Travelling with a chronic illness & Cystic Fibrosis requires careful planning and preparation. Jessica lives with these conditions and shares her tips for staying healthy while enjoying travelling the world.
Here are 15 Tips for Travelling with a Chronic Illness & Cystic Fibrosis
- Start writing a packing list as soon as you book your holiday. Keep a notepad handy and add items to the list as you think of them. It’s easy to forget items you use daily as you take them for granted in your home environment.
- Getting sick from something easily preventable is a waste of time on holidays. Minimise the risks by keeping hand santiser in your handbag or backpack, carry wet antibacterial wipes for plane tray tables, hotel room surfaces and phones. Use a saline nasal spray regularly and a filtering mask for plane, train or bus travel.
- For overseas travel it’s wise to have details for a medical facility or local organization with an understanding of the health care specialties you require.
- Never assume a hotel will have the facilities you required. Check they can meet your needs. If you travel with medication or treatments which need refrigeration find out if the room is equipped with a bar fridge this is no longer standard in many places.
- If the cleanliness of the room is important to your health and well being let the hotel know you have a compromised immune system and let them know you need a deep clean of the room prior to arrival.
- For travellers with a condition which causes breathing difficulties, consider travelling with your own dust mite proof pillow case. I
- If you are susceptible to picking up germs, clean surfaces with antibacterial wipes and don’t forget to include the television remote.
- With compromised immunity it helps to avoid larger crowds which is difficult when you travel. Airport lounge access can assist with this. The lounge facilities generally offer areas which are clean and private to attend to treatments or for taking medication. If there is a flight delay the lounge is a more comfortable area to wait and rest.
- Conserve energy when you are travelling to and from your destination to use for sightseeing. At airports use the lift rather than the stairs, accept assistance to the aircraft gate rather than walking and rest in the lounge. Make sure you have energy to use on the best bits.
- Carry a letter from your doctor regarding your condition and the medications needed to be carried when you travel. The letter should include a brief summary of your recent medical situation and confirmation you are medically fit to fly. Keep the letter with you at all times.
- Some medical conditions require authorisation for air travel so check in advance with the airline if in doubt.
- Look after your body while you travel by fueling it well by packing some healthy snacks. Research prior to arrival options for healthy food outlets near your hotel.
- Airlines do not provide refrigeration facilities so you will need to travel with a small esky or cooler bag for any medications which need to be kept cool.
- Pace yourself with sightseeing. Although it is tempting to book activities for the entire trip, schedule in some down time.
- The support and accommodations of additional needs by airlines varies dramatically between carriers. Taking some time to do your research in this area can save a lot of stress and even minimise risk. Never assume an airline can provide support for things such as on board oxygen or mobility assistance and always speak to the special handling department of your airline prior to flying.