These days travelling abroad can be stressful enough what with having to get to the airport hours before your flight if you have any hope of making it on time. Once there you then need to fight your way through the queues for security, make sure you don’t have any liquids in your carryon bags, take your shoes and belt off for good measure and then run to the gate just before it closes to board the plane. You’re exhausted before you even get to your holiday destination!
It’s tough enough for those of us who are fortunate enough to be reasonably healthy and fit, but just imagine what it must be like for people who are not as mobile or are suffering from a medical condition which makes travelling that much more of a challenge.
For those people who suffer from an on-going illness, medical condition or living with cancer for example, time abroad on holiday can be a welcome distraction, relief and much needed tonic. It is also a time to relax and perhaps spend time with the family and try to recharge your batteries, especially if you have been spending a lot of time in hospital and receiving on-going treatment.
Unfortunately, many insurance companies do not make it easy if you want to go away on holiday if you have a pre-existing medical condition, as they expect, rightly or wrongly, that you are more likely to make a claim. For example, they think that it is more likely that you may have to cancel your holiday due to ill health or need expensive medical treatment when abroad on holiday.
Therefore, finding an insurance company that will not penalise you and will actually help provide you with reasonable holiday cover if you have a medical condition is really important. You ideally need to find a company that have an English speaking 24 hours emergency medical assistance helpline that you can call from abroad and a company that will allow you to make a claim for any unplanned medical treatment and if necessary, repatriate you. You need to know that any medical expenses you incur abroad will be covered, along with personal belongings, like any other normal travel insurance cover.
Here are a few other things you should take into consideration when planning a holiday. Firstly, do speak with your doctor before making any plans, as they may well be able to advise you on the best time to travel as well as suitable destinations that will be more able to help you should the need arise whilst you are away. You may also like to consider avoiding countries where you require vaccines if your immune system is not up to it.
Make sure you plan your time away well in advance and be sure to choose a holiday destination that is not going to mean you are stuck on a plane for an extended period of time as long-haul travel is tiring for even the fittest of us.
Ensure you are able to carry any medication you may need whilst you’re away and plan to take a little bit extra just in case your return is delayed for any unexpected reason. It’s also advisable to carry your medication in its original container just in case you have any problems going through security or need to get more whilst you’re abroad.
Another piece of useful advice is to avoid drinking local water when travelling overseas and try to drink only bottled water and ensure you stay well hydrated if you are going to be in a hot climate and as with anyone else, take plenty of sunscreen so you don’t get sun burnt!
Living with an illness is stressful enough, so being able to find good comprehensive travel insurance cover will help make your holiday that much more enjoyable, giving you the piece of mind that you are covered for most eventualities.
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine, a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and professional photographer.