Five Tips for Traveling with a Chronic Illness

Traveling and exploring the world is an eye-opening experience that promotes altruism and greater understanding. Experiencing places and cultures outside of one’s own familiar surroundings expands one’s world view and understanding. Whether flocking to warmer climates during the winter, studying abroad, or just looking to explore somewhere new, travel should be accessible to everyone.  

Chronic illness can stand in the way of many daily activities, making travel seem like an unachievable goal, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are able to travel, here’s five tips to make the experience easier, safer, and more enjoyable! 

Do Your Research! 

If your chronic health condition requires certain accommodations, be sure to do thorough research when planning your travels. This is especially important for farther journeys requiring longer flights, road trips, or other means of transportation. If you use a service animal, make sure they are able to board any flights with you and complete any necessary steps to ensure their passage into your destination country. Do you research concerning transportation of your medication and any necessary medical equipment, especially if this includes opioid painkillers. Inform your doctor of your plans to travel for clearance and for any additional information you need. 

Choosing the right accommodations for your trip is equally important. Be sure you book a room or reserve an AirBNB that meets any specific needs you may have. Accessibility in bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas are crucial. 

Bring ALL Medications and Necessary Documentation 

Traveling abroad doesn’t give you a break from maintaining your health. Make sure you are fully prepared and able to enjoy your trip by keeping up with your medication. Be sure you have at least enough of a supply of your medication for your entire trip. This includes any supplements or medications you may not take regularly but may be necessary in case of flare ups. It’s always better to be over prepared than under prepared. 

It’s also a good idea to bring a copy of any medical information which may be necessary in case of an emergency. Medical bracelets are a great option for this, but if you don’t have one, having easy access to your records can help immensely. Having a physical and digital copy of your records as well as contact information for your primary physician allows medical professionals in the country you’re visiting to get the information they need to provide you support and care. 

Pace Yourself 

Exploring the world is exciting. You want to get as much out of each trip as you can, but pushing yourself too far is counterproductive. Knowing your limits and pacing yourself appropriately helps you get more out of your travel plans. For people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or other conditions that affect your energy levels, being aware of yourself can help to prevent exhaustion and related health events.  

Voice Your Needs 

If you are traveling with others, be sure to voice your health needs. Don’t allow fear of being annoying or ruining the fun; your health and safety always come first. If you need to take a break or have concerns about being able to eat because of dietary restrictions, speak up. The people who love and care about you would much rather you take care of yourself than put yourself in danger.  

Get Travel Insurance 

Emergencies can happen to anyone, but when your travel with chronic illness, the risk may be increased. Having traveler’s insurance can help to give you a peace of mind. With an international insurance company like Insurance Consultants International, you are covered in case of accidents, illness, or cancellations.  

Contact us now for more information about traveler’s insurance coverage.