If you’ve always wanted to travel abroad but felt limited by your medical condition, now’s the time to go. Advances in technology, medicine, and media communication have made travel more accessible than ever. Ready to go on the trip of a lifetime? Here are six tips to make the most of your adventure.
Some people with medical conditions spend their whole lives hearing “you can’t.” You may have grown up hearing from family and friends that you can’t ride that roller coaster, you can’t scuba dive, and you can’t travel alone. Hearing “no” your entire life lowers confidence and seeps into your subconscious, and eventually you too will start to tell yourself “you can’t.”
Your family and friends may mean well, but they aren’t you. They tried to protect you as a child by giving you guidance, but they never taught you to have confidence in your abilities as an adult. This will cause you to live in fear, and if you live in fear, you’ll never achieve your dreams.
Know Your Limitations
You need to be bold to travel with a medical condition, but you also need to be smart. You may want to choose destinations with accessible medical care. Countries like Japan, South Korea, and Canada have excellent medical care in case of an emergency. You may also want to stick to large cities, which typically have better hospitals and doctors.
Should you decide to teach a second language in another country, check out the medical benefits included in your program. Institutions like the JET Programme in Japan have compulsory health insurance that gives you access to some of the best medical care in the country.
Consult Your Doctor
Always consult your doctor before you travel abroad. Whether you were just diagnosed with a medical condition or it’s been under control for many years, a doctor will give you sage advice about what to do next. Go through any necessary tests and exams to determine if you’re fit for travel. Your doctor may also give you advice on how you can travel safely with your condition.
Not every doctor will tell you what you want to hear. If you don’t like their answer, get a second opinion. A new doctor can offer you a different perspective on your condition. If they agree with your other doctor, you should reconsider your options.
Get Enough Medication
If you’re on medication, it’s time to fill up. Discuss with your doctor about extending your prescription and getting enough for your trip. Most insurance companies will accommodate your request, but it may come with a price. Make room in your budget in case you need to pay outside your health insurance.
Is My Medication Illegal in Other Countries?
Always research your destination to ensure your medication is legal. Some antipsychotics, ADHD medication, and heart medicine is banned in other countries. If your medication is prohibited, consult your doctor about an alternative, and be sure to test your new medication several months before your trip. You may also be required to carry documentation of your prescriptions with you from your doctor and insurance company in order to refill while abroad.
Protect your medication by securing it in your carry-on luggage. If your flight is delayed or your baggage goes missing, you can rest assured that your medication is with you at all times.
Wear Appropriate Identification
Wear a medical ID wherever you go. A medical ID contains your name, your medical conditions, and an emergency contact. Lauren’s Hope offers stylish accessories for men and women to make your medical ID a fashion statement. Are you travelling within the country? Seniors who travel might seek help from MobileHelp’s medical alert systems while on the go.
Travel with Others
Invite your best friend or close family to travel with you. Going abroad with family and friends is a fun way to bond with your loved ones, and you’ll make memories you can share together. They’ll know more about your medical condition and know how to respond in case of an emergency.
You may also consider traveling with a group. There are plenty of travel groups you can find online, including women’s only clubs, regional groups, and social clubs. Sites like solotraveller.com can help you find a travel buddy who’d be happy to join you. If you travel with people you don’t know, always inform them of your condition and have them refer to your medical ID in case of an emergency.
Don’t let your medical condition stop you from doing what you love. Consult your doctor and create a plan so that you can travel abroad.