Planning on a road trip to visit family or flying somewhere exotic? Either way, if you’re watching out for a heart condition and you’re planning to travel, the first stop on your itinerary should be your doctor’s office.
Talk with your doctor about how you’re feeling, where you want to go, and what you want to do on your vacation. If your plans include strenuous activities that you don’t do on a regular basis, your doctor can help you figure out safer adjustments or alternatives. For example, if you plan on swimming, hiking, or even more walking than usual, your doctor might recommend a simple exercise program to begin ahead of time to help prepare you for the trip.
In many cases, you may have only a few, if any, limitations on traveling. Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, here are some things to keep in mind to make sure you have a safe and fun trip.
BEFORE THE TRIP
- Make sure you fill all your prescriptions before travelling and that you have enough for the duration of your trip. Remember that if you’re traveling overseas, the same types of medicines are not always available.
- Pack your prescriptions in a carry-on bag.
- Find the local hospitals in the area you’re visiting. Your doctor may even have recommendations for a heart center or a local cardiologist in case you have symptoms on your trip.
- Travel with a list of the medicines you take, your cardiologist’s name and phone number, and any other pertinent information.
- Don’t overpack. Lifting heavy objects can be strenuous. If necessary, simply pack an additional bag.
- If you’re flying, allow plenty of time to get to the airport and your gate so you don’t feel rushed or stressed about missing a flight.
- During a flight or long drive, be sure to get up and move around every few hours to avoid blood clots.
DURING YOUR TRIP
- Take it easy with your schedule, and plan time each day to rest between your activities.
- Try to maintain a healthy diet and sleep cycle. Be careful not to drink more caffeine than you usually do.
- Drink plenty of water and limit your intake of alcohol.
- If you begin to experience any symptoms of a heart condition, don’t wait. Get help immediately.
Being prepared is the best way to ensure that you can enjoy your trip. Another great way to be prepared is with a Heart/Stroke/Cancer policy from ASBA. It could help cover specialized heart treatments not covered by Medicare. Learn more here.