How to Travel With Dialysis

By Prev Info - February 28, 2022

 If you are a dialysis patient, you can still travel for business or vacation. Fresenius Medical Care states that with some thoughtful preparation, dialysis patients can go camping, go on cruises and travel both domestically and abroad. You will need to make detailed plans to continue your treatment and check with your health insurance provider to plan for additional expenses incurred by receiving treatment from out-of-network providers. Medicare will not pay for dialysis outside of the United States.

How to Travel With Dialysis


1 - Consider creating your own special tour of historic hospitals as part of your vacation.

If you require in-center hemodialysis, you will need to plan your trip well ahead of time. Start by choosing a vacation site and find dialysis facilities in the area, using the Internet. You can also check with the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) for a list of centers in the area. Once you have a list of potential sites, check with your insurance company about where it will cover dialysis. Certain managed health-care organizations and Medicaid may not pay for treatment outside of your coverage area. Plan to carry extra cash or travellers cheques for your treatment.

2 - Schedule intense activities like hiking on days you don't need treatment.

If you will be travelling for more than a week, plan a schedule grid on paper for each day. Use your grid to plan special events, tours or meals; plot times for dialysis treatment too. Factor in travel time to and from treatment. Consider times when you might be tired from dialysis. By using a schedule you can know that you won't miss any special events or sights, but still have a plan and plenty of time for your treatments.

3 - Make the most of your travel by planning for emergencies, too.

If travelling overseas consider purchasing travel insurance. Most travel insurance plans will cover emergency medical care overseas, and even transport you home in an emergency. Travel insurance generally doesn't cover routine dialysis.

Shorter Practice Trips

1 - If you've never traveled as a dialysis patient, take a short practice trip. 

Travel just a few hundred miles. Go out of town for a special weekend event, scheduling this around your dialysis treatment. For example, if your dialysis schedule is Monday, Wednesday and Friday, leave on Friday after your treatment and plan to return on Sunday. The benefit of a practice trip is that you're close to your own treatment facility and you can call there if problems arise.

2 - If you're still unsure about travelling while on dialysis treatment.

take a cruise through Dialysis At Sea. You'll be able to vacation with peace of mind, knowing that you can get dialysis treatment on the ship.

3 - Whether you're planning a short or long trip, take the proper documentation. 

According to AAKP, you should bring a copy of a chest X-ray and a copy of your most recent lab tests, including an HIV test and a TB test. Have copies of your current medication list and your dialysis orders. Pack double the medication you think you'll need.





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