*This is a collaborative post
Contrary to popular belief, it’s still possible to travel when you have a medical condition — as long as you take the right precautions. There’s no reason why you should miss out on exploring somewhere new, returning to a favourite destination, or spending quality time with your loved ones. Here are six ways you can prepare for a holiday.
Speak to your doctor
Your doctor will make sure you’re fit for travel and can offer practical advice — if you have any concerns about travel, now is your opportunity to air them. Talk to your doctor well in advance of booking your holiday so you can get everything sorted in good time (check out this guide to speaking to your doctor before travel if you’re not sure where to start).
Don’t forget to take out travel insurance
Travel insurance is a must. It’s much cheaper to get a travel insurance policy than it is to pay for medical care abroad (which can reach four figures for a one-night hospital stay), so take some time to shop around and find cover that suits you.
You may need specialist cover for your medical condition, which you must declare when buying the policy (this includes mental health conditions as well as physical). If you don’t your policy will not be valid if you do need to make a claim. There are many fantastic comparison websites so you can get a gauge on how much it will cost, however it may be useful to speak to the provider to ensure you are fully covered for all your needs.
Decide how you’re going to travel
While flying is undoubtedly quicker than many other forms of transport, it also requires an extra level of preparation. If you decide to travel by plane, carry a letter of clearance from your doctor to show airline staff, who have the right to stop you from boarding if your health is at risk (or could put other passengers at risk).
If you’d feel more comfortable travelling by other means, consider using public transport like the train or a coach service — coach holidays also have the bonus of doing a lot of the organisational work for you.
Want more freedom? Try driving. You can take all your belongings with you comfortably and stop to rest whenever you like.
Bring extra medication
No matter how careful you are, there’s always the risk your luggage will get lost. Bring double the amount of medication you’ll need and keep it in your carry-on bag, in its original packaging, with clear labelling and a copy of your prescription. Carry a letter from your doctor which explains why you need your medication.
Find out about medical care in your destination
The last thing you want to do in an emergency is waste time looking up maps and contact details, which is why it’s important to research medical information about your destination before you set off on your trip.
Take a list of important names and phone numbers of people who help you back home
You never know if this may be useful to medical staff supporting you in another country. Just as a note of clarification, it may offer someone some useful information.
What to find out:
- Where the nearest pharmacy is
- Where the nearest clinic/hospital is
- The emergency phone number
- The nearest British embassy
Insurancewith recommend becoming a member of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers, which gives you access to approved healthcare providers.