Traveling with Chronic Health Conditions

Traveling presents a thrilling and rewarding opportunity to break away from the mundane and discover new horizons. Yet, those considering traveling with chronic health conditions might hesitate to move forward with their travel plans. However, chronic conditions should not keep people from enjoying traveling.

The key is to approach travel with careful consideration, good planning and preparation. Doing so can result in a trip that is both safe and pleasurable. While the following tips can help those traveling with chronic health conditions reach that goal, it’s also worth your time to consider working with non-emergency medical transport professionals who can make all your travel rearrangements and also travel with you. 

Traveling with Chronic Health Conditions

While the following tips apply to those with chronic health conditions, some also work for those with injuries, those who recently underwent a surgery or those who have suffered a stroke

Communicating With Healthcare Providers

It’s important to consult with your doctor and other important healthcare providers before traveling with chronic health conditions. As noted by Johns Hopkins Medicine, you should try to meet with your healthcare providers as much in advance as possible before your trip. They can provide guidance on issues such as any risks you face with travel, as well as plan for any immunizations, medications and medical devices needed before and during your trip.

Medication Management During Travel

This is an area where careful planning and organization are required. The goal is to make sure you have an adequate supply. The first step is to talk with your doctor, letting them know what your travel plans involve. They can offer advice on the proper amount of medication to take with you. They may even adjust your dosages for the duration of the trip, so speak with them well in advance.

Always take medication on the flight so you are not stuck without your prescription medications if your checked baggage ends up in another airport! Also, bring a prescription from your doctor in case you have to get a refill while on your journey. Use pill divider cases to carry your pills and set alarms or reminders on your phone or watch for when you need to take your pills (especially if you travel to a different time zone).

Preparing a Medical Travel Plan

Research your destination and learn about the local climate, altitude, and accessibility to medical facilities. Determine if you need vaccinations or additional precautions. Become familiar with local healthcare services and emergency contact information, including hospitals and any clinics that specialize in your condition. 

Another key component of a good medical travel plan is ensuring you have plenty of medication for the duration of your trip. To help with any security issues, consider packing medications in their original packaging, along with copies of prescriptions and any other necessary documentation.

It’s also important to consider purchasing travel insurance that covers medical costs involving your chronic condition. Always carry insurance information and emergency contact numbers with you.

Ensuring Comfort and Safety During Your Journey

Johns Hopkins Medicine reports that those with circulatory problems may experience swollen legs and discomfort on longer flights. They suggest stretching legs and arms at least once an hour, performing leg lifts several times an hour while seated, and wearing well-fitted or compression stockings.

You can also stay more comfortable by watching what you eat and staying hydrated. Carry water with you at all times and drink plenty of fluids. Make sure to also bring all mobility aids that you may need, including canes, walkers, and wheelchairs.

Other tips for comfort and safety to keep in mind.

  • Choose a seat that accommodates your needs, such as an aisle seat that gives you easier access to the restroom.
  • Wear loose-fitting, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes that allow for easy movement and minimize any restrictions or pressure on your body.
  • Bring your own pillows, cushions, or lumbar support to provide added comfort for your back and neck.
  • Keep in mind that airlines are equipped to help those with special needs. Inform them in advance about your condition and request any special assistance you may require, such as wheelchair assistance or priority boarding.

Traveling with chronic health conditions requires careful planning, but it should not hinder your desire to enjoy your journey. By following these tips, you can embark on a memorable trip while managing your health effectively.

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