When you’re not in the driver’s seat

Allow plenty of time to arrive at the station, airport or dock – much anxiety is involved in arriving late!

Check you have all travel documents before you leave home including visas and that your passport is valid for the return journey.

Listen carefully to any safety advice you are given and be aware of any emergency instructions

Carry any medication in your hand luggage.

If you have had any surgery, ear problems or other medical condition recently, discuss it with your doctor and tell the airline or travel company before you go.

  


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

Travel Delays

Contact your travel provider

For those flying from UK airports to holiday or business destinations this summer, it is important that you contact your airline or tour operator BEFORE you leave home. This allows you to be prepared and, if necessary, make alternative travel arrangements.

Many schedule airlines will be prepared to offer flight vouchers for alternative flights, or book you onto another flight if your flight is affected. Those travelling with a tour operator on a charter flight to their holiday destination will need to get specific recommendations from their tour representative.

Waiting

While many people will be able to make alternative arrangements, others will find themselves spending extra time at the airport before they travel. If this is the case don’t let it ruin your trip – there really is not much you will be able to do about it and anxiety and anger will only make the situation worse – both for your own health and for those around you.

Take plenty to do in your hand luggage – a good book or a simple hobby to pass the time away.

Perhaps the ones who suffer the most when there are delays are those travelling with young children. Carry with you essential supplies for changing and entertaining and make use of the play areas situated in many European airports.

Where to call for help

For specific information regarding individual main operators:

Air France

BAA

British Airways

  


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

Fear of flying

Many factors can be associated with this condition, all of which need careful consideration and help.  While factors associated with a fear of flying can be psychological in nature, travellers can also experience further pre-travel stress due to poor pre-travel preparation.

Plan Ahead

Good planning is essential to overcoming travel fears. Many in-flight medical emergencies can be attributed to the stress that builds up at the airport, before the traveller gets on the plane. Make sure you have visited your family doctor or nurse for general health advice. Sort out any required vaccinations and discuss malaria prevention well in advance of your trip. If you are at risk of DVT, discuss prevention with your doctor or nurse.

Know where you are going

Think about your day of flying before it happens — pre-book seats and order any special meals you might require, including any children’s meals. If you have any disabilities, contact the airline in advance of your trip to discuss special requirements, such as wheelchairs or assistance on and off the plane.

If you have never travelled to your airport before, allow plenty of time to get there. If you are unfamiliar with the airport layout, or are a first time traveller, try a practice run prior to your day of travel.

Allow plenty of Time

Arrive in plenty of time for your flight and always allow for delays when you travel. Carry a book in your hand luggage and have letters to write while you wait. If you feel anxious, take a portable CD or cassette with calming music to listen to while you are waiting. Never find yourself stranded at the airport with nothing to do, and try to avoid the bar while you wait!

Fear is Common

Understand that travel fears are common. Try to avoid excessive alcohol or drugs as a way of helping you to cope. Alcohol will not get rid of fears and often exacerbates them; it will also leave you dehydrated.

If you have to travel a long distance by air, try to avoid connecting flights. A little extra money spent on a direct flight is worth the expense, if it means no added anxiety about possible delays or missed connections.

At the end of the day, if you are suffering from any form of psychological illness or depression, it is important that you talk it over with your doctor and consider postponing your trip until you feel better.

Further Information

Virgin Atlantic’s Fear of Flying website also features a number of courses and videos

   

Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

Travelling with Medication

Some airlines now restrict the amount of hand luggage allowed on flights, it is essential to check with your individual airline prior to flying.

The Chief Medical Officer in the UK has issued a procedure for those taking medication on flights (DOH 2006).

  • It states that travellers should be discouraged from taking medication onto flights unless it is for the immediate journey and an allowance of time at the other end to pick up your baggage (allow at least 4 hours).
  • It also recommends that all extra supplies of medication for your arrival should be placed in the hold luggage.
  • Any powder/inhalers or tablets can be carried in the hand luggage – up to 50 grams
  • Any liquids, creams or gel medications which are essential for the flight may also be carried in the hand luggage as long as they are smaller than 50ml (such as a GTN spray)
  • If the amount is larger than 50mls you must make sure it can be tested before getting on the flight – in order to test the medication you will be asked to taste it – the airports have been advised to have plastic cups available for this procedure!
  • If an adult is travelling with a young child and wants to carry non-prescription medication onto the flight they will need to taste the child’s medication (as long as they are not allergic to it!)
  • If any of these regulations don’t fit your medication then further checks will be necessary

These regulations have been issued by the DOH and any updates to the information should be checked on the DOH website.

As well as trying to follow these guidelines it is a good idea to carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating the amounts and types of medication verified for your use, including any essential non-prescription medication.

