Travelling with Cystic Fibrosis
Travelling always requires an element of forward planning, and for individuals with cystic fibrosis this is no different. Here are some handy things to consider when planning your next trip.
Planning is necessary for anyone who is about to travel, but for people with cystic fibrosis (CF), there are few extra things to plan for. So when planning a trip anywhere with CF, plan ahead and hopefully everything will go as smoothly as possible.
Things to consider when planning a trip are:
Getting travel insurance with a chronic disease like CF isn’t straight forward.
Basic insurance that covers your luggage, cancellations and injuries not related to your CF that happen while travelling (e.g. breaking a leg) isn’t a problem, but you will also need cover for “a pre-existing health condition”. This covers you for any CF treatment you might need while you’re away.
Unfortunately it’s not always easy to get travel insurance to cover CF as a pre-existing medical condition, so consider the following:
Your destination may have an impact on whether you get cover or not. People heading to Bali and Thailand in the past have been refused cover, but those heading the USA have been covered. The insurance company may also not grant cover if there has been a hospital admission in the past 12 months.
Getting long term travel insurance cover may also be difficult.
The Insurance Council of Australia is very helpful and will work to assist you if you have questions about gaining travel insurance with a pre-existing health conditions
Also, the National Bureau of Insurance Brokers Association can help you find an insurer that will cover you.
Otherwise this list of insurers is a list of companies that have covered people with CF in the past, or have been helpful to people with other pre-existing medical conditions. Please keep in mind we don’t guarantee they will offer you coverage.
CGU Travel Insurance: 03 9601 8252
QBE Travel insurance: 1300 555 017
Covermore Travel Insurance: 1300 728 822
Aussie Travel Cover: 1800 888 448
World Nomads: 1300 787 375
You should have enough medication to last you while you are away, in fact it’s possibly a good idea to take a little bit extra just to be on the safe side (there might be delays, you might drop and lose some of the tablets). Make sure you talk to your CF specialist about this well ahead of your trip.
If you are thinking of posting your medicine ahead, or having someone post it to you while you are away, keep in mind not all countries permit certain drugs to be imported. If this is the case, you will need to explore how to get medications locally.
The Australian Government has restrictions regarding what can and cannot be taken on board on any international flight to and from Australia.
People with CF may need nebulised medications and insulin that needs to be kept cold throughout the flight. This means it needs be carried in a cool box as hand luggage.
Prescription medication is allowed on board, but there are heavy restrictions on other liquids and items.
This Australian government factsheet explains what can and can’t be taken on board
This page explains the restrictions in more details.
Exemptions for medicines:
Prescription and non prescription (including special dietary products) medicines and medical devices are allowed on board. There is no limit to the amount of prescription medicine that can be carried on board, but remember:
You can read the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development website for more details.
Now that you’re almost ready to go, there are a few last things to check: