We just returned from a trip out to California. The weather was gorgeous, I have been trying to convince my husband that we want to retire there. I came up with some ideas that made the travel easier on me.
1. Use a backpack- I can carry things easier on my back than in my arms/hands.I used a backpack as my carry-on bag, I took out my wallet and a few other items I would need during the trip, then put my purse at the bottom of the backpack where it would be handy when we arrived. Some people use a wheeled carry-on bag, which is another way to make things easier to schlep.
2. Bag of tricks- I had a small cloth bag that I prepared with everything I would need during the flight itself, so I could have it at my feet, and not need to dig in my purse or backpack. I included some snacks, water bottle, phone on which I have games and a Kindle app, so I can read without carrying a book, fuzzy slippers because the flight was long, glasses case, moisturizing products, gum and candy made with xylitol. I put this bag in my carry-on, and pulled it out once situated in my seat on the plane.
3. Carry an empty water bottle in your bag, and fill it up after you get through security.
4. Moisturizing products- I have Sjogren's Syndrome, an autoimmune syndrome that includes dry eyes,dry mouth, dry everything. I have a packet with eye-drops and eye ointments, mouth spray, nasal spray and gel, and lip balm. Even if you don't have Sjogren's, the air in airplanes gets very dry. I moisturize everything well before the flight, then keep this bag handy for touch-ups.
5. Carry-on light- The less you have to carry, the easier it will be. Many airlines are charging fees these days for checked bags, so many people cram everything they need for their trip into a bag they can carry on the plane with them. I would rather pay than carry so much stuff. Ask yourself : Would I rather save money or my body?
6. Ride, don't walk- If walking or carrying is difficult for you, don't hesitate to take a tram, motorized cart, wheelchair, or whatever is available to ease the strain on your body.
7. My pain increases if I have to stand long, so when they called for anyone with disabilities or needing help to board the plane first, I went. I am not shy about asking for or accepting accommodation that will decrease my pain/strain.