3. Verify Insurance Coverage
Look carefully at your insurance plan. Many insurance plans only cover emergencies if you are traveling out of your area. If you belong to an HMO, coverage is likely to be very limited. Even with standard plans, co-pays and deductibles may be very high if you are traveling outside of your health care network.
Be aware that just because you’re insurance company is a nationwide provider that your particular plan may or may not offer in network coverage in all locales. Be prepared to travel long distances to obtain the care of a specialist if you are traveling to rural areas.
You will need to purchase travel health insurance if you are leaving the country regardless of health insurance that you have in your own country.
4. Relax, but Plan Ahead
Regardless of whether you are traveling in a car, train, plane, bus, or ship, the precautions which you must practice are similar.
First of all, relax! Enjoy the journey, not just your destination. Anticipate delays. Most trips go smoothly, however weather, connections, and road work may present delays. Make the decision ahead of time that you will accept these possibilities and that you are not going to let inconveniences disturb you.
If you are using public transportation, be sure that you arrive at the terminal well in advance of your departure time. This will reduce your stress levels if you encounter traffic delays on route, and will afford you with an opportunity to walk around or get something to drink.
5. Prevent Blood Clot Formation
One of the most important things that you need to do, regardless of the mode of transportation which you are using, is to move around frequently. It is especially important that you stretch your legs. Sit with both feet on the floor. Do not cross your legs.
Get up and walk around if you are on a ship or train. In a car, be sure to take frequent breaks. During your breaks, stretch all of your limbs and take a walk. If you are unable to take walks, such as on a long flight, move your legs. Tighten and release your muscles. Shift positions often.
Moving is extremely important in order to prevent the formation of blood clots. As you may be aware, people who have AFib are at an elevated risk for developing blood clots. Blood clots cause strokes, pulmonary emboli and other life threatening conditions.
If you experience leg pain or swelling, especially if accompanied by fever, localized tenderness, or redness, seek medical help quickly in order to rule out a blood clot. Seek help if you develop signs of poor clotting, such as excess bruising or bleeding from minor injuries. If you develop shortness of breath, chest pain, or signs of a stroke, get medical attention immediately.
6. Stay Hydrated
Be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If you are traveling by plane, the air in the airplane’s cabin is very dry. Dehydration can make you feel tired, develop a headache or elevate your risk of blood clot formation.
If you are driving, resist the urge to limit your intake of fluids to avoid having to stop to use the bathroom. Stay hydrated. Carry water with you at all times.
Avoid consuming alcohol and coffee. Both poses diuretic actions which serve to dehydrate you.
While it may seem like a great deal of preparation is needed to travel, having medical records, contact information, and a list of current prescriptions handy is useful even when you are at home.
Once you obtain all of these things, you need only update them for future trips. Becase the bulk of what you need to do occurs in advance of your actual trip, by being well prepared you will be able to simply relax and enjoy your trip.