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Travelling with RA

Hi All,

Just wondering if anyone has tried to travel while suffering from RA or anything similar? I'm hoping to apply for a 1 or 2 year working holiday visa for New Zealand, but not sure how my Inflammatory/Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis will effect my visa application. Also does anyone know how to go about finding a consultant in another country or at the very least how to get medication like Sulfasalazine and have regular blood tests? I know there is reciprocal healthcare out there for people from the UK, but I'm pretty sure pre-existing conditions aren't covered, so was also wondering if anyone knows about costs?

Any advise/help/travel tips relating to RA would be greatly appreciated!


Kels :)

6 Replies

I lived in Canada for a few years and RA never affected my visa application but you will need to make sure that you have good health insurance and find a good dr that can poss help you out in NZ.  Also if you are travelling then try and make sure your RA is stable and your not gonna suffer with flares whilst you are there.

I have done a lot of travelling over the years and it is an amazing thing to do so don't let your ra stop you living your life.  If you have any questions about travelling then message me

pre existing conditions won't be covered but you should ring round companys like bupa, ppp etc because they may be able to help you out. However you may run into problems with your visa if you are not covered by health insurance for your ra.  I don't know that for sure but it is something you need to look into because you will need health insurance.

I was in remissum when I was travelling but my drs in the uk was still seeing my for my ra.  I managed to sort out everything that I needed with them and did not have to find a specialist in Canada but every situation is different.  If you have an understanding Dr then they should be able to continue giving your meds but every situation is different. 


I can only help a little here. I went to Australia and was concerned about travelling. When I had a review with the consultant I explained where I was going and asked for advice. I was given a steroid injection a week before I left which was fantastic for me as it helped with the travelling and being more comfortable. We went business class which meant I could stretch out. I was also told to wear flight socks for the journey. I was only there three weeks so did not have to have any blood tests. I would suggest you speak to the Embassy and your hospital. Hope you can get it sorted and if you get there have a fantastic time x


Eliennllie I think it is fine to get  steroid injection if your only going away for a few weeks but steroid injections will only be a temp fix and if kels is planning to go away for a long period then she really needs to see if her current ra specialist will help her out with the meds.

on a brighter note NZ is full of functional health dr and she may be able to get better treatment for her RA in NZ. 

All I can say is that in my experience if Kels is planning on going away she is better off seeing if she can get enough meds to keep her going in the UK and then come back here if she needs to.  Not every dr will of course do this of course. 

also if you have a medical condition then just sort out getting extra leg room in advance and then you don't need to pay a crazy amount of money to fly in business class.  I always manage to the exit seats when flying but of course you need to arrange this with the airline in advance.

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I have travelled to Palm Springs in California and also Brisbane, Auckland etc and found myself so well in Palm Springs and in the Blue Mountain's.  Did travel Buiness Class and Singapore Airlines yes more expensive but cannot fault the service and even my diet was looked after with Oat milk etc.  Planning is important and different climate can help one also hinder but go to a warmer place is my recommendation.  NOT north Aus as it is very humid.  Great for an  expedition but not to stay too long.  Hope this helps.


Travel insurance for pre existing illness - I've used All Clear and although expensive was very comprehensive. I've never needed to claim so can't tell you if they were any good. Clemmie


Hi Kels

How exciting!  I have been looking at a few web pages and think that possible the following 2 links may be of interest to you. 

Best wishes



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