Travelling with high cholesterol
It is important to keep track of our cholesterol levels. Although many of us know this, we still fail to get it checked.
Why is this important? The World Health Organisation discovered that a third of all heart disease cases are caused by high cholesterol…
If you have high cholesterol and wish to go on holiday, you may have a few travel-related questions. In fact, charity Heart UK revealed that over half of the adults in the UK have raised levels.
If levels are high it’s especially important to take care when travelling. But don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying yourself on holiday! We’ve put together a guide for travelling with high cholesterol, so that with a bit of extra planning and a few tweaks to your lifestyle, you can holiday with peace of mind.
Before you travel
Consider visiting your doctor for a health check-up before you travel. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether your plans are suitable. If your cholesterol levels are high, they may be able to recommend a better time for you to travel or for you to change your holiday slightly.
If you’ve been advised to change your diet, here’s some added professional advice:
” Get your cholesterol levels measured first, try a single dietary change for 4 or more weeks, and then get them tested again afterwards.
If one change works for you, then you could try adding a second and having them measured again – since the different foods work in different ways the results of combining more than one can give you an even bigger drop.”
With the okay from a doctor, there should be no reason why your cholesterol levels will stop you enjoying your time away.
Cholesterol-lowering medications work best if you take them on a schedule, as prescribed. Make sure you have enough medication to cover your trip, as well as a few days extra, in case you can’t get a top-up in the few days after you return.
If you’re flying, consider carrying medication in your hand luggage (subject to airline restrictions). Make sure it’s a legal medicine in the destination(s) you’re travelling to. It will need to be in the original packaging and clearly labelled with your name and prescription information. It’s often advised that you carry a copy of your prescription – plus a letter from your doctor explaining your condition.
During the flight
Sitting still for long periods – such as during long flights – can cause changes in blood circulation and can increase the risk of a clot. Particularly if you have a circulatory condition such as high cholesterol. You may want to consider buying an aisle seat and ‘flight socks’. Also known as compression stockings, they reduce the risk of clots in your legs (DVT’s).
Avoid eating too many on-board snacks, which are often high in salt and fat content. Staying well-hydrated is also important as dehydration can increase cholesterol levels.
While you’re there
- One of the highlights of any holiday is the local cuisine! With high cholesterol, the key to enjoying the food is to keep everything in moderation – as Mary Berry said “Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.”
- Read menus carefully and look out for healthier choices.
- Do a bit of research on your destination and find out what fruits, salads, vegetables, organic and whole-grain foods are available.
- Consider taking a fibre supplement with you if you think that travelling will make it harder to eat enough of it. Ensuring you are eating enough fibre is one of the most effective way of reducing cholesterol, so this can be key if you want to keep to your plans
- Depending on where you are, you may be able to tuck-in to completely new, healthy foods so a holiday can be a wonderful opportunity to experiment with different dishes.
Forgetting about food, relaxing is probably the most important part of your holiday plans, but while a stress-free week or two is definitely good for you, staying active will benefit your health just as much. Regular swims and walking as much as possible will help to keep your cholesterol levels under control.
Maintaining a distance of 2 metres is an effective non-pharmaceutical intervention intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is now a measure used in most countries in public spaces. It’s important to be cautious and stick to such measures while on holiday and at the airport so that you can reduce your risk of catching and spreading COVID-19. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing medical condition, including high cholesterol.
You need to think about getting the right high cholesterol travel insurance. If you have raised cholesterol levels you’re at greater risk of developing heart disease, which kills 160,000 people in the UK every year. Most holidays go off without a hitch. However, it simply isn’t worth the risk of travelling uninsured. The costs of doing so can be incredible. Earlier this year, it cost £241,000 to treat a couple who both had heart problems while holidaying in Florida.
Having specialist cholesterol travel insurance means you can get 24/7 access to emergency medical assistance, wherever you are in the world, and without the worry of high medical bills.
Benefits of AllClear Cover
|Emergency medical expenses and Repatriation costs||Up to £10m||Up to £15m||Up to £15m|
|Cancellation* and Curtailment||Up to £2k||Up to £15k||Up to £25k|
|Extended cover||30 days FREE||30 days FREE||30 days FREE|
|Friend or relative to travel from your home area to stay with you if you fall ill with Covid-19||Up to £2k||Up to £2k||Up to £2k|
|Travel Delay||Up to £100||Up to £350||Up to £500|
|Cost of return flight due to COVID-19|
|Personal Belongings||Up to £2k||Up to £2.5k||Up to £3k|
|Personal liability||Up to £2m||Up to £2m||Up to £2m|
|Legal protection cover||Up to £50k||Up to £50k||Up to £100k|
|* If you buy a policy which includes cancellation cover|
|All these figures are per person and per trip|
Planning and protecting your holiday abroadThings to know before you go:
- Remember to check the latest travel advice from the FCDO for your destination. You will have no cover if you choose to travel against FCDO advice, unless that advice relates specifically to Covid-19 (check our Covid FAQs for more details)
- Check any entry requirements and quarantine requirements for your chosen destination
- Choose a Travel Insurance policy that includes Covid-19 Cover
- For information on how Covid might affect your trip, visit our dedicated FAQs page
Simple 3 step quote process
1. Call us or click a quote button on our siteOnce you are ready to start the quote process, the first step is to provide your personal details and information about your holiday plans.
2. Complete our simple medical screening processYou then declare the medical conditions for you (and any other travellers) and answer the specifically designed medical questions.
3. Get your quotesYou will then get your quotes and can either proceed to buy, or save your quote, at this stage.
Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear
 Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 25,000 reviews as of May 2021.