Vacation Tips With NMO

Having a a medical condition like neuromyelitis optica (NMO) can sometimes make traveling a little difficult, or possibly a little uncomfortable. So in this article, I want to try and give some helpful tips and tricks on how to make your vacation (for me, on a cruise but this can apply to different scenarios) more enjoyable.

The smell of salt water, the feeling of sand between your toes, bottomless, mimosas, and nothing the big blue sea. I haven't gone on a cruise since 2019, and going on a cruise to me is the ultimate vacation of relaxation and the opportunity to enjoy. Just people on a boat looking to get away from reality.

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Leave your embarrassment at home

First of all, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed by your condition or disability. There are tons of people aboard with similar or different conditions that may make the trip a little bit harder on them, too. You’re not alone, you have others that are in the same boat… bad pun? But seriously, there are people that will help you and understand.

Safety measures

Big thing for me, find out where on board the on cruise physician is (or if not on a cruise, the nearest hospital). Good to know in case of any issues that may happen. Next would be just really get to know your surroundings. Since I have mainly visual issues with NMO, I really do my best to look around each area and find an object or something I can remember to help get around. When I first got on and was able to walk to my room, I made sure to really study things so I could find it easily.

Funny side note: totally met some awesome people while on board. When they learned about my vision issues, one man in particular was so concerned when he saw me on the cruise deck alone. Truly a genuinely nice person who was concerned about my safety. Once I explained my situation and how I could navigate a cruise, he was blown away. It was a good laugh but really made me feel good and safe on there.

Avoiding germs

A big thing I use now thanks to traveling with another medically challenged friend, is sanitizer. This is something she has done and after getting sick on one trip, I learned it helps.

You’re on a boat full of people. Not everyone is honest or even know they are sick. I want to enjoy my trip, so being cautious and washing my hands all the time is important. Use and do whatever you need to do for yourself. Do it! It’s your trip and it doesn’t harm anyone else. I would rather enjoy my trip than get a cold or flu (or even worse, Covid).

Make a list

Now a super important rule is start a check list before you go. Keep it safe on your phone or in a specific drawer. Make sure that you don’t forget to pack items you will need that won’t be accessible during your vacation. So any devices to assist you, medications, phone, chargers, toiletries, and whatever else you need to make it for as long as you're gone. I also make sure to have my watch set up with alerts and reminders.

Ask for help

Over all know your surroundings. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially if you’re a single traveler, which there is nothing wrong with that at all. Do what you need to do to enjoy your vacation as easy as possible! What’s the point of paying all that to have a bad time?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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