10 steps to stress free travel and dialysis

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” — Anonymous

By Barbara Wallace, Dialysis Nurse

Travelling when dialysis dependant is possible – follow these 10 tips to make it as stress free an experience as possible….

Photo by Mossy Donegan
  1. Start planning early! Decide on specific date for your trip but be prepared to be flexible within those dates.
  2. Do not book any other parts of your trip until you have secured your dialysis appointment(s) schedule.
  3. Make sure you understand the acceptance criteria for the clinic you are going to. Be aware that if your medical situation changes in any way, you will need to notify the clinic and make sure you can still be accepted.

    Irish Holiday Dialysis treatment area
    Irish Holiday Dialysis treatment area
  4. If on the Kidney Transplant list – consider that you will be suspended from the list temporarily while out of the country.
  5. Make sure you bring enough medication (prescriptions) to cover your entire trip. Medication should always be carried with you in your hand baggage.
  6. Look into your insurance – health and travel. Does your health insurance cover you internationally? You may need to apply for international health insurance, so if you become unwell and you need further medical attention, you would be covered. Likewise, you may want to purchase travel insurance for your trip in the event of a cancellation due to health or other factors.

    Medical and Travel Insurance
  7. Think about your food and drink challenges. When you go abroad you will experience different food and drink. It is a good idea to speak to your renal dietitian before traveling to get advice on how to eat kidney-friendly while still enjoying the international fare!
  8. Plan your trip around your clinic. Get specific locations of destinations you wish to visit – use Google maps to see exactly how far the travel is from your accommodation.
  9. Consider your travel companions – how will your dialysis days impact others? Can you travel independently for your treatment or do you need a companion to accompany you?
  10. Be in the best physical health possible before travel – long distance travel can be very demanding on your energy levels!

    Irish Holiday Dialysis Patient
    Enjoy you trip!