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Home » Medical Travel Insurance » Preparing for a holiday with a Medical Condition

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Preparing for a holiday is exciting!

You’ve chosen this year’s adventure, and you’re putting the final details in place for what you hope will be a memorable trip.

So, to help you tick every box for getting ready. We’ve put together a one-stop guide to preparing for a holiday with a medical condition.

Choosing Your Travel Insurance

For those who have a medical condition and are therefore at a higher risk of developing complications, travel insurance is essential.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have revealed that every 3 minutes a UK holidaymaker needs emergency medical treatment abroad. The total medical bill paid by insurers last year was £209 million – the highest figure since 2010. So, if you’re still unsure whether you need travel insurance which covers your medical conditions… check out these example claims from the last year alone:

  • A 50-year-old woman was put into an induced coma after suffering pneumonia and bronchiolitis while on holiday in Mexico and awoke to a £300,000 medical bill
  • A man holidaying in San Francisco simply fell out of bed and was handed a bill of £153,000 after breaking his arm
  • £200,000 was paid to treat a traveller on a cruise in China who suffered a brain haemorrhage and needed an air ambulance back to the UK

Forget about juggling the costs of the medical expenses and choose specialist medical travel insurance to holiday with peace of mind.

Basic travel insurance – like those provided with some bank accounts – often provide no cover for your medical conditions, or far too little!

Check the Facilities of Your Destination

After finding the right medical travel insurance, it’s now time to prepare yourself for any medical events at your destination – just in case!

Consider the following:

  • The quality of the healthcare at your chosen destination. As much as we knock the NHS, not all healthcare systems around the world are as capable. Make sure there’s suitable facilities close to your accommodation
  • Medical emergency travel insurance number. If you have a medical emergency, you must try and call the emergency telephone number of your travel insurance to ensure you receive the correct treatment for which you are covered
  • Is the landscape suitable for your medical conditions? For example, you might not want your hotel on a hill if you have breathing difficulties!
  • Are the facilities of your accommodation suitable? For example, if you have mobility problems you’ll want easy access around the place. If you need equipment like a wheelchair, call ahead and you may be able to rent one

Medication

Making sure you have enough medication for your holiday is vital!

So book an appointment to see your GP before you go, let them know how long you’ll be away for, and make sure your prescription covers you.

This would also be a good opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you have about your trip. Such as:

  • Are you definitely fit to travel? This is essential to any medical claims being valid on your travel insurance.
  • When should you take your medication if you’re in a different time zone?
  • Are there any activities you should avoid?

Once your prescription is sorted, try to travel with your medication in your hand luggage in case your luggage gets lost or damaged.

Medical travel insurance should cover you for any loss or theft of medication… but it’s also a good idea to know the name of your medication in the local language,  just in case you need it.

Notify Your Airline and Cabin Crew

To ensure your journey is comfortable and runs smoothly,  let your airline know about your medical condition before you travel.

You might be surprised by how much they can help!

From priority boarding to needing oxygen in the cabin, it’s always best to check your options.

Tips for Specific Medical Conditions

Cancer

If you’ve recently had chemotherapy, avoid live vaccinations. They’re not recommended for six months after the treatment – they can cause serious infections to a weakened immune system.

Are you awaiting a date for future treatment?

Consider waiting list cover on your travel insurance – available from AllClear as an optional extra.

And remember some cancer treatments can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight – so be aware of taking time out of the sun.

Anxiety

Taking a holiday can help to ease the symptoms you may be experiencing, but travelling can sometimes increase anxiety.

Consider travelling with someone who understands your anxiety, and have an itinerary to ensure you’re organised.

If you’re worried about flying, then simple tips like listenin to music may help.

Diabetes

Always keeping your medication in your hand luggage is extra important if your diabetes requires you take insulin!

If your insulin goes into the hold it could freeze –  which isn’t good!

Instead, it’s a good idea to bring a note from your doctor explaining that you must keep your insulin and syringes with you while travelling.

High blood pressure

Have you considered a blood pressure monitor?

That way you can keep an eye on your blood pressure whilst you’re away and ensure that it remains within a safe blood pressure range.

If you’re flying, stay hydrated! The air in an aircraft is very dry,  and if you do have a few glasses of alcohol, don’t forget the increased effect it can have in the pressurised cabin.

Looking for Specialist Medical Travel Insurance to cover your trip?

If you have a pre-existing condition then you’ll need Specialist Medical Travel Insurance to help protect you and your trip. Discover how AllClear can help you today!

Benefits of AllClear Cover

Gold Gold Plus Platinum
Emergency medical expenses and Repatriation costs Up to £10m Up to £15m Unlimited
Cancellation* and Curtailment Up to £2k Up to £15k Up to £25k
Travel Delay Up to £300 Up to £1,500 Up to £1,500
Recuperation stay
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

Simple 3 step quote process

1. Call us or click a quote button on our site

Once 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 process

You then declare the medical conditions for you (and any other travellers) and answer the specifically designed medical questions.

3. Get your quotes

You will then get your quotes and can either proceed to buy, or save your quote, at this stage.

Article sources:

The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through our disclaimer for more information.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 8 March 2024


† Based on Trustpilot reviews of all companies in the Travel Insurance Company category that have over 70,000 reviews as of January 2024. AllClear Gold Plus achieved a Which? Best Buy.