Top tips for traveling with heart problems

Traveling can be stressful at the best of times, but those who suffer from heart disease may be doubly concerned that traveling could affect and worsen their health.

But a heart condition doesn't have to mean you should avoid the vacation altogether.If you follow the directions and plan properly, a trip should be both relaxing and soothing to the heart.

If you or someone you are traveling with has a heart condition, here are some tips and things to consider:

1.Choose your destination carefully

The first thing to consider is where you're traveling to.Extreme climates are known to exacerbate problems with the heart.It's good practice, therefore, to choose destinations that won't strain your heart (i.e., no jaunts to the North Pole or jungle treks). It is especially important to avoid high altitudes if you have just had surgery or a recent complication.

You should also remember to stay well hydrated if you choose a sunnier retreat.As always, if in doubt, consult your primary care physician, as some surgeons suggest avoiding travel altogether after recent surgery, and different heart conditions vary in severity.It is recommended that passengers inform their airline that they are traveling with a stable heart condition.It is worth notifying your hotel as well.

2.Prepare in advance

It is very important to prepare all aspects of your trip – from transportation through the vicinity of your hotel to local amenities and things to pack.First, make sure you are able to transfer and carry your luggage, or ask for help if necessary.Organize a route in advance to avoid being in a hurry.You may also want to consider organized tours where you get an experienced guide.


If you are wearing a pacemaker or defibrillator, it is important that you notify airport personnel at security – with a doctor's letter or documentation as proof – to avoid hiccups.Some airports offer mobility assistance that you can request in advance so you can be taken to the terminal without running out of air.Making an advance reservation will alleviate many potentially harmful burdens.


For the flight, travelers can invest in compression stockings and take aspirin to avoid the effects of cabin pressure.Travelers should exercise and stretch lightly, even on long-haul flights.Once you arrive at your destination, it is important to enjoy your vacation and relax, but also stay alert and remember your routine; if there are certain activities or diets you need to follow, stick to them.

5.Obtain insurance

It is recommended that you purchase travel insurance with heart attack coverage.If you already have travel insurance, make sure your heart condition is covered.If you are an EU citizen, the EHIC covers certain treatments in Europe, but does not replace your actual insurance policy.When submitting a new health declaration for your insurance company, it is often a good idea to consult your primary care physician so that you can answer detailed medical questions in detail.Aside from coverage, travel insurance provides peace of mind so you can travel heart healthy.

6.Pack sensibly

Travelers should have both a doctor's note with prescription list and an adequate amount of medication on hand for the duration of their stay.Always take a few extra days with you, just in case of delays, loss or some other mishap.As long as the airline accepts medications in your carry-on luggage, you should pack some of your prescriptions there.

7.Find out about medical facilities before you leave home

More importantly, travelers need to research medical facilities in their location.