Traveling while undergoing cancer treatment requires a bit more preparation and planning than traveling for healthy individuals, but it can be done and may have benefits.
Do make sure you have all your medications, take out travel insurance, map out your route in detail and check local clinics and hospitals you can visit in case of an emergency.
Consulting with your doctor before embarking on any trip (long or short) is non-negotiable. Your doctor may have some strict guidelines for you to follow while traveling. Additionally, you mustn’t forget to check whether the destination you’re going to requires any particular immunizations.
Once those tasks are handled, you can consider the practical issues of making yourself comfortable. We have some tips below. Enjoy your trip!
Tips to Prevent Car Sickness in Cancer Patients
Motion sickness is a common ailment for many travelers. If you’re experiencing nausea, lightheadedness, an upset stomach, sweating, headaches or similar symptoms while in a moving car, plane, boat or train, you are likely getting motion sick. This condition can get worse in cancer patients.
Here are ways to reduce motion sickness:
● Take an over-the-counter antihistamine, prescription scopolamine or similar drug. Make sure you ask your doctor whether it’s safe for you to take any of these.
● Sit in the front seat of the car.
● Avoid reading while in motion as well as looking at moving objects.
● Avoid alcohol, heavy meals or spicy foods before and during the trip.
● Eat small, frequent meals or snacks.
Have Healthy Snacks
Whether you’re suffering from motion sickness or not, frequent snacking can reduce nausea. Opt for healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables (apples, bananas, berries, celery sticks, carrots, cucumber, etc.). Nuts and crackers are good dry options for long trips. Hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks and trail mix may also work for you.
When choosing the right snacks, keep in mind the length of your trip. If it is relatively short, any of the above will be fine. But if it is a long excursion, avoid foods that can spoil during your travels.
Make Regular Stops
Sitting for prolonged periods can lead to swelling and blood clots, so plan for and take frequent breaks (every two to three hours) to stretch your legs and walk for a bit. You can also invest in a pair of compression stockings to keep your blood flowing through your legs. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict you in any way.
Packing for Hot and Cold Destinations
For cold destinations, pack thick, warm clothing. Plan to wear layered outfits, and bring extra protection against rain or high winds. Stay indoors as much as possible and moisturize with body lotions, face moisturizers and lip balm to prevent dry skin and chapped lips.
Sun protection is a crucial factor if you’re traveling to warmer climes. Use high SPF lotions for both your body and face. Wear wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and thin, loose clothing. Avoid direct sun exposure, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
No matter where you’re traveling to, always make sure that you’re comfortable. Listen to your body, and don’t push yourself too hard. Plan and prepare as much as possible before you set out.
More than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists. We encourage you to call us, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion so you, too, can experience the difference.