Travelling Safe When You Have a Medical Condition

February 22, 2019

Medical conditions can change the way you live your life, but they should not stop you having a holiday. Even travelling to the other side of the world is not out of the questions, so long as you are properly prepared.

Hope For The Best But Plan For The Worst

Start off by making sure you will have more than enough medication for the duration of your holiday. Then do not put it altogether in one place. If your case gets lost with all your medication in it, you could have problems. Of course, there are options. If your condition is something like irritable bowel syndrome,  for example, you can buy Mebeverine for IBS online and, if you are in the UK, get it delivered to wherever you are staying, but it is best to split the medication into different bags, so that at least you have some with you until more can be sorted out.

Be Ready For The Airport And Time Zones

If you are flying somewhere, you have to be ready to explain all your medication to the customs officers. It is best if you have a letter from your doctor confirming that you need them, and then you are less likely to have them taken off you. There are some medical aids that cannot go through airport scanners, and this makes the security staff very wary.  Pack everything in clear bags so they can see exactly what you are carrying.

If you are flying long distance, you need to consider the time zone changes too. With insulin, for example, the body needs it at regular times, and you need to be able to stick to your routine even if your watch is telling you it is 6 hours later.

One way around this is to take two watches, at least one of which does not rely on GPS to tell it the correct time. Keep one of the watches on UK time and use this to make sure your medications are taken at the right times. You do not really want to be changing them to suit the new time zone you are in, as in a short time, after your holiday you will have to change them back again.

Know Where Local Medical Services Are Located

Before you leave home, find the locations of all the hospitals and doctors close to where you will be staying. If you are travelling with a child who has a medical condition, look for a children’s hospital. If your trip is abroad, make sure you have adequate insurance to cover whatever emergencies may arise because not all countries will treat you without insurance or payment upfront.

Some countries have agreements with the UK where medical treatment is needed. In Europe, for instance, you can have emergency treatment free of charge, but they will not treat you for minor problems without you or your insurance company paying the bill.

Get All Your Vaccinations

There are some illnesses that are made worse by other conditions and some conditions that are made worse by other illnesses. Speak to your doctor about 6 months before your planned trip and decide with them which vaccinations you will need. They may not have them in stock, or they may feel you will need a couple of days to recover from their effects. Whatever the reason, you should not leave your vaccinations until the last minute.

Research Local Food Options

People with diabetes are not the only people affected by their diets. There are lots of medical conditions where the sufferers have to be very careful about what they eat. Many hotels, bars, cafes, and restaurants cater for different dietary needs, but you need to check this out before you book your stay.

Although a lot of them will show that they have meals for vegan and vegetarian guests, the menus will not always show which meals would be suitable for people with nut allergies or diabetes. You should speak to the place you are considering staying and make sure they are aware of the condition to see if their kitchen can cope with meals to suit your unique needs.

Some of them will be able to have special meals prepared, and generally the ones that can’t are honest enough to say so.

Preparation Done, Now Enjoy!

Once all the preparations are complete, all you have to do is pack your clothes, and medication, and go and enjoy your holiday. The break from the normal routine will do you the world of good, and could make you almost forget that you have a medical condition for a while.

Filed in: Travel Planning

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