Traveling When You Have Cancer

When travel plans are concerned, there are plenty of reasons not to let cancer stand in your way. You may be hoping to squeeze in one last trip before treatment begins. Or perhaps you have just completed your treatment and you are ready to celebrate. Whatever your reason for traveling with cancer, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Check with your physician

Before making any arrangements or bookings, be sure to check with your medical team. Be upfront with all of your plans and make sure they give you the green light before proceeding.

Be overly prepared

You might consider doing a little research about the healthcare facilities near your destination. Then, check with your insurance provider to see what type of coverage you have when you are away from home. Finally, make a list of your medications, dosages, and physician’s name and contact information, in case any medication is lost or stolen. Be sure to pack enough medication plus a little extra.

Protect your skin

Chemo and radiation can both cause skin sensitivity. You will want to address this if you are planning on spending any time outdoors. Pack plenty of strong sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) that you can reapply throughout the day. Make sure to have a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and cool, loose-fitting clothing that can also keep your skin covered.

Make special arrangements

If you require any special arrangements during travel or at your hotel, be sure to make those request well in advance. Will you need a wheelchair at the airport? Will you need to have an aisle seat to make extra trips to the restroom? Would you prefer a first-floor room or one near the elevator? All of these requests are easily accommodated, as long as you plan in advance and don’t wait until the last minute.

Travel with your health in mind

Your immune system is probably not at 100%, so pack some hand sanitizer and be sure to wash your hands frequently as you will be in contact with many people. Bring a water bottle and keep yourself hydrated, especially if you have long flights or many hours in the car. Finally, give yourself plenty of rest breaks where you can stretch your legs. To avoid blood clots, stretch your legs every hour or so.

Whatever your reasons for traveling with cancer, you will want to allow yourself to relax and enjoy your time. Don’t let cancer stop you if you are able to travel and have the desire. Just be sure to follow these helpful hints to make the most of your trip!