A short checklist of what to bring and plan for before going on holiday or other trips that will require many hours of travelling in the car, train or plane.
Your stoma shouldn't stop you from travelling. However, you do need a little extra preparation, especially in the beginning.
Whether you are travelling by car, boat, train or plane, it is important to pack a small changing bag, where you can keep extra ostomy bags and any other supplies you may need with you.
If you are travelling by car you might find it helpful to take a small cushion. Place it in your lap between the seat belt and your ostomy bag. That way you can avoid having the seat belt rub against your stoma.
Before you travel overseas, you should check how your condition and circumstances are covered by your travel insurance policy. Maybe you need to look for additional insurance coverage – if so, make sure to declare your ostomy surgery.
It shouldn't result in a large premium. The insurance company will probably be more concerned about the condition that lead to your ostomy surgery in the first place. In any case, be sure to ask more than one insurance provider, as specialist insurance companies might save you a lot of money on travel insurance.
Sometimes, crossing a certain threshold (e.g. 12 months since surgery) will make insurance significantly cheaper, so that could impact your travel plans.
It is also well worth the trouble to find out in advance where and how you can get medical assistance at your destination.
If going on a longer trip, you should check whether it is possible to get the ostomy care supplies you need locally where you're going. Your regular supplier might even arrange delivery overseas for you, if you ask well in advance.
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