Tips for travelling with pre-existing medical conditions

first aid kit

People tend to think that travelling to another country is almost impossible if you suffer from an existing disease or have a disability. The thought of all the effort that travelling takes could make you consider staying at home. However, holidaying has many health benefits and with a little forward planning it’s possible for anyone to travel.

The following checklist will help you to enjoy travelling even with a pre-existing medical condition.

Consult your doctor

Holidays are often arranged on the spur of the moment, but if you have a health condition, that’s one thing you should try and avoid. Consulting your doctor in advance is always recommended.

Where can you go?

Is your destination suitable? Depending on your condition, some climates could worsen your symptoms. As a rule of thumb, mild climates are usually the most suitable.

Do your homework

Holidays must be planned. Part of the homework is to know what you can expect from the medical care at your destination. Do an online search and get the contact details of the hospital closest to your destination, and the particulars of the British Embassy.

How are you going to travel?

This is a very important decision to make because different precautions need to be considered depending on the mode of travel. If possible, you should discuss this with your doctor. Don’t plan a travel schedule that will leave you exhausted, and pose a risk to your health.

Are you fit to fly?

Flying can be dangerous to people who suffer from certain conditions. Ensure that the airline will be able to accommodate you. Get a letter from your doctor if you have a pacemaker or other implants, and if there’s any urgent medicine that you must carry onto the flight.

Which vaccinations do you need?

Speak to your travel clinic to find out which vaccinations you require for the destination you’re visiting.

Must you take oxygen or any other equipment along?

Some conditions require you to carry an oxygen cylinder with you, or other equipment. Discuss it beforehand with the airline so that they can make the necessary arrangements for you to take it onboard.

Can I use my EHIC if I get one?

It is a good idea to get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you are planning to visit a destination in Europe which will give you access to free medical treatment provided by the state in the European Economic Area.

Get your prescribed medicine and documents beforehand.

It’s very important to ensure that you have enough of your prescribed medicine with you. Many countries won’t allow you to carry some of the medicines on your person without a prescription and a letter from your doctor stating the reasons. Make sure that you have all this documentation with you on board and when you go through to passport control at your destination.

Take out medical travel insurance that covers your pre-existing condition 

This is the most important part of your trip and will ensure peace of mind knowing that you have cover in an emergency. Be sure to honestly answer all questions on the application properly.

Lastly, enjoy the trip! Proper planning and consulting your medical practitioner, travel agency and airline will ensure that you can safely travel with a pre-existing medical condition.

You might also be interested in: a healthy family travel checklist.

This is a collaborative post. Image from Pixabay.

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