Just because you have haemophilia doesn’t mean that travelling isn’t for you. It just requires a bit more forward planning! And with the right preparation, you should be able to experience the amazing adventures that travel can bring. Here we provide answers to some frequently asked questions that you may find helpful.
How should I plan for my trip?
Even if you haven’t had a bleed for years, being prepared when you travel can help ensure that your trip is memorable for all the right reasons. Perhaps most importantly, you will need to know how to manage your haemophilia independently. Your Haemophilia Treatment Centre should be able to help you with this, so make sure you let them know about your travel plans well in advance.
Depending on whether you are travelling in Australia or overseas, other things you may need to think about include arranging for your Haemophilia Treatment Centre to provide you with a Travel Letter, contacting your airline ahead of time to notify them that you will be bringing your medication and administration kit on board with you, and contacting the consulate of the country where you will be travelling to check if they have any special requirements for carrying medications and administration kits through their border control. If travelling overseas, you should also make sure that you have arranged appropriate health insurance and any necessary vaccinations before you leave.
What should I pack?
Treatment for haemophilia varies across the world so the best thing to do is make sure that you bring everything you need to manage your condition with you. You can find a packing list that should help you get ready for your big adventure here. Importantly, you will need to ensure that you take your medication and anything you need to administer an infusion on board the plane with you in the cabin section, so you can ensure that nothing gets lost or damaged. Your Haemophilia Treatment Centre should also be able to help give you tips for packing everything you may need.
How can I transport my medication safely?
It is important that you never pack your clotting factor replacement therapy and administration kits in your checked luggage. This is because the temperature in an airplane's baggage compartment may adversely affect your medication, or it could get lost or damaged. Because it is temperature sensitive, you should take your medication on board with you in a cooler bag. Your Haemophilia Treatment Centre should be able to help you with more information about transporting medication safely.
Do I need travel insurance when travelling overseas?
Travel insurance is an absolute necessity when travelling overseas. As they say, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel! There are a number of companies who provide travel insurance for people with pre-existing conditions such as haemophilia, so shop around to find the policy that best suits your circumstances and travel plans.
It is important to ensure that you declare all pre-existing conditions when applying for travel insurance and you may like to consider adding Evacuation Cover. Before you sign on the dotted line make sure you are clear as to exactly what is covered by your policy so there are no nasty surprises if you need to make a claim. Your Haemophilia Treatment Centre should be able assist you in making all the necessary preparations to help ensure that you have as safe a trip as possible.
Do I need to be able to speak the language of the country that I am visiting?
While it is not necessary to be fluent in the language of the country to which you are travelling, it will be helpful to learn a few key phrases to help manage your treatment while travelling and to ensure that you get the assistance you need in case of an emergency.
Even if you haven’t had a bleed for years, being prepared when you travel can help ensure that your trip is memorable for all the right reasons.