Plan a safe and pleasant journey with these travel tips for people who have cancer, are having treatment, or are recovering from treatment.
It can take some time to arrange everything you might need when travelling, so it is important to plan ahead.
Before you book your trip
- Ask your doctor what travel vaccinations you may need for the destination you are going.
You can research the country you are visiting on the Travel Health Pro website. If you live in Scotland they have some information and advice about different countries also.
At the same time as booking your travel
- Book your travel insurance, this is in case you need to cancel your trip before you go.
- Let the airline, accommodation and transport you book with know of any necessary equipment you will need or have with you, such as oxygen.
- If you have made any special assistance arrangements in your booking make sure you have a print out of what’s been organised.
- Check any restrictions on the drugs you can take in or out of the country you’re visiting.
About 8 weeks before travelling
- Apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if you’re travelling in Europe.
- Book in to get your travel vaccinations you may need.
About 4 to 6 weeks before travelling
- Sort out any necessary equipment, such as oxygen if this has not been dealt with at the time of booking.
- Sort out any travel needs. For example, book help getting on and off trains, or request early boarding on flights.
- Check whether you need a licence to take strong painkillers abroad.
About 3 weeks before travelling
- Make sure you have enough of your medicines to last the holiday, plus a few days extra.
- Get a doctor’s letter with details of your cancer, your treatment, and a list of your medicines (including how much you take and how often).
Your smartphone and health information
If you have a smartphone there is an area within your phone settings to store health and medical information. You can also store information like your travel insurance policy number and phone numbers you may need when abroad.
You can find out how to access and change this information on ABTA's travel insurance page. You need to scroll down to the heading 'Keep Health & Medical ID section in your smartphones up-to-date'.
Make sure you have your:
- passport and any other proof of identity that you need
- travel insurance policy and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if travelling in Europe
- special travel arrangements that you agreed printed out
- doctor’s letter and prescriptions to hand
- controlled medicines such as opiate painkillers in your hand luggage
- insect repellent and a basic first aid kit
Don’t forget sunscreen and clothing such as hats to protect you from the sun.