Whether you live in a small town or a big city, sometimes it’s necessary to travel for cancer treatments. Sometimes your research for treatment turns up a perfect solution – but that perfect solution requires you to travel across the country. Not to fear! Here are some handy travel tips that will hopefully keep your mind at ease and focused on getting better.
1. Make use of your carry-on luggage.
This might sound kind of obvious, but it’s a good reminder. Make sure to keep all your medications, a copy of your medical records, important phone numbers (your doctor and pharmacy), list of current medications and drug allergies, ID cards for any implanted medical devices, and possibly advanced directives, in your carry-on bag. If you’re traveling with any syringes or injectable medications, anything over three ounces, or anything that might be questionable, be sure to check the current TSA guidelines for carry-on baggage, and have any needed documentation from your doctor. Having these things close at hand makes it much less concerning should your checked baggage be lost and you’re sidelined with just your carry-on for a period of time.
2. If needed, arrange for wheelchair transport.
It’s there for a reason, use it! If you feel like you need a lift, don’t hesitate to arrange one. A lot of times, wheelchair transport has the added benefit of getting one through security a little faster – a possible bonus for those long lines. Distances from ticketing to security to the gate can get lengthy, and can be quite tiring to walk.
3. Protect your health.
Airplanes, trains, and other modes of transportation can be quite dirty and bacteria and viruses can spread fast, so practice good hygiene by washing your hands and cleaning your eating spaces. Stay hydrated. Traveling can be dehydrating, so remember to grab a bottle of water and drink up. To reduce the risk of blood clots, get up and move about every hour or so. Finally, once you arrive at your destination, lie down and rest for a while. Traveling can be very tiring, and you want to be ready for the days of treatment ahead.
4. Consider getting travel insurance.
Even though you have all intentions of going, your medical condition or other medical conditions might prevent you from making your trip. Travel insurance gives you that extra level of protection that if you should have to cancel or move your trip, you’ll be able to do that without losing any money.
5. Be prepared with extra medication.
Your trip is for seven days, so you bring seven days’ worth of medication, right? Wrong. Be prepared by bringing a few extra of each medication you’re on. If flights get delayed or canceled, your treatment plan changes, or perhaps you decide to see the local sites, you’ll be ready with everything you need. Also consider bringing your prescriptions and your doctor’s contact info should your medication get lost or stolen.
By making preparations ahead of time, you can be assured that you’ve already taken of many of the things that can go wrong while traveling for cancer treatments. The most important part of the trip is the treatment, so be prepared and take care of the above tips, so the doctor can take care of YOU!