Reducing travel-related stress for people living with Alzheimer’s disease

Pam and Pat are living with Alzheimer’s disease and also both love to travel. They put together some handy tips to help others living with Alzheimer’s reduce your stress as you get ready to travel and during your trip.

Person standing with a roller suitcase

Practical suggestions:

  • Have a permanent checklist of common items that you’ll need, so you don’t need to remember or reinvent the wheel.
  • Have a friend or family member assist with the preparation and travel together.
  • Always make sure you have whatever medicine that you need, contact lenses, any other critical health related items.
  • Maintain a “grab bag” with essentials (toothbrush/toothpaste, change of clothing) just in case you need to pack quickly for a spontaneous trip.
  • Don’t overpack! Pare down your clothing in general. You don’t need to match everything or look a certain way when traveling. Less is better!
  • You can easily dress up a casual outfit with a nice scarf. You can bring several!
  • Have a stash of travel sized products.
  • Pill organizer boxes are great for packing earrings.
  • Bring earbuds/headphones for meditating or listening to music or books.
  • Bring snacks to eat to and from your destination!
  • Watch Marie Kondo or other packing videos for suggestions on folding to maximize space.
  • Use carry on luggage rather than checking bags if at all possible, especially for international travel.
  • Wear slip-on shoes to make it easier to get through security.
  • Bring your own empty container for water to fill up after you pass through security.
  • Take many photos as memory prompts, so you can recall the trip when you return.
  • Don’t stress! Forgotten items (other than medications and health essentials) can be purchased wherever you are going. If you forget something, it’s likely easy to replace.

 Mindset suggestions:

  • Take deep breaths often and relax while planning and packing! Keep in mind that if you forget something, you can likely replace it.
  • Play calming music while packing.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff! Getting stressed when preparing for travel defeats the purpose of having an enjoyable trip.
  • If you are getting stressed in the planning/prepping process, leave and relax. Then come back later with a lighter spirit.
  • Be you, free yourself from feeling like you need to look or be a certain way. These expectations get in the way of enjoying yourself and no one else cares what you look like!
  • Give yourself grace if you do get stressed or forget something! It’s okay!

Visit our website for more tips on traveling or living well with Alzheimer’s or a related disorder or speak with our staff 24/7 at 800-272-3900.

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