Tips for Traveling While Undergoing Chemotherapy

Traveling while undergoing chemotherapy is possible for many people with cancer. For example, you may want to use the down time between treatments to enjoy a vacation or to visit family and friends. On the other hand, a family emergency or other crisis may require you to travel when you didn't plan to.

These tips will hopefully help your travels go as smoothly and safely as possible.

1
Talk to Your Doctor Before Your Trip

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Discuss your travel plans with your physician to ensure it is appropriate during your treatment. Your doctor can give you specific tips related to your medical condition and travel plans.

Be prepared to tell your doctor details about your travel plans. Will you fly, drive, take the train, or be on a cruise ship? What kind of lodgings will you be in? Will you have access to medical supplies, pharmacies, and medical care? These are all things your doctor needs to know to give you advice and judge whether travel is appropriate for you.

To ensure you do not forget, ask your doctor for written notes. For some situations, you may even need a documented medical clearance for travel.

2
Take Extra Medications With You

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It is vital to take along extra medications in case they are lost. When traveling, keep medications with you, not in checked luggage that may go its own way without you. In addition, bring copies of prescriptions in case you lose your medication. It will make it much easier for a pharmacy or hospital to verify the prescription.

3
Know Where to Find Medical Care Throughout Your Trip

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Before your trip, look up and make a list of treatment centers and physicians at each stop, as well as at your destination. Your doctor may be able to provide recommendations. In an emergency situation, know exactly where to go and what to do.

4
Check With Your Insurance Company for Coverage

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Before you leave, give a call to your health insurance company to see if you are covered in other states, or if you need to go to a certain hospital or doctor if you need treatment. You may want to check to see if you need travelers insurance if you are going overseas.

5
Have Verification of All Medical Equipment

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If you have been assigned medical devices, make sure you carry verification that they have been prescribed for you and what exactly the medical equipment is. This will be especially important in airports and for foreign travel.

6
Are Your Medications Legal Where You are Traveling?

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If you have meds that are illegal in the country you are traveling to, make sure you have a doctor's note explaining what the drug is and why you need it.

7
Take Time to Rest During Your Trip

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Rest is important for a person with cancer. In other words, don't overdo it! When you need to rest, sit down or lay down, and relax. Just taking 15-20 minutes of rest every few hours can save and build up energy for later. 

8
Arrange for Assistance to your Gate at the Airport

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Walking to different terminals and gates can be physically exhausting for someone who doesn't have cancer, let alone a person that does. When checking your baggage, let the airline know that you need assistance to the gate. Don't risk not being able to get on your flight because you didn't think you would need help, or were too anxious to ask.

9
Bring Snacks and Pack Light Meals

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Many people undergoing chemotherapy experience nausea. In fact, just the smell of food can make a person's stomach churn. Bring along your favorite snacks in case dining in a restaurant proves to be difficult due to food aromas.

10
Finally, Enjoy Yourself!

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If you are on a recreational trip, enjoy it. Keeping the mind off cancer can help you cope better. Be smart about your medications and avoid any undue stress, as best as you can. 

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