the weekend snuggling in bed with a book, taking long hot baths and short easy walks, and recuperating from the week (the month, the year)…
Going to Disneyland
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–nobody does it like Disney. Whether you pick Disneyland, Disneyworld, or even the much-mocked EuroDisney, the Mouse can provide accommodations that simply don’t exist at any other theme or amusement park on earth. From rentable wheelchairs and scooters to Guest Access Cards to cast members (employees) who actually pay attention and know how to help guests who are obviously in medical trouble, it’s possible get the help you need to have tons of fun with your family at Disney. Be sure to get informed before you go–this website not only has great info, it links to most of the rest of the stuff you’ll need to know to get everything you need in the DisneyVerse.
What other types of trips work best for you? What kind of destinations are friendliest for travelers with pain, or with your specific condition? Let’s build on this list!