Five Tips for Enjoying a Royal Holiday Vacation Despite Chronic Illness

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Whether you’re living with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia and diabetes, or you’ve developed a chronic disease due to normal aging, you don’t have to give up adventure and travel because of pill bottles and doctor’s appointments. In fact, an adventure or relaxing overseas vacation might be what you need to get over your latest health battle and rejuvenate your spirit. Royal Holiday offers both domestic and international vacation opportunities, but choosing your destination wisely helps you get the most out of your trip. Understanding how your health might impact travel – and how to deal with any issues – helps you choose the vacation package that is right for you.

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Image courtesy martinak15 on Flickr.com

Plan to Bring Medications

Running out of prescription medications while on vacation is potentially dangerous and totally avoidable. Locate a pharmacy and handle paperwork and billing issues – something that could eat up hours of your day – before you leave home. If you’re traveling in remote locations, you might not have access to medications at all. Plan ahead by speaking with your doctor and pharmacist about your itinerary. You can probably get an extra supply of most medications for travel.

Once you have enough pills, take steps to protect them. If you’re planning to be in or on the water, keep your medication in waterproof packaging. Pack medication in an organized manner so you aren’t digging through luggage for a pill. Buy a small pill box to carry a couple days of medication in your purse or pocket in case your luggage is lost. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you pack all medication in your carry-on luggage when possible to eliminate the chance it might be lost in transit.

 Buy Travel Health Insurance

In addition to insurance that covers the cost of rescheduling your trip, you can also purchase medical evacuation and travel health insurance. Medical evacuation insurance covers costs associated with emergency transport to a health care facility. This supplement is a good idea if you’re traveling in a rural or remote location anywhere in the world, especially if you have a known health issue. Even if your chronic health issue is something you don’t deal with regularly, such as a mild mitral valve regurgitation, an evacuation policy ensures you have access to health care if something does go wrong.

Travel health insurance works much like your regular health insurance policy, but you use it when you’re out of the country. Domestic health insurance policies don’t usually include provisions for care at overseas facilities. When traveling to a foreign country, check with your insurance plan and purchase travel health insurance if needed. If you have a chronic illness, you have a higher likelihood of needing such a plan when traveling.

Pack and Plan for Comfort

Make your vacation more comfortable by anticipating personal needs associated with your condition. Chronic pain is often a symptom of conditions such as fibromyalgia, for example. In such cases, travelers are advised to pack heating pads, pain medications, or special pillows for sleeping. Consider packing special foods or seasonings, ointments, and any medical equipment you might require while traveling.

Boost your vacation enjoyment by planning activities that line up with regular symptoms. If you know you tire in the afternoon, plan active outings in the morning and leave time for lounging poolside or getting a massage in the evening.

Research Health Care Options at Your Destination

Always know where and how you can seek treatment at any travel destination. If you’re planning on a cruise, find out about health care on board the ship and at each port. Call hotels in advance to ask about first aid training for staff and where the nearest hospital is. Look forward to a lovely vacation with no problems, but ensure everyone traveling with you knows what to do if a health crisis occurs. Create a list of addresses and phone numbers for the local hospital, emergency room, pharmacy, and one or more physicians’ offices.

Ask for Help

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Hotels are in the business of hospitality, which means staff are trained to provide services to make guest stays enjoyable. The same is true of airlines, theme parks, restaurants, and attractions such as museums. Hotels often have equipment such as shower chairs and wheelchairs if you need them. Museums and other locations can often accommodate special requests for seating, and local restaurants usually attempt to meet any special dietary request. These establishments can’t adequately serve you if you don’t ask for the help you need, so speak up and make the necessary arrangements before you get where you’re going.

With a little planning, almost anyone can travel and enjoy a vacation. When considering Royal Holiday travel destinations, keep your health concerns in mind. Choose a destination that offers fun and adventure alongside appropriate health-related amenities and care.

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