When you have a physical health condition, there’s usually a list of necessary medical needs and medications. You will need these necessities no matter where you go and it can be challenging to stay on top of everything when away from home. From knowing how to pack your meds to where to go (and places to avoid), these suggestions can make things a bit easier for you. Plan ahead for safer traveling with a medical condition.
These tips apply to both a short and long journey, whatever the reason for your getaway. Get your plans right, and you’ll have a much better chance of arriving, vacationing, or working without a fuss.
What to consider first when traveling with a medical condition
There are some clear first issues that you need to address. First, contact your doctor. You must get their approval before a trip to be safe. Be open and honest about the details, including where you’re going, mode of travel, and length of stay.
Only then can you proceed with the rest of the planning. Don’t sway from your Dr.’s advice as this person knows your present needs and medical history well; they know what’s safe for you.
If you take regular medication, make sure that you get a prescription that will completely cover the duration of your travels – and longer. Always be safe when doing this and arrange for medication that will last for at least a week after your expected return home.
That way, you will have fewer risks in the case of flight delays or if you decide to stay at the destination a bit longer. Also, pack your prescriptions in your hand luggage, just in case you are asked to provide evidence of what you have with you.
Remember as well that many airlines will require a note that declares you fit for travel. So you will need your doctor to provide official documentation.
Think about your destination
If you live in a disability-friendly city, it can be hard to adjust to one where getting around is much more difficult. Some US cities are well designed for disabled access.
For example, Overland Park in Kansas is renowned for being especially disabled-friendly. On the other hand, Worcester in Massachusetts has often taken first place in surveys of the worst cities for the disabled in America.
For those traveling to another country, do your research. London is great for getting around if you stick to using London’s black cabs, while the tube system in Britain’s capital can be a nightmare for those in wheelchairs.
Other cities like Cairo have a reputation for being very challenging for easy sightseeing, although it is possible to get around. It’s crutial that you have some awareness of what to expect from your destination so that your preparation and planning can be more thorough.
Get help before you leave
Airlines have a legal responsibility to not discriminate against disabled travelers. The Air Carrier Access Act is enforced by the Department of Transportation, and they make sure that airlines provide passengers with many forms of assistance.
However, it’s best not to rely solely on airlines themselves. It’s usually a much better idea to privately arrange a patient advocate.
These people are trained healthcare professionals who have extensive experience with providing healthcare advice, planning, and aid for all kinds of travelers. They can help you plan your journey with your healthcare needs in mind to reduce the chances of any unnecessary complications.
Concluding thoughts on traveling with a medical condition
Having a medical condition shouldn’t affect your ability to travel, and there are legal safeguards in place that protect your rights. However, remember that planning and research is the key to making your travel experience much more enjoyable.