A to Z of travel tips
AS in a foreign language
It may be worthwhile finding out what AS and other medical conditions you have are called in the country you are travelling to in case there's an occasion (such as a medical emergency) where you need to let people know you have AS.
If you are travelling abroad and taking your anti TNF therapy with you, it's important to make plans to keep it at the correct temperature during the journey and at your destination. You can buy special cool bags and even travel fridges. A useful company to try to purchase these products is MedActiv.
Another option is to use a Frio wallet or carry case. These are designed to keep insulin cool but work well for anti TNF. You can buy these through Amazon.
In addition to your anti TNF medication you may require a travel size sharps box. Do discuss this with your Clinical Nurse Specialist or your delivery team.
Always tell your airline, travel agent or tour operator when you book if you are going to need assistance when you travel.
When you are thinking about booking your holiday don't forget the Give as You Live website. This is a service which allows you to raise money as you shop. Simply go to www.giveasyoulive.com and when you've set up an account you'll be ready to shop!
A wide variety of travel companies are involved retailers are involved such as British Airways, Monarch, Thomas Cook, First Choice and Expedia. Each gives a percentage of the purchase price to NASS.
Codeine based medications
Some prescription medications, including codeine based medications, are illegal in some other countries. Check with the embassy or consulate of the countries you are travelling to and find out if any of your medications are illegal there.
Copies of your prescriptions
Carrying copies of your prescriptions in your hand luggage will be important if you are stopped and questioned about the medications you are carrying.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are travelling to Europe, the EH1C card will entitle you to free or low cost healthcare in most countries.
Anti TNF therapy and some other medications may make you more susceptible to food-borne infections which can result in food poisoning and other serious illnesses.
Infections and communicable diseases
These can be more severe in people who are on anti TNF therapy or other medications which affect the immune system. Therefore you may need urgent assessment and treatment, if you have come into contact with someone who has one of these infections. Remember different parts of the world have more risk of certain infectious diseases than others.
Make sure you have sufficient medication to cover the entire period you will be away. It may be an idea to take double the amount you'll need for your trip and put one set in your hand luggage and the other in your checked-in baggage. This way you'll have a back-up if you were to lose some of your drugs during your trip. Always carry your medication in a correctly labelled container as issued by your pharmacist.
If you have some left over foreign currency at the end of your trip why not donate it to NASS. Your donation will go even further as we can now claim gift aid on foreign currency.
Make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover your trip, and carry copies of your insurance documents with you in case of an emergency.
If you need vaccinations for the country or countries you are planning to visit, you'll need to remember to go for them in time to develop immunity to the diseases the vaccinations are for. If you are on anti TNF therapy do be careful about which vaccinations you have, as live vaccines are not recommended for people on anti TNF therapy.