Tips for travelling with a medical condition
Holidays are proven to boost a person’s mood (Nawign et al, 2010), improve overall life satisfaction (Lounsbury and Hoopes, 1986), and lead to improved health (Fritz and Sonnentag, 2006). So, if you are living with a pre-existing medical condition, a holiday may do more for your health and mental well-being than you realise.
Below are some top travel tips for people travelling with pre-existing medical conditions.
1. Talk to your GP
Before you travel, it is a good idea to visit your GP even if your condition is being managed and regulated by medication. This way, you can have a check-up and your doctor can inform you as to whether you are fit to travel, which will be required by many travel insurers. It is likely that they will remind you when to take your medication in a different time zone and will also ensure you have enough medication for your time away.
If you are nervous about travelling then this could provide you with peace of mind knowing that your doctor has said they are happy for you to travel with your health condition.
2. Be destination conscious
Whilst far flung destinations sound idyllic and like a dream come true, a long-haul flight may not be the best for your medical condition. You may also need to be conscious of the climate of your destination as it could cause issues for your condition.
Humid destinations or high-altitude areas can put unnecessary strain on your heart when in reality you were hoping to have a relaxing time away. If possible, try to avoid these destinations when booking your trip. If in doubt, you may need to have a conversation with your GP about any medical consequences of your intended destination.
3. What to take with you
Make sure you take your medication with you! Ensure you take enough for your time away as well as enough for an extra couple of days in case you are delayed coming home for any reason. Be sure to take some or all of your medication in your hand luggage rather than packing it all in your hold luggage just in case your hold luggage is lost on route to your destination. That way you won’t be left without any medication should the unexpected happen.
Another reason for visiting your GP before travelling is so that you can get a copy of your prescription and any other important documents your doctor provides you that state you are fit to fly. Equally you may be able to obtain a copy of your medical history to take with you, as well as any additional medication you may need.
When travelling to a foreign country, it is important that you pack appropriate clothing for your trip. If you plan to go somewhere hot, take lots of sun cream, a hat, and loose fitting clothing, whereas if you plan to travel somewhere cold you will need plenty of warm layers, gloves, and a coat to help regulate your body temperature.
4. Due Diligence
Try and do some research on the local area so you know roughly what to expect when you get there. Make sure that your destination is suitable for you, for example, if you have breathing difficulties, you probably don’t want to stay in a hotel that is on top of a hill!
If you can, consider renting a car or make use of shuttle buses and other means of transportation to reduce the amount of walking you may need to do or to reduce the amount of time you spend waiting in the heat. This is especially important if your excursions are far away from your hotel or you plan to explore places that are not nearby.
It is also a good idea to know where it might be possible to get more medication in case your luggage is lost as we mentioned previously, or you happen to lose some or all of your medication whilst away.
5. General travel tips
Whilst many people still opt to take cash with them on holiday, it makes sense to take an international debit card or credit card with you just in case your cash is stolen or lost whilst away. Obviously, it is still possible for you to lose a credit or debit card or for it to be stolen however, if this does happen you are able to freeze or cancel your card to stop anyone from taking your money.
It is also useful to learn some of the local language. Common phrases and things relevant to you are an ideal place to start in order to try and break down any language barriers you may face.
Additionally, be sure to research and understand the healthcare system of your destination. Familiarize yourself with local hospitals, clinics, and emergency services in case you require medical attention during your trip.
6. Travel Insurance
One thing to ensure is that you don’t overlook taking out Travel Insurance. Even if you are trying to save money on your trip, by not taking out appropriate Travel Insurance you are risking having to pay out a lot more should the unexpected happen.
Whether it's an unforeseen medical emergency, trip cancellation, lost baggage, or any other unexpected event, having appropriate Travel Insurance ensures that you can focus on exploring the world rather than worrying about what’s around the corner.
If you are someone that has pre-existing medical conditions, a long medical history, or has undergone medical treatment then finding the right Travel Insurance for your needs is imperative. Many Travel Insurance providers will be unable to offer cover for those with pre-existing medical conditions, which can make the process of taking out cover difficult for many.
Able2Travel has been providing Travel Insurance with medical conditions cover for over 15 years and know how important it is to have the right cover in place. Able2Travel can provide cover for 1,000s of medical conditions, including, high blood pressure, asthma, heart conditions, and many more.
Need Travel Insurance with pre-existing medical conditions?
If you are planning on travelling with a pre-existing medical condition, then don’t forget the importance of having a high-quality Travel Insurance policy in place to protect you before you travel.
Able2Travel Travel Insurance policies include cover for the following:
- Three levels of Travel Insurance Cover to meet your needs and budget,
- Emergency Medical Expenses up to £10,000,000 (including repatriation),
- Cancellation or Curtailment up to £5,000,
- Missed Departure up to £1,000,
- Personal Baggage up to £3,000,
- And much more…
Able2Travel also offer a selection of optional extras to help tailor your policy to your individual needs including; Cruise Cover, Winter Sports Cover, Gadget Cover, and Sports Cover.
You can get an Able2Travel Travel Insurance quote by clicking the “Get A Quote” button on our website or by calling our helpful team on 01483 806 826.
7. Things to Remember
When traveling with pre-existing medical conditions, it is crucial to prioritise your health and plan ahead to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
Remember to be mindful of the destinations you choose for your travels. Different locations may pose unique challenges and risks depending on your health condition. Climate, altitude, accessibility to medical facilities, and the availability of necessary medications can vary significantly from one place to another. By carefully considering your destination, you can make informed decisions and take necessary precautions to ensure your well-being while traveling.
Lastly, listen to your body and take care of yourself while traveling. Pace yourself, stay hydrated, and rest when needed. Be mindful of your limitations and avoid pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable for your condition. By following these travel tips, you can better manage your pre-existing medical condition and enjoy a safe and memorable holiday.
Before embarking on your next adventure, remember to safeguard your journey by taking out an appropriate Travel Insurance policy for you in case the unexpected happens.
This article is for information and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute advice in any way. The information provided here is correct at the time of writing however please check the latest policy wording for the latest terms, conditions, and exclusions.
Fritz, C., & Sonnentag, S. (2006). Recovery, well-being, and performance-related outcomes: the role of workload and vacation experiences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 936–945.
Lounsbury, J. W., & Hoopes, L. L. (1986). A vacation from work: Changes in work and nonwork outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71(3), 392–401.
Nawijn, J., Marchand, M.A., Veenhoven, R. et al. Vacationers Happier, but Most not Happier After a Holiday. Applied Research Quality Life 5, 35–47 (2010).