Pack your patience
We work hard throughout the year and dream of that vacation – maybe to a fun-filled theme park or a picturesque cruise. We get our luggage ready and start packing, making sure everything “still” fits and we have everything we need, even down to the sunscreen. You’re prepared and eager to get to your destination, but what about the person sitting next to you on the plane, or in front of you in the security line? It’s important to remember that not everyone travels for leisure.
A person who has just been accepted into a clinical trial is hoping that this may be the next promising treatment for their diagnosis. Their bags are also packed, but they may be traveling with quite a bit of extra baggage for their medications, an extra battery for their wheelchair, extra parts for their ventilator, or they might be traveling with a caregiver. Everything takes a little longer for patients who have to keep all of these things in mind when traveling. Therefore, we have some general travel tips that can help ensure a less stressful trip for everyone onboard:
- Anticipate the extra time. Part of traveling is understanding that there will likely be some sort of delay along the way. Factor in a few extra minutes so that you aren’t rushed and more likely to get frustrated if a party ahead of you is moving slowly.
- Consolidate overhead bin space. Put your jacket, hat, or other small items on top of your bag, instead of next to it. Someone with mobility issues will likely have a hard time navigating their way through the plane to find additional bin space if the one above their seat is full.
- Stay positive. It’s easy to get discouraged when your well-laid plans encounter a snag, but it’s not worth starting your trip on a negative note. Breathe, enjoy the people-watching, or take the opportunity to get in some steps around the airport before your flight.
If you have the privilege of traveling for leisure, keeping these small things in mind will help you feel good about helping those around you who may be in less-than-ideal circumstances.
By Barbie St. Pierre