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Why I Love Road Trips

When I go on vacation or visit family, I prefer to hop in the car. My husband and I will drive 18 hours to get to our destination. Why? Because I get a cold almost every time I fly, especially if it’s the week before my period. And if I’m stuck on a plane at any point in my cycle during winter — when the cold and flu virus is more stable — I will definitely get sick.

Some people are perplexed at my decision to drive half a day to get somewhere instead of flying a couple of hours. But since I have endometriosis — and an altered immune system — I have to take extra precautions.1 So, my endo and I have come to embrace the road trip. Here are three pros of hitting the road.

I avoid crowds — and germs

I’m an introvert, so I’m not a big fan of crowds to begin with. But starting around Thanksgiving, the airport is full of people sneezing and trying to stifle coughs. As someone who doesn’t have a top notch immune system, plane travel becomes hazardous to my health. When I travel by car, it’s just me and my husband sharing the same oxygen. And he never gets sick. My track record for starting vacations healthy greatly increased when I decreased my air travel.

I can adjust my schedule

Endometriosis symptoms and my period aren’t always predictable, so I like having a couple of days where I can shift my schedule if I need to. If it’s the day before my period, I can get nauseated, dizzy and generally just feel like crap.2 If I know I can shift my departure by a day or two, my travel stress decreases and the trip gets off to a better start.

I bring my own food

Food is one of my biggest triggers. Most soy products give me cramps, and I get bloated at the drop of the hat if I don’t pay close attention to my food. I follow a low-FODMAP diet, and gut-friendly foods aren’t always available at airports or gas stations. Traveling by car means I can pack a cooler and stick with foods tailored to my diet.

Make travel part of the trip

A lot of people tell me they don’t like taking road trips because they get bored, but I make travel part of the vacation. Sometimes I plan to see friends in multiple towns or travel by national parks with great views. The most important thing is I can lessen my risk of getting sick before my trip gets started.

So if you’re like me, and plane trips make you sick, try hitting the road on your next vacation. Just make sure you don’t forget to download your audiobook first.

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

  1. Herington JL, Bruner-Tran K, Lucas JA, Osteen KG. Immune interactions in endometriosis. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2011;7(5):611-626. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3204940/. Accessed January 21, 2019.
  2. Matchock RL, Levine ME, Gianaros eter J, Stern RM. Susceptibility to Nausea and Motion Sickness as a Function of the Menstrual Cycle. Womens Health Issues. 2008;18(4): 328-335. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2525506/. Accessed January 21, 2019.

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