International travel with a medical condition

With good planning, even travelers with chronic medical conditions can travel the world. The first step is always a substantive visit with your doctor. Topics to cover should include making sure you are healthy enough for travel, getting an adequate supply of medication, and guidance on managing your symptoms while traveling. If you have an implanted device, get a letter from your doctor to carry with you. Once you have your doctor’s go-ahead, you are ready to put in motion the other key parts of your plan.

Know carrier and TSA rules

Every airline or cruise line has “special needs” guidelines, which are usually available online. Don’t forget to check the rules for connecting airlines as well. This is especially important for those who will be traveling with oxygen. Check the TSA website ahead of time so you know what to expect when going through security.

Buy travel medical insurance

A travel medical policy is particularly important for any international traveler with a medical condition. A SafeTrip Travel Protection plan from UnitedHealthcare Global is an affordable extra layer of protection. Should you need medical attention while overseas, simply call the 24-hour Emergency Response Center. You’ll get help finding pre-approved physicians and hospitals, help with medication transfers, and much more.

More trips for travelers with medical needs

  1. Bring extra medication and supplies clearly labeled in their original containers and packed in a carry-on.
  2. Carry basic medical information on a card on your person. Include your primary doctor’s contact information, your travel insurance information, a description of your medical condition and the names and dosages of medication.
  3. Allow extra time to go through security. If you are carrying medically necessary liquids, tell the TSA agent and separate them from your other possessions before screening. Clearly mark all medications and assume they will go through the normal X-ray screening process, as will ice packs and gel packs. TSA agents may swab mobility aids or external medical devices to test for explosives.

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