While traveling during the holidays is challenging for anyone, managing your health condition while traveling can make the process even more complex. Planning your travel in advance and making sure that you stay organized can help to keep you safe and streamline your travel process.
Here’s a quick rundown of some different travel tips to ensure that your holiday travel goes smoothly.
Wear a Medical ID Bracelet
One of the most important things you can do is to wear a medical ID bracelet, especially if you are traveling alone or have a health condition that could cause you to lose consciousness or be unable to advocate for yourself.
Information to include on your medical ID bracelet includes your name, date of birth, allergies (especially if anaphylactic), medication use such as blood thinners, and chronic health conditions, especially those that may not be immediately obvious like heart conditions, diabetes or epilepsy.
Make sure that your medical jewelry remains easily visible to anyone who may be helping you and is not obscured by a shirt cuff or high neckline.
If you are unable to advocate for yourself, your medical ID bracelet provides essential information to and might even save your life!
Medical ID bracelets are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles to fit every taste and fashion preference. Check out the medical ID jewelry available at American Medical ID, where you easily select from men’s, women’s and children’s options. Necklaces are also available if you prefer to have your arms unencumbered. A live chat and/or customer assistance line can provide guidance to make sure you select the right medical ID for you.
Share Your Itinerary with Your Family
One of the most obvious tips is perhaps the most simple: share your itinerary with your family. Let them know when you’re leaving and when you expect to arrive. If you are traveling by car, let them know what route you plan on taking.
Update them throughout the trip, especially if it a longer trip. If you are flying, give them your flight number and expected arrival time. Inform them of any flight delays and let them know when the plane is leaving the gate before you place your phone in airplane mode.
Staying in touch with family while you’re traveling offers security for everyone involved.
Sign up for TSA Cares
Airport security can be an irritating part of the process for any traveler, but it can become nerve-wracking if you are traveling with delicate medical equipment or medications or require other special accommodations. If traveling within the United States, consider signing up for the TSA Cares program. The agency recommends doing so at least 72 hours before your planned travel, and you can do so easily by phone at (855) 787-2227 or via an online form on the TSA website.
The TSA cares program is suitable for any traveler who may experience difficulty with the regular security process, including those with impaired mobility, who have difficulty following instructions for any reason, use a wheelchair or other mobility aid, are transporting medically necessary liquids, gels, or aerosols over 3.4 ounces, are traveling with a service animal, or acting as a caregiver to an individual with special needs.
Know that your medical devices and medications are not subject to the usual rules and regulations regarding sharp objects and liquid limitations. For instance, an individual with diabetes can carry insulin syringes and insulin in a thermos or other cooling device.
For individuals who experience impaired mobility, consider arranging for assistance from the airline in advance if needed. The airline you are traveling with will be able to provide an employee and a wheelchair to transport you if you experience impaired mobility or have difficulty walking long distances. If you have impaired vision or another condition that makes it difficult for you to navigate to your gate, the airline can provide an employee to guide you through the airport.
Anyone traveling with their own wheelchair can remain in their own wheelchair if they prefer until just before they board the plane. Many manual wheelchairs, when disassembled, will fit in the wheelchair closets located at the front of many large aircraft. Ask your flight attendant about this option. Otherwise, your wheelchair should be gate-checked and made easily available to you during any layovers that are on your travel agenda. Disassemble your wheelchair prior to boarding the plane and after you have transferred to the aisle chair if needed to board the plane. Put a sign and clear instructions on your wheelchair indicating who it belongs to and how it should be transported.
Together, these tips will help you to stay safe while traveling during the holidays and let you focus on enjoying the holiday with your family and friends instead of worrying about how you’re going to get there.