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Travelling after a stroke – tips and tricks

A stroke can impact many aspects of your life. This includes when you’re able to holiday abroad again – especially by plane. But we believe that everyone has the right to travel, so we’re here to share some tips and tricks so you can continue to go abroad after your stroke.

The NHS and the Stroke Association advise stroke survivors to not fly for two weeks.In some cases, you may have to avoid flying for three months.
In the case of a ‘mini-stroke’ or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA), you may be able to fly after 10 days as long as you have made a full recovery.

What preflight steps should you take?

When you have been given the go-ahead for flying, you will still want to minimise the risk of any unexpected issues.

Here are three steps to take before you fly:

Talk to your airline.

It’s important to notify the airline if you have special requirements. If your stroke has left you with reduced mobility, eyesight or speech, you may need assistance at the airport and on the plane.
Tell your airline in advance. They’ll be able to arrange any equipment needed, such as a wheelchair, and they’ll be more understanding during any communication.
You may also be asked by the airline to complete a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) before you fly.

Get Medical Travel Insurance.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) say that a UK holidaymaker needs emergency medical treatment abroad every 3 minutes!
Yet when you’ve had a stroke, standard policies – like those that come packaged with some bank accounts – might exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions.
To avoid unexpected medical bills while on holiday, take out specialist stroke Travel Insurance.

Remember your medication.

Be sure you have enough of your prescribed medicines before you head on holiday. Plus, make sure your medicines are in your hand luggage – not your hold baggage! It’s often worth taking a little extra too, in case of delays travelling home.

What should you look out for once you’re in the air?

The main risk of flying after a stroke is developing blood clots, particularly Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
This can cause a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is when a clot breaks free and travels to the lungs.
Blood clots can occur when the blood flow is slowed or stopped. Therefore, sitting still for long periods of time during your flight can increase your risk.

How do you minimise DVT risk when flying?

When you get the ok to fly, consider these steps to minimise your risk of having blood clots…

  • Flight socks: also known as ‘Compression stockings’, these reduce the risk of DVT by gently applying pressure to the leg and therefore increasing blood flow.
  • Have you got the right seat? Reserve an aisle seat or pay extra for one with more leg room. That will allow you to stretch your legs during the flight and help reduce your risk of having a DVT.
  • Posture: assuming you have booked a seat with extra space, sit up straight and stretch your legs out. Do not cross them.
  • Are you wearing the right clothes? Wear loose-fitting items to ensure blood flow is not restricted.
  • Exercise: walk around regularly, at least once an hour, or stand for a few minutes. Do stretching exercises, even while seated. Flex your calf muscles, stretch thigh muscles and curl and stretch your toes.
  • Fluids: drink lots of water and avoid alcohol, as the latter can dehydrate and cause your blood to thicken.

Need help finding Stroke Travel Insurance?

As a specialist Medical Travel Insurance provider, AllClear has helped cover stroke survivors since 2000. Our award-winning customer service will help you have peace of mind on every trip you take.




Gold Plus


Emergency medical expenses and Repatriation costs£10m£15m£15m
Cancellation* and Curtailment£2k£15k£25k
Extended cover30 days FREE30 days FREE30 days FREE
Friend or relative to travel from your home area to stay with you if you fall ill£2k£2k£2k
Travel Delay£100£350£500
Personal Belongings£2k£2.5k£3k

* 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.

Written by: Lydia Crispin | Travel Insurance Expert
Last Updated: 26 October 2023

* Discount applies to the base premium of an AllClear Travel Insurance policy and does not apply to any premium generated to cover medical conditions or optional extras. This discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Ends 23:59 on 02/09/2024. T&Cs apply.


† 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.