Special Advice for Travel with Insulin

If you are a diabetic you should first try to get an exemption certificate from the airline you are traveling with – for this you will need to get a letter from your doctor stating your need for insulin.

If this is not possible there is advice that has been issued by Novo Nordisk an Australian company. It contains good advice explaining how to pack insulin when it needs to go into the hold luggage as well as what to look out for to prevent it freezing.


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

Before you Travel – travel preparation tips when going abroad

If you are travelling for more than a month, see them earlier.

  • Discuss Malaria requirements and sort out with your travel clinic, GP, practice nurse or pharmacist your required medication.
  • Sort out your first aid kit and any medication you might need – including enough prescription medication for the trip.
  • Read up about your chosen destination to learn about the culture, laws and customs.
  • Check that your passport is valid and does not expire before you return.
  • Check on visa requirements for your chosen destination.

 

 


Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.

Insurance Cover

  •  If you are a resident of the UK, UK national, part of an EEA state or a refugee resident in any of the above collect an EHIC form from your post office before you travel abroad. This will allow you reduced or free cover in any of the EEA states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
  • If you have an EHIC form you will still need insurance to cover repatriation in the event of illness or death in some cases.
  • Shop around…and always read the small print…especially if you suffer from an existing medical condition or are pregnant.
  • Make sure the insurance is adequate if you intend to take part in any sports or activities you would not ordinarily take part in at home.
  • If travelling to a developing country with less adequate medical services ensure that your insurance covers repatriation to fly you home if you need medical treatment.
  • Always carry your insurance papers with you…don’t leave them in the hotel – you never know when you might need them!
  • Always carry your identity papers on you — in many countries it’s required by law.
  • If you are allergic to any medications, put a note to that effect in with your identity papers — don’t assume you’ll be conscious to give the doctor any details!

Special Insurance Policies & Travel Insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

For most travellers, getting an insurance policy involves a few phone calls, search on the web or a visit to their local travel agent. However for those who do not meet the common criteria because of age or pre-existing medical conditions, finding an affordable insurance quote that also offers reassurance and a suitable level of cover, can often be a problem.

At TravelHealth.co.uk we receive many e-mails each week from people looking for such cover. We have put together a list of insurance companies who from our limited research offer a range of cover for travellers with special insurance requirements. While we are unable to recommend a particular company, we hope the information below will help those travellers who need just a little more cover than the conventional policy is able to offer them.

Age Concern Travel Insurance

Telephone: 0845 601 2234

Age Concern provides travel insurance cover without any age limitations. They are also able to provide cover for travellers with pre-existing conditions.

All Clear Travel Insurance

Telephone: 0845 250 5200

E-mail: info@allcleartravel.co.uk

Web: www.allcleartravel.co.uk

AllClear specialise in providing travel insurance for people of all ages with pre-existing medical conditions, who find difficulty getting cover elsewhere. AllClear covers almost any pre-existing medical conditions including diabetes, angina, arthritis, asthma, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, epilepsy and stroke. Travelling companions also covered.

Free Spirit Travel insurance

Telephone: 0845 230 5000

(opening hours Call Centre: Mon-Fri; 9am-5pm)

Website: http://www.freespirittravelinsurance.com

E-mail: freespirit@pjhayman.com

(for general enquiries and requests for further information)

Specialist travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions. To apply for a quotation, please telephone Free Spirit or visit the website. You can also buy online from this site.

JD Consultants Travel Insurance

Telephone: 020 8464 6636

Web: www.jdtravelinsurance.co.uk

JD Consultants provides a friendly individual insurance service for those travelling with any kind of disease or existing condition. They cover all destinations and conditions with the only exception of a terminal prognosis of less than 4 months. They have screening health lines, which make an individual assessment of each caller.

Leisurecare

Telephone: 01793750150

This company provides insurance for those travellers with illness or disability travelling to EU countries under the age of 64.

Travelbility

Telephone: 0845 338 1638

Web: www.travelbility.co.uk

Travelbility, a service offered by J&M Insurance Services (UK) plc, offers travel insurance for the disabled or those with pre-existing medical conditions and their carers. Travelbility is backed by AXA Insurance, one of the UK’s leading travel insurers, for complete peace of mind. It is available as single trip or annual cover and for additional protection, winter sports cover is an optional extra.

Cystic Fibrosis

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust has been working with insurance brokers to facilitate travel insurance for people with CF.

Insurance for Charitable Organisations

We recommend the Banner Group for those requiring insurance when travelling with a charitable organisation. (insurance is not available for non-charitable travel or organisations)



Note: This information is designed to complement and not replace the relationship that exists with your existing family doctor or travel health professional.  Please discuss your travel health requirements with your regular family doctor or practice nurse.