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Traveling with special needs can be stressful. One of which that we have a fair share of experience traveling with is kidney failure. During our preparation for our trips that we have done in the past, a few helpful items did make a difference in making happy vacation memories!
So, if you are traveling while on dialysis, here is a list of travel essentials to make your family trip safe, fun, and trouble-free. Use this as a guide to help you ensure you don’t miss anything for your upcoming trip.
Most of the items here are intended for those who do peritoneal dialysis because they had to do it on their own. However, if you are doing hemodialysis, some of this might still be helpful.
Also don’t forget to read our quick guide on doing peritoneal dialysis in Walt Disney World.
In this Article
Kidney failure can come with several complications. From headaches, dizziness, joint pain, or nausea, kidney patients are not strangers to having a couple of medicines to control these symptoms. To avoid the hassle of stopping at pharmacies or stores in unfamiliar towns or countries, make sure you pack your medication kit including your over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. Also, do not take this as medical advice. Always consult your doctor or your renal team.
- First Aid kit with bandaids, gauze and wipes
- Antibiotic spray (Neosporin)
- Essential Oils (some scents could help alleviate nausea and dizziness)
Let’s say we were not able to prevent nausea and vomiting from happening. You’d be happy to have the Carebag Vomit Bag with you when that happens. It has an absorbent pad at the bottom and it also deodorizes.
There is also a cheaper alternative to that, sans absorbent pad, but it still does the job and keeps the smell in the bag. I remember working in the hospital and we have something similar to these vomit bags. I wished I have unlimited supply of them at home. That’s how much I love them.
Bring extra clothes for yourself too!
It’s very important to have at least clean hands when on dialysis. Sometimes, you’re stuck in a situation where there is no accessible sink or soap. You don’t want an opportunistic infection to take over.
As much as your monthly delivery comes with a huge bottle of hand sanitizer, a travel sized one can be handy. A great example is Purell’s Travel Sanitizer bottles. It’s easy to carry on your person and it even has aloe, which helps to keep your hands moisturized. It smells nice too! It doesn’t leave a sticky residue in your hands.
And if that doesn’t appeal to you, you can bring some Purell’s Sanitizing Hand Wipes that comes individually wrapped. The only downside is having to dispose of them after every use.
Remember, the cardinal rule is to ALWAYS wash your hands.
Medical History List
Needing medical attention when traveling is usually not in anybody’s list. However, being prepared for it is a good idea.
Some things that you can pack with you to make this easier include a list of your medications, health history, medical contact list (your kidney doctor or nurse), and restrictions.
Another great thing to have, especially when traveling for long periods of time is travel insurance. You don’t want to be bringing home hefty medical bills as souvenirs from your trip.
Don’t forget to pack your favorite snacks!
One of the main things that kidney failure patients deal with every day is their diet. Pick, pack, ration and stick them in zip lock bags. When our grandmother started peritoneal dialysis, a major requirement for her diet is high protein and low phosphorus. There are sachets of protein drinks and nutritional shakes available for dialysis patients. I order them in bulk and she loves the butter pecan shakes a lot!
Another diet restriction is choosing snacks that are low in sodium or salt to keep your blood pressure from spiking up.
Bag for your Night Cycler and Supplies
Sometimes, the dialysis clinic may provide this for their traveling patients. You can try asking if they have it available for you. Some of the clinics stock the soft bag while some have the wheeled hard case.
If you travel more often and would like to keep something for your own use, there are available hard cases that could accommodate your cycler like this Pelican hard case.
Most airlines would not charge a fee for medical related luggage. To be sure, contact ahead of time your airline’s disability hotline and have them note that you will be traveling with medical supplies.
Traveling with special needs does make vacation planning more interesting. Amidst all the added things to be mindful of, don’t forget to enjoy your vacation. I shared my go-to list for traveling while on dialysis. Did I miss anything? What are your must-brings when traveling with dialysis that you would like to share? Please share in the comment section below.