Travelling With A Health Condition: 7 Steps To A Healthy And Successful Trip

As someone dealing with a health condition, you really do need a vacation. Here’s how to plan ahead and have a happy, healthy trip.

travelling with a health condition, women about to head off on a roadtripphoto credit: shutterstock

Travelling with a health condition can be stressful. Actually, being at home with a health condition is stressful already enough. But traveling is such a great part of life, and your health issues aren’t going anywhere, so it’s not always worth skipping out on some QT with friends and family. Thankfully, these seven steps will help make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Talk to your doctor, as certain live vaccines may not be appropriate, depending on your treatment.
  2. Book through a travel agent. This can save you time and money in the long run. Most have suppliers around the world that can arrange medical requirements on the ground. Additionally, they can contact airline medical desks on your behalf and get “fit to fly” forms to your doctor. Anybody with a major medical issue should complete these forms one month before flying.
  3. Don’t assume you don’t qualify for travel insurance. As long as your doctor verifies that you’re stable and controlled 14 to 90 days (dependent on age) prior to travel, you could be fine with travel insurance. “Stable and controlled” is defined as “having no change in treatment or medications.”
  4. Pack extra prescriptions. Keep all medications in their original bottles; with prescriptions in your carry-on luggage. Carry a letter from your doctor describing the medications you’re carrying (listing both the generic and commercial names), along with a prognosis note that summarizes your diagnosis and recent treatments.
  5. Add your medical team to your contacts. Sometimes a quick call to your doctor or triage nurse can solve a problem.
  6. Map out where the closest medical facility is. Knowing this ahead of time can save a lot of angst in case of an emergency.
  7. Know your worst-case scenario. Do you want to be hospitalized or stay in your hotel room? Realize that your travel partner might panic and admit you to hospital anyway, whether or not you have travel insurance.

And last, relax. If you’re travelling with a health condition, you deserve the same  but certainly not least, have fun! Bon voyage!

Originally Published in Best Health Canada