Travel with an Ostomy or Medical Condition | Exploring During a Mediterranean Heat Wave
Ostomy care or managing a unique medical condition is a challenge on its own. Mixing in travel adds complexity. Mixing in international travel to countries where English isn’t the first language takes things up a notch and often leaves people feeling like travel isn’t possible. However, with proper planning and a positive mindset, you can enjoy travel while taking care of your health needs.
Recently, our CEO embarked on a journey to explore the stunning landscapes and vibrant cultures of the Mediterranean – a dream come true for many travellers. Prior to leaving for his trip, he knew he would need to manage his ostomy and other medical concerns more carefully due to a heatwave at his destination. Below is a full guide created by our co-founder (and ileostomate) AJ that contains essential considerations and practical advice to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip – even if it is a heatwave in the Mediterranean.
Keys to Travel with a Medical Condition or an Ostomy
Consult Your Healthcare Provider:
Before setting out on any travel adventure, especially during summer weather conditions like a heatwave, it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider. Inform them about your travel plans, medical condition, or ostomy needs, and seek their advice on managing your overall health during the trip. They can provide valuable insights, suggest preventive measures, and help you develop a comprehensive travel health plan.
Choose the Right Time and Destinations:
While we don’t always get to choose our timing, picking the right time and destinations in the Mediterranean can significantly impact your travel experience. Consider visiting during the shoulder seasons (spring or autumn) when temperatures are milder compared to the scorching summer heat. Coastal areas often enjoy cooler breezes and fewer crowds, making them more comfortable for exploring. Destinations with adequate medical facilities and accessibility can also ease any concerns you might have. Another option might be a cruise, as many have basic medical facilities onboard.
Staying hydrated is paramount during a heatwave, particularly if you have a medical condition or an ostomy. Carry a refillable water bottle for water or an electrolyte mix and drink frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Limit alcohol and excessive caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration. Remember, some medications might increase your susceptibility to heat, so discuss this with your doctor.
Dressing appropriately for the heat is essential for everyone, but it’s even more crucial if you have specific health needs. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from lightweight materials. A wide-brimmed hat or umbrella and sunglasses can protect you from the scorching sun. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from harmful UV rays.
Manage Your Ostomy Supplies:
For travellers with an ostomy, managing your supplies is vital during a trip. Carry enough pouches, adhesives, and cleansing wipes to last the duration of your vacation. Research local pharmacies or medical supply stores at your destinations, just in case you need to restock. Keep your supplies in a cool and dry place to maintain their integrity.
Plan Your Activities Wisely:
During a heatwave, it’s essential to adjust your activity plans to avoid excessive exposure to high temperatures. Plan outdoor activities for early mornings or evenings when it’s cooler. Take breaks in shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces to rest and recharge. Prioritize indoor attractions and cultural experiences to balance your itinerary.
Inform Travel Companions:
If you’re travelling with friends or family, make sure they are aware of your medical condition or ostomy.
Share relevant information about your health needs, emergency contacts, and any necessary procedures.
This way, they can support you effectively if an unexpected situation arises.
Exploring the Mediterranean during a heatwave with a medical condition or ostomy requires a bit more planning and consideration. By consulting your healthcare provider, choosing the right time and destinations, staying hydrated, dressing appropriately, managing your ostomy supplies, planning activities wisely, and informing travel companions, you can enjoy a safe and unforgettable adventure. Remember, with proper preparation, you can savour the beauty, history, and culture that the Mediterranean has to offer while taking care of your health needs.
At Inner Good, we carry top brands, including Coloplast, Hollister, Convatec, Salts, Smith & Nephew, Medline and more. If you have questions for AJ, or about products and their suitability for travel, please feel free to call us at 1-844-466-3939. We have bilingual staff who are ready to serve you.