Newly diagnosed-what do i do about holiday ... - AF Association

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Newly diagnosed-what do i do about holiday booked for end of month


Hi, new on here and only diagnosed last week with AF. Waiting for echo, started on Bisoprolol 5mg. Cardioversion advised after months worth of Apixaban. Breathlessness better some days than others,same with palpitations!, today not good day, even though have only had a shower and walked up stairs once but did not sleep well. so hopefully thats the cause,although i think side effects from meds not helping.

My Question is due to fly to Malta on 30th June for 8 night stay, with Hubby,booked since last year.

As so recently diagnosed is it a good idea?, Gp says should be ok, but still worrying. How much do i push if feeling breathless, even with rests, or is it literally do nothing but watch the world go by while sat in the sun or in the pool!

18 Replies

I flew from Boston to San Diego 10 days after afib ablation. I was still having post-surgery palpitations so I was a nervous wreck that I would get one on the airplane. But I made it there and back with no incidents. I was very tired when I got home. Scope out local hospitals in case you have an afib attack.


As long as you have declared all this to your insurance co. then just go for it particularly as GP has given you the OK.

Personally I wouldn't push it as far as exercise goes at this stage but others may disagree. What's wrong with relaxing around the pool and a swim ? Sounds good to me .

Check your travel insurance first especially as you are awaiting tests. Don't go without full travel insurance. Check out Maltas hospital on line and see where there are medical facilities. Ensure you have plenty of medication with you.

Would your GP give you a fit to fly letter. Your travel insurer might not be happy to insure you for this particular condition given you are awaiting tests, that might be your stumbling block.

If you do feel well enough to go watch the heat, keep shaded, stay well hydrated with water not alcohol, arrive early at airport to minimise stress and keep moving on the aircraft or do leg exercises. I wouldn't go dashing about, just resolve to have a restful holiday by a pool with a good book and get plenty of sleep. Hope it works out for you.

I had a struggle to tolerate Bisoprolol, almost pass out getting up out of a chair. It lowers your heart rate, less blood to the brain etc. I cut back to half dosage and slowly increased to full strength. I've been on now for more than five years but take half in morning and half at night. My heart rate resting is in between 45 and 50.

Four years ago I walked the Camino de Santiago (500 miles) and survived.

I have Afib attacks about once a month, rate goes up to 140 to 180.

Life sucks at times and this is one of those times. Ultimately the decision is yours and what your comfortable with. Your GP says should so not a given. If you are going to worry then is it worth it? Malta aint going anywhere and with luck in four weeks time after the Cardioversion you will be back to your old self. Persevere with the Bisoporol took me a few weeks for my body to adjust. Health comes first and good luck.

The decision is fully yours. Since I have been diagnosed I have been on short haul and long haul holidays. Follow all the steps already outlined and you should be grand. Just relax. Chill out by the pool, read books, keep hydrated xxx

if your GP and insurers are Ok with it and you have located a hospital in Malta then I would decide on how you are feeling. If it's just tiredness that's one thing but if you feel really compromised you may not enjoy the holiday and if you have insurance and can claim on it you might want to delay?

Hello I was in same boat diagnosed the end of March and then had holiday booked to Turkey in the May. I was fine just make sure you have your medication with you.and this was 3 years ago and I still look to see where nearest hospital and doctor is where ever I travel. I asked my cardiologist about flying and he said I would be fine I was shocked back into sinus rythum 4 weeks of being on blood thinners and then flew out 3 weeks later.

Hi Savi

If your GP happy enogh for you to go you may ask him for few anxiolytic tablets(xanax for example) just in case while on plane and during the holiday if necessary!

Hope you will have a great time.

It is quite normal to be concerned, especially when travelling abroad for the first time since being diagnosed.

Good advice above - I would just add to ensure you keep very well hydrated, especially in the heat and to not plan too much activity and adopt a ‘go with the flow attitude’, see how you feel and do not be persuaded to do more than you feel up to.

Bisoprolol takes some getting used to and many people find they become breathless and exercise intolerant, as mentioned, but symptoms can diminish after the first few weeks.

AF has never stopped me from travelling and I have had AF episodes in some very strange places and as long as you are able to relax (yes even when your heart is thumping away) and don’t panic you will be fine. Make your aim relaxation.

Common triggers:-

Stress - worrying about what may happen

Poor sleep


Over eating - avoid eating late at night - difficult I know when holidaying - but eating much smaller meals will help.


Over exertion - I found swimming excellent exercise without putting undue strain on the body so pool holiday sounds ideal.

Some foods

If you can, avoid the main triggers.

This is all you need to know - excellent advise !!! But I must emphasise ‘ avoid alcohol ‘ - a small shandy or wine spritzer at the most - but best to avoid

Hi Savi I have permanent AF and flew from Australia to LA then to Vagas, then a cruise back through Tahiti Hawaii New Zealand we were gone nearly six weeks. For me it was a matter of pacing myself, when I got breathless I had a rest, I guess you have to listen to your body. As some people have mentioned insurance can be a problem if you want to be covered for a pre existing condition. My cardiologist said I was fine to go, good luck, hope you have a lovely trip.

Jennywren2953, For my condition PAF and state of mind, you have summed it up brilliantly " listen to your body and pace yourself ". Also feeling confidence with what PIP you have! I have recently taken up breathing properly ( strange after 64 years) but controlled breathing really helps me and now convinced it has helped head off a few potential episodes. Love this site as they are so many kind, considerate and knowledgeable people.

Yes I know what you mean about the breathing, I’m 64 and only became conscious of my breathing since I’ve had AF, good luck with it all.

Hi Savi18, In your case the best advice is your own advice. If you feel you could be relaxed in Malta, then go; if not, then don't !

The whole idea of a holiday is to chill and enjoy after all ?!

What else did you want to do? Shopping? Dancing? Traveling through town? You can do whatever you feel like doing which may not include all of those things in one day-at least not all at one time.

Sitting by the pool sounds wonderful! But! Careful in that hot sun-increases A-Fib in some. Stay hydrated.

Make sure that you tell your travel insurer all the details of your AF and any medication and further tests you will be undergoing or your insurance could be voided if you have an issue but haven't mentioned it. My sister few to Florida two years ago with AF and had no problems just take your meds and make sure that you have enough to cover an extra few days in case of flight delays etc. Just take things easy and don't push yourself too much.

Just go and have a good time. Side effects should subside by then as well as your anxiety. AF management is a lifelong battle but it is not immediately life threatening, but not managing it can be. You are taking the proper steps. Trust your doctors and live your life. I’ve been at it for almost 30 years and I’m only 57. You’ll be ok.

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