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Travel Tips

Does anyone have tips for traveling long distances? How do you prepare before the trip? What do you bring with you to help manage symptoms and maximize comfort?

  1. Great question! Depending on whether you are on a controlled med, it can be really helpful to do research, speak to your doc about your trip get enough supply and necessary documents or letters from doctors etc. Set out some time the day before to get packing and everything, shower etc done and lay out clothes if you are travelling in the morning so that you can just roll out of bed and don't need to worry about getting too much stuff done last min and possibly miss your transport if you are not driving/ being driven. On that note, if you are travelling with someone, ask them to gently help you wake up if possible, either in person or by phoning (and keeping on the line!) Snacks and something to rest your head on is a good one. Also, I think having a coffee already made up (maybe make to ice coffee) if you drink it or any other beverage that might help you on a journey at the ready so again, not going to be missed out on for being last min! (this is always an issue for me, waking up late!) If you need to explain something like cataplexy, you could have a wristband with narcolepsy on it, speak to flight staff etc if you are flying. Maybe have a little booklet or infographic handy (eg. from project sleep) about narcolepsy to just hand to people if you are too brain foggy to explain. There's probably more but I will stop there haha!
    Best Wishes, Lauren (Team Member)

    1. Thanks for sharing Lauren, these were some great tips! I am traveling alone for the first time in October to the Narcolepsy Network Conference. I have been nervous about the trip for many reasons, including my Narcolepsy symptoms. They are difficult to deal with in public. I think my social anxiety makes it worse somehow. The idea to lay everything out the night before so you can roll out of bed and go is genius. I plan on utilizing that one. Warmly, Tatiana (narcolepsy.sleep-disorders.net Team Member)

    2. Oh I'm really happy that this was helpful for you! Did you read Kerly's article as well? Has some other good tips about travelling including pre requesting support from airline if you are flying. (as in the cabin crew will meet you early and escort you to the flight etc) I can really relate to the social anxiety! It can be so hard and as you've said it interacts with N a lot. Very bizarrely I have done a lot of travelling on my own although I struggle to leave the house to go to the local shop on my own most of the time! It might also be helpful to have a relaxing playlist ready to listen to on your journey. I am afraid of flying (particularly setting off) and I am level one reiki trained so I always draw reiki symbols in the air to protect the journey when setting off. But you could do something like mentally put a force field around the plane or bus etc, whatever you are travelling on and say in your head something like, 'this journey will be safe and turbulence free' etc. It helps to just keep your mind occupied. Or the classic five senses countdown when you feel overwhelmed (mentally note things in your surroundings, smell, taste etc etc) just to ground you. Wishing you the best with your journey, it's exciting to go to the conference! I have never been to one before although before the pandemic hit I was due to go to the world N conference in Berlin. Best Wishes, Lauren (Team Member)

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