Top Tips for Travelling With A Medical Condition


They say youth is wasted on the young. And for the enthusiastic older traveller, this can often ring painfully true. Just when you have reached a point in your life when you have the time and resources to spread your wings and explore the world, time has an annoying habit of catching up with you and things don’t work as well as they once did.

Medical conditions can strike us at any point in life, of course. They often put a dampener on travel plans, and not only because no one really feels like jetting off when they feel unwell. People tend to believe that travelling with a pre-existing medical condition will add cost, risk and complications to heading abroad, and that on balance it might not be worth the hassle after all.

However, there is no reason why a medical condition should get in the way of your dreams of exploring the world. If you are generally fit and well, the condition is well managed and you get along with everyday life as normal, travelling should pose no problems.

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All that is required is a little knowledge of things to be aware of and a little pre-planning. In this blog, we will take you through some of the key things to bear in mind, and hopefully make planning your next trip that much easier.

Travel Insurance

It may not be the most exciting part of booking a holiday, but if you have a pre-existing medical condition, travel insurance is one of the most important. It is vital that all medical conditions are declared at the time of taking out insurance, as not doing so could invalidate your cover.

Do some research on the insurance company and its underwriter – consider companies which are well known, established, reputable and which have a track record of specialising in policies for specific medical conditions. Also, make sure you read the small print – understand the conditions, the excesses and the pay out protocols, and if in doubt, speak to an advisor directly.

Taking Medicines Abroad

Travellers can be easily caught out by not realising that different countries have different rules on entering with prescription drugs. In some countries, if you don’t follow the correct procedures you can be refused entry on landing.

Key things to remember are to take a copy of all prescriptions with you. It can be helpful to have the generic names for medicines with you too, not just the pharmaceutical brand names, as these won’t be recognised in all countries. Check recommendations from the British and Commonwealth Office, who will be able to advise you on other protocols to follow depending on the country you are travelling too.

Emergency Preparation

In all likelihood, your trip will go without a hitch and you will have a fantastic time. However, being prepared never did anyone any harm. Before you travel, make sure you have contact details you will need if you do get sick – local emergency numbers, local hospitals or doctors, your insurance company. If you have a smartphone, download an app like TravelSafe, which stores all of these critical numbers for every country you might visit.

Avanti Travel Insurance specialises in bespoke policies for people wishing to travel with a wide range of medical conditions, as well as policies for over-50s travellers. To find out more, please visit our website.

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