Should I Go On Vacation During My Lyme Battle?

By Jana

June 27, 2023


With summer upon us I’m seeing this question a lot…”Should I go on vacation during my battle against Lyme disease?” The responses range from, “hell no!!” to “Yes, definitely! Your body and mind need a vacation. Getting away will do you good.” While I agree with both sentiments, I believe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. There are many considerations when determining if you should go on vacation. So, before you jump into a pretty big commitment, let’s talk about some of them.

** I want to note here that my battle was particularly difficult. I was sick for at least fifteen years before I was diagnosed, so I had reached chronic illness by the time I started treating. Not all of you will be thinking about whether or not to go on vacation from the same point of view.

Diet: eating healthy while on vacation can be a challenge

Eating healthy while on vacation can be challenging, even for those who aren’t battling a chronic illness. Your diet is a crucial part of your path to wellness and compromising on this one thing can have major repercussions. It’s way too easy to grab fast food or indulge in pasta and bread when you are not in your normal routine. Unless you’re able to find restaurants serving local, grass-fed meats and fresh vegetables, sticking to your paleo diet is nearly impossible. Before you decide to run off to the city, consider how you will maintain your healthy eating habits while away from home.


Usually going on vacation, especially if you are with a group of family and/or friends, involves lots of activity. Along with lots of activity comes peer pressure to participate in said activities. Before you decide to whisk off to the bungalow on the beach you may want to decide whether you can say no to all of that fun in the sun. For me, particularly in the first year of my treatment, balancing activities with rest was a delicate balancing act. If I did too much on a good day I would be wiped out for at least the next three days. And when I’m talking about doing too much in those days it means going for a drive with my husband or having the energy to vacuum. Depending on where you are in your battle rest is crucial on your path to wellness. Will you be able to get the rest you need if you go on vacation?

The medicine regimen

The medicine regimen was the most complicated aspect of my treatment and definitely something to consider before traipsing off on vacation. At the height of my treatment I was taking 23 pills with breakfast alone. That doesn’t include my mid-afternoon pill, lunch pills, late-afternoon pill, dinner and before bedtime pills…plus the tinctures and smoothies along the way. That’s a lot of pills and a lot of timing. I had pills that had to be taken two hours after my antibiotics and an hour away from my next meal. For a while, I also had a smoothie that had to be eaten late afternoon and a slurry I choked down at least two hours away from my evening antibiotics. There was a lot of planning that went into making sure I was choking down pill after pill at the right time. Can you plan and manage this while on vacation? And get the rest that you need in between all that pill-popping and eating healthy? This alone may be a good reason to forego the journey until a later date. (Not to mention lugging your cabinet full of pill bottles along with you wherever you go.)

My tips for finding pleasure and adventure during your Lyme battle

We all need balance and to find some pleasure in life. In fact, it’s crucial to your healing process. You need to find time to think about something other than all the crazy things happening to your body and mind. There are ways to do this without taking on too much and risking a backslide in the process. My husband and I had a few go-to’s:

Afternoon drives/nature meditation

Some of my fondest memories are of Will and I jumping into his car with a few snacks for a ‘Sunday’ drive. We would choose an old country road leading to a stream or a lake and just drive. Often, I would allow myself some little cheat on my diet, because what’s a road trip without gas station snacks? There was few things I craved more in those early days of treatment than a small bag of Lay’s potato chips.

These drives were also a great way to connect with nature. Smelling the fresh air and staring out the window as the trees floated by lowered my pulse and brought a smile to my face. My most favorite memory from my battle was one of these drives when we ended up at Whitefish lake. It was a dreadfully hot day and the water was enticing. So, Will held my hand as I crept along the rocks. I went only far enough to slowly sink into the water. Floating, even for a few minutes, in that icy cold mountain lake still brings me a sensation of peace. I highly recommend it.

Weekend trips

You may not be ready for a full-on vacation but a quick trip to a nearby town can be revitalizing. Our favorite place to go in the spring or fall is Missoula. We both went to college there and it’s simply a nice getaway spot. The two hour drive was feasible for me and we would stay in a VRBO with a full kitchen. This was a must-have for us in order to maintain my paleo diet, even while away from home. We could prepare an easy lunch to bring with us and easily make eggs and bacon for breakfast. Then for dinner I would allow a little cheat on my diet, within reason of course. These little mini get-aways were awesome and reasonably stress-free!

So, should you go on vacation during your Lyme battle?

Ultimately, this is a choice you have to make for yourself but hopefully this little post gave you some helpful pointers and considerations. Personally, I would caution against it, especially if you are early on in your treatment. There were a few times that I got excited when the possibility of a vacation to Florida or Hawaii was floated. But, when I really thought about what it would entail I had to say no to my husband. It was disappointing but looking back I know I made the right decision.

My fellow Lyme warriors, mental health is absolutely critical in your battle and vacations are a great tool for re-charging. My advice is to find those moments of peace in your backyard, from the front seat of your car or over a short weekend. You can still get out of your four walls (that for me began to feel like a prison) and find mental healing. Most importantly, know your limits/boundaries and stick to them. You’ve got this Lymies!!


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