Top 10 Medical Travel Tips To Improve Your Wellbeing
07 July 2017
Travelling can be stressful, but travelling with an existing medical condition or having severe food allergies makes it even more challenging. For a stress-free trip and to improve your wellbeing during and after the trip, follow these medical travel tips:
Bringing medications abroad
If you take prescribed medication regularly, there are a few things you must do before your trip. Make a list of all the full names of the medications you’re currently taking, and see whether your destination has restrictions on such medications. Next, check with your airline regarding their medication procedure. Most airlines require you to bring a note from your doctor stating all the necessary info for security clearance, including the medication you’re taking and why you’re taking it.
Travelling when you have asthma
For asthma sufferers, be sure to bring these with you: inhaler, asthma medications, care plan for asthma, copies of prescriptions, and your doctor’s phone number. Check whether your destination has things that could trigger asthma attacks, and take precaution. Colder climates are also likely to trigger your asthma attacks.
Travelling when you have diabetes
Seek advice from your doctor regarding how to manage your blood sugar levels during the trip, what to do in an emergency, and find out which medical centre in your destination provides the best facilities for your health needs. Test your blood sugar frequently during your trip.
Managing hayfever during your trip
A runny nose and watery eyes can ruin your fun. Bring antihistamines with you and take them whenever necessary. You can also try herbal remedies such as oil leaf extracts, fish oil, vitamins C and E, and a spoonful of honey on a daily basis to treat sneezing naturally.
Dealing with food allergies and intolerance
Trying out different cuisines of a different culture is one of the most important parts of travelling, but what if you have severe food allergies and intolerance? Always ask about the ingredients first. It also helps if you wear a medic alert necklace or bracelet. Remember to keep your medications within reach, and if you’re travelling with other people, teach them how to use the medications during emergencies.
Taking your medications in different time zones
Travelling across different time zones inevitably disrupts your routine. If your destination is hours behind or ahead of your home country, you may end up taking your medications more or fewer than what’s been prescribed by your doctor. For your convenience, take your medications based on the local time of your destination. Double check with your doctor first to make sure that this is ok, and ask him or her for some advice.
Managing travel sickness
Travel sickness can be car sickness, air sickness, sea sickness, or motion sickness; with migraine sufferers, children and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. Ease your symptoms by drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated and minimising your head movements with a headrest or pillow. Avoid alcoholic drinks, large meals and looking down to read a book or play games on your mobile during your journey.
Minimising jet lag
If possible, start synchronising your body clock before you travel by altering your sleep based on your new time zone a day or two before your trip. When on the flight, try to get enough sleep (by following your new time zone), drink plenty of water and exercise to improve blood circulation and reduce swelling of the legs and feet.
Preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Long periods of inactivity can lead to the formation of blood clots in the lower parts of your body, especially your legs. Prevent DVT by wearing compression stockings, drinking plenty of water, getting up from your seat and walking around the plane regularly. Avoid taking unnecessary medication and consuming alcohol while on the plane.
Managing pregnancy while abroad
It’s possible to travel and still have a healthy pregnancy, provided you come fully prepared. Before you leave, consult with your doctor and get advice on your pregnancy needs, including dietary needs, and ways to properly manage your pregnancy while abroad. Remember to check the local health care centres of your destination in case you need to make a visit.