If you’re able, taking a vacation somewhere warm can boost your mood and may improve some of your PsA symptoms.
The dark and chilly winter days are hard on many people, but for those of us with psoriatic arthritis (PsA), the onset of cold weather comes with flare-ups, swelling, and a decrease in mobility. These extra challenges can make wintertime that much more difficult to swallow.
Frigid temperatures and decreased natural vitamin D are two reasons why people with PsA may experience worsened symptoms in the winter months. If that isn’t a good enough excuse to plan a getaway somewhere warm and sunny, I’m not sure what is!
There are endless destinations to consider depending on your financial situation, your definition of what makes a good vacation, and specific symptoms. These are some of my personal favorite wintertime vacation spots for a wellness-focused trip.
The dry heat of the desert can be healing and relaxing for some people. If you fall into that category, a trip to Palm Springs might be just the ticket during the winter months.
This stunning stateside destination means you don’t need a passport or to worry about staying seated for ages on a lengthy red-eye flight. That being said, you’ll want to keep in mind that dry heat might not be the best if you’re having an active psoriasis flare. The lack of humidity may make your symptoms worse.
Think of Montevideo as a hidden paradise — and one of the best options on the list if you have seasonal depression or find the darkness of winter difficult to get through. Because it’s in the southern hemisphere, the sun rises early and sets late from November to March.
The capital of Uruguay is located just 3 hours by ferry from neighboring Buenos Aires, Argentina, and offers the ideal combination of city life and beach town. You’ll find oceanfront beaches in any direction, most of which are within walking distance of the city center.
Montevideo, as well as the rest of Uruguay, is also known for its laidback attitude and slow pace of life, which will grant you permission to take it easy and be present in the moment — all while soaking in the sun and sand. It’s also worth noting that the public healthcare system in Uruguay is high quality and completely free for both residents and tourists.
It might be a long flight, but if you like to combine a relaxing vacation with adventure, you’ll want to consider booking your escape to Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). The sprawling Vietnamese city is steamy throughout the winter, with average temperatures ranging from 73°F (22°C) to 89°F (32°C) and humidity levels hovering around 66%.
The flight to Vietnam can be long, depending on where you live (it’s 24+ hours from Chicago!). If inactivity makes you stiff or worsens your PsA pain, make sure to get up and walk around occasionally during the flight.
The economic hub is also home to tons of skin- and joint-loving ingredients, with specialties like fresh coconut water and rice noodle-based pho available on every corner. It’s extremely easy to travel within Vietnam should you want to experience the countryside or the capital city of Hanoi.
There’s a reason the wellness influencers on your social media feeds flock to Bali during the winter months. The lush Indonesian province is famous for its serene landscapes, stunning oceanfront beach clubs, and outdoor spaces. It’s become a wellness hot spot for yoga and meditation retreats.
Studies have found that yoga may benefit people with arthritis by reducing symptoms and improving overall well-being. If standing yoga isn’t for you, you can try it from the comfort of your hotel room couch.
Although the winter months may be a little rainy, you can still expect temperatures around 79°F (26°C).
The Golfo Dulce region is a 1-hour flight from the capital city San José, and the oceanside inlet is a true paradise for those looking for a hot and humid escape. The stunning region is home to dozens of wellness-focused beach resorts.
Expect tropical highs of 86°F (30°C) during the day, with evenings dipping to about 73°F (23°C). Golfo Dulce (as well as much of Costa Rica) is home to a pristine rainforest. The humidity in the winter can get up to 87%, which may help relieve people with skin psoriasis and PsA.
Whether you’re looking for a hot and humid spot to ease your PsA and psoriasis symptoms or prefer the desert’s dry heat, these warm-weather destinations are excellent for wintering with psoriatic arthritis.
If taking a long vacation isn’t in the cards for you right now, you can plan a relaxing staycation instead. Spa treatments — like massages, warm soaks, and saunas — can provide some much-needed relaxation and PsA pain relief during wintertime.
Traveling with PsA requires some preparation, whether you’re traveling across the world or just across town. Read Bezzy’s article How I Manage My Psoriatic Arthritis While Traveling Abroad before you go.
Medically reviewed on December 14, 2022
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