How do I… cope on holiday?
Are you thinking of booking a holiday? Although more planning might be required for aspergillosis patients and carers, there is no reason that your condition should hinder your trip. Here are some of our tips for making sure that you’re well prepared and can relax and enjoy yourself!
Accommodation: Insist when booking that the room must be mould-free, and if you find mould on the window frames, or elsewhere, then ask to be moved.
Insurance: Make sure your travel insurance is aware of your condition(s), otherwise it may not be valid. You may need to make some phone calls to their underwriter for certain conditions or situations (e.g. if you are permanently on antibiotics). We can’t endorse any particular company, but members of our Facebook group have reported good experiences with the Caravan and Motorhome Club (Europe) and Millstream (USA). Think about getting cancellation insurance, so that if you become unwell just before your holiday you can cancel without worrying about losing money on flights, hotels etc. – it may be possible to postpone your trip until you are feeling better.
Medication: Take extra medication with you, in case travel disruption causes you to stay longer than expected. Carry it in your hand luggage in case your hold bag is lost or delayed. Keep copies of all prescriptions on you, so that in an emergency you can obtain the right drug from a local pharmacy. These can also be shown if there are any questions about medication you are travelling with. Check in advance with your destination’s embassy whether there are any restrictions on what medication can be taken into the country. If you need to fly with oxygen, check your airline’s policy.
Activities: If you struggle with exercise, especially while carrying luggage, book assistance at the airport. A wheelchair and assistant will make transfers a lot easier and often quicker, as there may be a priority line.
Sightseeing: Look at the terrain of potential destinations – if it is particularly hilly, you could struggle with breathlessness. Be wary of going into cellars, churches and other old buildings that could harbour mould and dust.