It’s the time of year for holidays, family gatherings and travel for people with Parkinson’s.
Most travel-related issues can be avoided with a little planning. Here’s a few tips.
When researching your trip online use the accessibility search option
Web sites like Trivago and TripAdvisor allow you to search for accommodation by location, type, dates, etc. However, you can also search by accessibility.
Don’t forget to buy travel insurance before you go
The two main reasons for taking out specialist travel insurance for Parkinson’s are to cover you for cancellation before you travel and to cover you for emergency medical expenses while you are away.
You will need to do your research to identify an insurer which will not exclude your Parkinson’s as a pre-existing condition. Also, read the policy carefully because sometimes cover includes illness, but not Parkinson’s.
Insurance Brokers can be of assistance in finding insurance if you are having problems.
Advise your airline in advance if you will need assistance
It is wise to give at least 48 hours of notice if you require a wheelchair or other forms of transfer from the check-in point to your departure gate, and on to the plane.
Carry your medication in your hand luggage
It is best to carry your medications in your hand luggage. Webster Travel Packs are now available from your pharmacist. They are like the original Webster Packs (also known as Dose Administration Aids) but are called Flexi Packs and can be broken up according to the number of doses required then disposed of after use.
Pack more medications than you expect you’ll need
Travel plans can change unexpectedly. It’s wise to pack double the amount of your vital medication that you think you’ll need.
Carry documents explaining your medication
Before you travel, ask your doctor or Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse to provide a letter or medical certificate that explains you have Parkinson’s and lists your medications.
Don’t change your medication routine
Consult your neurologist about how to stay on track with your medication routine as you travel. If you are travelling across multiple time zones, you may need to take your medication at different times (but with the same hourly spread). Or you may need to take an extra tablet.
Drink plenty of fluids during your trip
Whether you are travelling by car, bus, train, or plane it is important to drink plenty of fluids. This is particularly important if you have low blood pressure (postural hypotension).