Planning for a Holiday when you Live with a Chronic Illness

Holidays can be a release for anyone, but especially for those living with a chronic illness. However there is a lot more to worry about when planning a holiday if you have an invisible condition.

First of all make sure you have travel insurance that covers you well and is up to date with recent changes in your health no matter how small. The tiniest detail left out could make a claim void. If in doubt contact your travel insurance company.

Then comes booking the holiday. Make sure you book somewhere accessible that you won’t have to walk miles around if you are having a bad day. If you need an easily accessible room or a wheelchair accessible room email or call the hotel to ensure this can be arranged for peace of mind.

If you have flights included, contact the flight company if you may need assistance in the airports. There are a range of things they can offer.

You can also request a sunflower lanyard which will help staff at airports see you have an invisible illness and they may offer extra support or speed up the process for you on the day.

Plan as much of your holiday as possible if it is anything more than a simple relaxing holiday. For example I’m going to Disney World soon and have scheduled rest days to help ensure I don’t overdo it. Also don’t over plan as that may make you worry more about getting to each destination by a certain time.

Check with your GP if you need a letter as proof of your prescriptions. As a minimum always take a repeat prescription sheet to prove the prescription is under your name. If you don’t have proof, any drugs may be confiscated at the airport.

Finally once you are on holiday try not to worry. If you are ill while away just relax and rest and do what you can to make yourself comfortable. If you are in the EU (at the moment) make sure to take your EHIC card with you as it gives you free medical treatment in EU countries. You can get it online for free.

At the end of the day if you are expecting a perfect holiday where you will be symptom free it is unlikely to happen. Take each day as it comes and don’t feel like you are wasting your holiday if you have to rest. It’s not your fault.

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7 comments

  1. Hey Bethan, this is a really great post. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea about the sunflower lanyard. I think I want to look into getting some more support for my next holiday and these are some great tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ella! Glad it was useful to you. Yes you can email any UK airport and they will usually post you a lanyard that you can use at any airport. Team members will recognise you as someone who may need some extra support such as help in check in and security.

      Liked by 1 person

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