Have you been planning to go on a vacation, but your kidney condition is weighing you down? Or, is there a business trip that you have been delaying, because you think it would be difficult to travel when you have chronic kidney disease (CKD)? Don’t worry any more! Here are some tips and guidelines that could make your long-awaited travel plans come true.
- Planning is key: First, remember that travelling is possible for you. With appropriate planning and discussions with your doctor, you can travel safely. Start chalking out the details of the trip about 6-8 weeks in advance. Give yourself enough time at each spot you plan to visit. Remember, be a little flexible with the dates. You need to keep some extra time for contingencies.1
- Find a dialysis centre: If you are on dialysis, you need to make sure that there aren’t too many changes in your dialysis schedule. At the same time, this shouldn’t stop you from travelling. Nowadays, many dialysis centres have branches all over the country. You could request them to schedule your appointment at another centre while you travel.2
- Personalise everything: If you plan to travel by plane or train, you can pre-book your meals according to your requirements. If you stay at a hotel, you can ask for rooms on the ground floor, which might be more comfortable for you. You can also inform the hotel staff about your dietary requirements. They could help you with packed lunches as you take a tour of the city.
- Portable machines: Science has come so far that portable dialysis machines are now available. However, be sure to carry the complete equipment. Talk to your doctor about these options. You should also ask your testing facility if you can continue your home dialysis routine while you are away travelling. This would be a great way to keep things on track.1
- Travel insurance or health insurance: When you plan a long journey, it’s always a good idea to speak with your agents and get special arrangements for healthcare to be done in time. You may need to carry a few additional documents and a list of your reports to get the most out of your travel. Also, be sure to confirm the status of emergency healthcare in the city you are visiting.1,2
- Get those shots: We mean get vaccinated. It is recommended that people with kidney disorders especially be updated on their vaccinations. The three vaccines that are highly essential in your case are hepatitis B, pneumococcal, and influenza. When you visit your doctor before the trip, be sure to speak with them about vaccines.3
- Carrying extra supplies: It may be obvious but it’s best to carry extra medicines that you might need if your trip goes beyond the planned schedule. Also, you must make sure some of your regular medicines are packed in your carry-on luggage to keep them handy. Keep in mind to carry all the essential blood reports and cautionary documents from your doctor for any unforeseen situations.1
So, the next time you want to go for a vacation, just keep these little tips and tricks in mind. They will not only make handling CKD easier but also bring back your confidence and a spring in your step, especially when you are away from home.
- Travel tips: a guide for kidney patients [Internet]. [cited 2019 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/traveltip.
- Living with – chronic kidney disease [Internet]. [updated 2019 Aug 29; cited 2019 Sep 19]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/kidney-disease/living-with/.
- Vaccination guidelines in patients with chronic kidney disease and renal transplant recipients travelling abroad. Indian J Nephrol. 2016 Apr;26(Suppl 1):S26-S28.