Travelling with a crappy spine: Part One, Accommodations


I love to travel. I love seeing new places, experiencing new things, meeting new people. Oh and I love eating new foods. I think that is THE best part of travelling! But what I don’t love is how I have to factor in my autoimmune arthritis (ankylosing spondylitis) into every part of every trip. And if I don’t, it can put a real stinker on a huge chunk of my vacation. 

Here are some moments where I cannot ignore my inflammatory pain in the butt (if you have it, you know this is literal!). 

Booking Accommodations

This would seem pretty easy, just go for the one with the most stars you can afford. Not so fast there. Before I can book I have to consider a few things: 

  • What are the beds like, do reviewers say they are too firm (probably a good thing), describe them as “fluffy pillowtops” (avoid)? What size is the bed? Since I am constantly moving around in my sleep (due to the fact staying in one position for too long causes pain) if the bed is too small, Dave is going to get kicked a lot on accident. Bonus if there are two beds in a room! That way if I can’t sleep at all, I’m not keeping him awake all night.  Is there an actual bed!? If not, probably best for me to avoid.
  • Is there an elevator? If there isn’t and our room is on the 5th floor of an old former mansion in Paris, can I do all the stairs? We did do this, Dave did have to make a lot of solo  trips for baguettes and pain du chocolates in the morning (what a trooper!).
  • What’s the hot water situation? I can deal without having a bathtub for a few days (I would rather not, but I can survive) but having shoddy hot water is really hard. I use hot water to help with the morning stiffness (which usually lasts 2-3 hours), and to feel “human” again. Having to take a cold shower not only sucks but can really hurt and cause my neck, back, hips, knees and ankles to become even stiffer and cause me to be a lot less mobile (which isn’t fun when you’re sight seeing).
  • Where’s this place located? Somewhere close enough to transit is ideal so I don’t have to walk a long way with luggage. I think I’m pretty strong but my body sometimes says “nope” and I just can’t carry anything anymore. Is it also close enough to attractions that I can come back for an afternoon nap (which most days is necessary)?

Do you also suffer from ankylosing spondylitis? Or another condition that makes you think twice about booking a certain accommodation while travelling? I would love to hear from you in the comments! 

Next up I will discuss transit! 

2 thoughts on “Travelling with a crappy spine: Part One, Accommodations

  1. I can totally relate! I often bring my own pillow if I can fit it in my suitcase. It’s the little things that most people don’t have to think about that can cause someone with AS a lot of second guessing if it’s worth going on holiday and pay for the pain that will come. Thanks for writing this post!


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