Approximately 40 percent of people in the United States live with a chronic disease. Chronic diseases are those that last at least three months, like heart disease or diabetes, and they can limit people’s activities.
For travelers with a chronic disease, going out of the country can be challenging. However, with these four tips, you can confidently travel almost anywhere in the world.
Pack Medical History
Whether you’re traveling domestically or internationally, it is a good idea to include a summary of your medical history with your important documents. Also, include a list of the medications that you regularly take with this information.
If a medical emergency takes place, then the hospital treating you will have a better idea of what could be wrong, which can lead to getting the correct treatment quickly.
Also, include your primary and specialists contact information, so those treating you can get further information if it’s needed.
Consider Travelers Insurance
The majority of health insurance plans are not going to cover any medical emergencies when you’re traveling abroad. If you’re traveling within the US or in US territories and have an emergency, then you will be covered, but not out of the country.
If you have Medicare, then it will cover emergencies in all US territories, in Canada, if you’re traveling to or from Alaska and on cruise ships that are six hours or less from a US port.
Otherwise, you will need additional insurance as your healthcare expenses are not covered by Medicare outside the US.
Check Legality of Medications
If you’re going out of the country, be aware that some medications that are legal in the US are not legal in other countries or there may be restrictions on them. Contact the embassy of the country you’re traveling to to find out if some of the medications that you take are illegal or restricted.
As a rule of thumb, don’t take any more than a 30-day supply of medications, unless you plan to be traveling longer. It’s a good idea to start your inquiring about your medications about 90 days before you leave for your destination, so you can get alternative drugs that you may need.
Find Local Hospitals
When writing your itinerary for your trip, research the areas where you’re traveling and make a note of the location of hospitals and clinics. If a medical emergency takes place, then you will know where you can seek help.
If you’re traveling with companions, make sure they know where to find your medical summary and write them down as your emergency contact. If you’re alone on a tour, notify the tour guide about your condition and the location of your medical information.
By preparing for your trip, you can make it less challenging to travel with a chronic condition. However, before you book your tickets and leave, check with your doctor to make sure you’re medically fit to travel.
Then, remain on any special diet and take your medications as you normally do when you’re at home. By taking these precautions and using these tips, your trip will be much more enjoyable and memorable.