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Travel Advice

When travelling with a medical condition consider the following advice

When you are travelling with a medical condition, it is important to take steps to make the journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Take a look through our suggestions for those that apply to you.

Before Your Trip

  • Get an ID bracelet or necklace that identifies your medical conditions and/or allergies
  • Leave your destination contact phone number and address with a friend or relative
  • Make two copies of your travel documents e.g. passport, visas, tickets etc and leave one with a friend in case of emergency. Keep the other copy with you in separate bag to the originals. This will really speed up replacements if your documents are lost, damaged or stolen
  • Register your travel plans with (this government run site for Australian's travelling overseas) & check travel warnings for the areas you are planning to visit
  • You may require vaccinations for destinations you plan to visit. Some need to be done up to six weeks prior to travel. Check this site to get an idea of vaccinations you may need but always check with your doctor for final confirmation
  • When it comes to your mobile/cell phone you have several choices. You can arrange for international roaming on your phone. This can take several weeks with some providers. Or you may want to purchase a local SIM card at your destination. Or you can also purchase a SIM card prior to departure that works in many countries such as TravelSim see their website for details
  • Store important contact numbers in your mobile phone
  • Arrange for travel insurance. A medical evacuation is VERY expensive.
  • Ask your doctors' for notes regarding any medications you are taking and keep them in your hand luggage
  • If you are fitted with a pacemaker - carry your card and show airport staff before going through security check points
  • Carry a small, portable sharps container for syringes if required
  • Keep your medications and prescriptions in your carry-on case your luggage is lost
  • Bring extra prescriptions in case you lose your medications
  • Clearly label ALL of your belongings - include phone number if possible
  • Allow yourself extra time to avoid unnecessary stress and fatigue
  • Use luggage with wheels/ long handles to avoid carrying it
  • Use the bathroom just before you board the plane, bus or train (airlines can make you sit with the seatbelt on for a while after take-off)
  • Make use of assistance with wheel chairs to avoid fatigue
  • Ask for seats near an exit if you are physically handicapped (you won't get exit row as they are reserved for people who can assist the crew in an emergency but you should be able sit nearby)
  • Wear special travel pressure socks if you are concerned about your feet swelling or vain problems. Available at pharmacies.
  • Buy some hand sanitiser to use when you can't wash your hands with soap and water. Available at supermarkets & pharmacies
  • Moist wipes can be very handy in many situations and are sold in purse packs at supermarkets & pharmacies
  • Pre-request any special meals that may be required during a flight
  • Confirm with your hotels any special access requirements for wheelchair access etc
  • Check electrical voltage and purchase conversion plugs for your destination for any medical equipment
  • You may need a small cooler bag & ice packs if your medication needs to be stored at a certain temperature
  • You may want your medication made up into Webster packs for your trip. This helps to avoid confusion with times & doses. Ask your pharmacist for details
  • Pack your own medical kit with paracetamol, bandages, thermometer, antiseptic cream, gastro prevention, antihistamines etc.  

During Your Trip

  • Keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the journey. Stick to bottled water if possible
  • Make use of assistance with wheel chairs to avoid fatigue
  • Ask about special services for those with disabilities at your destination
  • Avoid prolonged sun exposure, wear a hat & apply sunscreen regularly
  • Keep medications with you in a convenient place such as a purse or backpack
  • Check locations of local hospitals
  • Wear ID your bracelet at all times in case of emergency
  • Allow plenty of time for little emergencies
  • Practice good hygiene and wash your hands often - use sanitising hand wash if no water available

This list may seem rather long and over cautious but some advance preparation will make your trip memorable for the right reasons.