Travelling with medical conditions made easier

Posted on September 1, 2017 by Guest Writer

Whether you’re venturing to exotic Asia, the Far East, the Caribbean or even Timbuktu, we think you’ll agree there are so many amazing places to visit in this wide world. The good news is that travelling to faraway places need not be a problem, even if you’re taking a medical condition with you.

If you are a little worried by the prospect of flying with a medical condition, here are some ways to make things easier for you or a travel companion:

Visit your doctor – Always ask your doctor if you are fit to travel before you jet off on holiday.

Bring a doctor’s letter that gives details of your medical condition plus the names and dosages of the medicines you are taking, so you have it handy should an emergency arise. It is also useful should you need to replace your medications if they go astray.

Check if you need a medications licence – You might need a licence to take some medicines overseas, particularly morphine based pain killers. If you need one, make sure you apply well in advance at your hospital, hospice or GP.

Don’t forget your vaccinations – Check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and your doctor to find out if your destination requires vaccinations and make sure you get them done in time for your trip. Bear in mind that some jabs need to be administered several weeks in advance for them to take effect.

Choose the right place – You will need a destination and accommodation which give you the break you need. This might mean avoiding extreme temperatures or city smog. Equally, you might not want to walk long distances, especially in the heat. It’s also a good idea to book somewhere where your room, holiday amenities and medical facilities are close by.

Reduce stress – Being late can take its toll on your stress levels and general health so don’t leave things too late before setting off for the airport. Transport delays do happen and last-minute errands can take longer than expected so always allow plenty of time.

Don’t pack too much travelling into one day. You might consider taking a later connecting flight or staying at a hotel en-route to recharge before travelling onwards. Be flexible enough to plan your activities according to how energetic you feel each day.

Check the airport’s special facilities – You can book early boarding with your airline, as well as a special diet and mobility aids such as wheelchair assistance. It’s well worth contacting the airline before your departure date to find out how to book these facilities.

Get insured  – A good travel insurance policy not only covers medical emergency treatment while you are away, it can also protect you against the need to cancel, curtail or interrupt your trip. If you are bringing medications, check if the policy helps with replacing them in the event of loss or theft.

For more ideas, the NHS Travel Health Checklist provides a wealth of advice on travelling with medical conditions as well as a First Aid kit checklist.