Know before you go

There is always more risk involved if you are ill or have a medical condition when travelling. Some may prefer to stay at home and not take that risk but a trip away may be the very thing to improve your wellbeing and aid your recovery. However many insurance companies won't cover or provide expensive cover for those with medical conditions. There is a chance that if you fall ill abroad, getting the right care could be very expensive. 

Travel insurance is undoubtedly more costly if you are both older and have a diagnosed medical condition. Some companies won't insure people over 65 and others band people with medical conditions together into one high risk group when some illnesses clearly represent more risk of payout than others. Do your research and make sure you take out a policy with a specialist insurer who will cover you if things take a turn for the worse. 

Small Print

Checking the small print is key. Think about what might happen if you fall ill, whether you may need any treatment or medication while you're away. Are you covered if you cancel at short notice because of your condition? Does the policy have enough cover in case you need emergency hospital treatment? The level of cover needed is subjective but it needs to be substantial, perhaps up to £10 million for emergency treatment and £25,000 personal accident cover. If you are travelling within the European Union, the European Health Insurance card (EHIC) which replaced the former E111 form will entitle you to free emergency cover in member states. 

Travelling can be particularly stressful if you're going abroad. Car journeys, flights and ferry crossings all take their toll so it's important that you are equipped for the journey. If driving ensure you plan your route so there are places to stop and rest. If you are flying, inform your airline at least 48 hours before you depart of any likely problems. If you have booked via a travel operator, make them aware and ensure they have a policy to help you should you need it. 


Do your research so that you know where the nearest doctor can be found and take details about how to contact British consular officials in the country you're visiting. Ensure that you have enough medication for the trip and that you won't run into problems bringing it through customs. Talk to your doctor about the likely effects if you are visiting somewhere hot and whether you need any vaccinations. If you travel despite diagnosis you are undoubtedly increasing the risk to your health so plan carefully. The Foreign Office has lots of useful information about travelling abroad. 


If you have a medical condition it may be sensible not to go at all. However as long as you and your carer understand the risk and what to do if things go wrong there's no reason why you can't have a wonderful trip which may be the perfect tonic to make you feel better.