Many people think that traveling is only reserved for 100% healthy people and that chronic-illness patients need to stay at home. That’s obviously not true, especially today when we have such great technology, fast flights and great connections between health departments. If you prepare well and get a green light from your doctor, there’s no reason why you couldn’t travel. Here are a few preparation tips for traveling with health issues:
Get cleared by your doctor
Before you leave for your adventure (at least one month prior to your trip), make sure to consult with your health care provider about your trip. Your healthcare provider will check your condition and clear you for your trip, while also giving you all the vaccines you might need for the destination. And in case there’s something wrong, your doctor will catch it and try to cure it before you embark—it’s scary to have a medical emergency in a foreign country away from your regular doctor!
Stock up on medication
If you’re taking daily medication for your condition, make sure to have enough meds to last you all through the trip. And ask your doctor whether you can get a bit extra just in case you lose your luggage or get stranded at the destination. Depending on where you’re traveling, you might not have access to a pharmacy or your specific medication, so it’s best to be prepared by stocking up at home. In some cases, your insurance will only cover the costs of 30-days of medication at a time. If that’s the case with you, consult with your insurance provider and see how you can stock up on medication properly.
Plan for treatment
If you’re receiving regular treatment that can’t wait until you return from your trip, don’t worry—there are ways to handle that as well. For instance, the website bookdialysis.com allows patients to book their dialysis treatment abroad in all the best clinics all around the world. You can choose the type of treatment, location and clinic and ensure you get your dialysis right on time so you can enjoy the rest of your vacation. With more than 50 countries and 500 clinics, you’ll not have to dig hard for a destination that will provide you with all the health treatments you need and all the fun of traveling.
Collect all your health information
Just in case you need to see a doctor while you’re away on your trip, make sure to have all your health information printed out and translated. This way, a local healthcare provider will be able to quickly learn about your medical history and provide you with adequate care and treatment. Write down all the medication you take as well as the dosage in case a local doctor needs to prescribe you something.
Map out doctors and clinics
In case you need medical help while on your trip, it’s best to have information about health providers, clinics and hospitals mapped out on your itinerary. If your illness is very rare, do some research to find a health provider with some experience with your particular condition. Keep the information close to you so you can access it quickly or show it to someone who can assist you during your trip. For instance, not every doctor knows about treating dialysis patients or not every dentist knows how to treat HIV-positive patients, so do your research.
Get travel insurance
Never start a trip without travel insurance. Your health insurance should cover medical care while traveling abroad because if not, you’ll be forced to pay for health services from your own pocket which can often be very expensive. It’s best to consider additional insurance for travel which includes healthcare and emergency evacuation (very useful if you’re planning a trip somewhere remote).
Traveling with health conditions is possible and fun, as long as you prepare properly. Stock up on meds, locate health providers and you’ll have nothing to worry about during your adventure abroad.
Peter Minkoff is a gay travel and lifestyle writer. Besides writing, he worked as a travel journalist for many publications in Australia and the UK. Follow Peter on Facebook and Twitter for more tips.
Peter Minkoff ist ein schwuler Reise- und Lifestyle-Autor. Er arbeitete als Reisejournalist für viele Publikationen in Australien und Großbritannien. Folge Peter auf Facebook und Twitter für weitere Tipps.