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Travel Tips

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

When I was diagnosed in December of 2015, I stopped waiting for “someday” to do the traveling I wanted to do. My wife and I have traveled over 100,000 miles since then.

Here are tips that ROS1ders have posted about seeing the world with stage 4 cancer:

  • Invest in 1-2 pairs of thigh-high compression socks to combat edema and reduce risk of blood clots — especially during flights.

  • Drink at LEAST eight glasses of water daily to avoid dehydration.

  • Medications: -Pack meds in prescription bottles. ALWAYS keep them with you in a purse or carry-on. NEVER pack them in a checked bag. -Bring a list of your prescription meds. For any drug not available in the country you’re visiting, get a letter from your doctor explaining why you need them. Some countries confiscate unapproved drugs. I haven’t needed my letter yet, but better safe than sorry.

  • Ask your doctor about getting a prescription for a broad-spectrum antibiotic to take with you, just in case.

  • To reduce risk of picking up a virus: —Avoid touching any part of your face unless you’ve just washed your hands. —Take a packet of Clorox wipes. Wipe down airplane arm rests and tray table. —Take plenty of hand sanitizer for when you can’t wash your hands. —Avoid touching escalator or stair rails, doorknobs, etc with bare hands —Take an N95-rated ventilator to wear in case of bad air quality, heavy smoke, or airplanes with passengers coughing nearby.

  • You may want a mask to sleep on the flight.

  • Sea bands (wrist bands) can help for nausea.

  • If you have balance issues, bring a folding cane.

  • Get all appropriate vaccinations.

  • Learn something about the healthcare available in your destination, such as the names of preferred hospitals and the local emergency numbers. Note: 911 doesn't work all over the world!

  • Obtain the names of qualified, English-speaking doctors and medical providers in your destination.

  • Learn whether ambulances can be trusted to transport you in the event of emergencies. In some places it's safer and faster to take a cab.

  • Learn about pharmacies in your destination Are they reliable? Open at night? If you take medication regularly pack two supplies and place one in your carry-on luggage.

  • Travel with a first-aid kit. • Buy a good travel insurance policy. Travel insurance is a plan you purchase to protect you from financial risks and losses that can occur while traveling. These losses can be minor, like a delayed suitcase—or significant, like a lastminute trip cancellation or a medical emergency overseas. For pre-existing conditions, the plan has to be purchased within 5 to 21 days of the initial trip deposit. Members have recommended Travelex , Allianz or AIG Travel Guard for travel insurance.

  • Also, GeoBlue is medical insurance for international travel that covers emergency medical transportation. The plan covers preexisting conditions if you buy the choice plan. You can purchase the plan anytime before your trip. It does not reimburse you for any trip cancellation costs.

  • Medjet will arrange medical transfer to the hospital of their choice within their home country with no pre-existing condition exclusions (under age 75), health questions, deductibles or claim forms. Regardless of medical necessity, the plan covers you if you are hospitalized 150 miles or more from home.

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