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Get Ready For The Sun & Sand: Seven Travel Tips For Cancer Patients And Caregivers

July 17, 2023

The summer months are a popular time for people to take vacations and make the most of the warm, sunny season. According to the Summer Travel Survey & Trends 2023 report by The Vacationer, 85% of Americans plan to travel this summer. For cancer patients and caregivers, travel can pose several challenges. With proper planning however, a summer getaway can be a rejuvenating and memorable experience for everyone.

Here are seven tips to help cancer patients and caregivers navigate summer travel with confidence, ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey!

  1. Consult with your healthcare team. Before making travel plans, talk with your medical provider(s). Discuss your plans, destination, and any concerns you have. They can suggest necessary precautions or adjustments to your treatment schedule if needed to ensure your safety during the trip.
  2. Plan your itinerary wisely. Consider destinations that offer a balance between relaxation and activity. Proximity to a hospital/clinic and pharmacy also is important in case those services are needed. Notify your airline, car rental agency, cruise line, hotel, and travel advisor in advance of any special requirements you have. 
  3. Pack all medications and documents. Ensure you have the proper supply of medications for the duration of your trip, and if possible, extra in case of unforeseen delays. Make sure you have either digital or hard copies of your prescriptions, medical history, and any physician notes or directives in case of emergencies or unexpected healthcare needs.
  4. Stay hydrated and be mindful of the sun. Proper hydration is essential for cancer patients. Drink plenty of water on your vacation. Chemotherapy and radiation can leave skin sensitive to sunburn. Minimize exposure to the sun's harmful rays by wearing sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.
  5. Rest and pace yourself. Travel can be tiring, even more so for cancer patients. Incorporate breaks and downtime each day to conserve energy. Consider booking direct flights or plan your travel during non-rush hours to minimize travel-related stress.
  6. Practice good hygiene. Cancer patients often have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infection. Maintain good hygiene practices such as frequent handwashing, avoiding crowded spaces, and wearing a face mask if recommended by your healthcare provider or local regulations.
  7. And most importantly listen to your body! If something doesn't feel right, speak up and tell your travel companions or contact your doctor.


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