Wondering about holidays

Hi, I'm wondering if any of you who are in remission but getting 3-monthly reviews can advise. I'm really keen to book a holiday in Portugal but don't want to go in high summer. I'd prefer to wait till September or October.

I'm due a review this month and then a further one in August but I'm wondering if I should take the risk of booking before the August review.

We had to cancel our holiday last year as my cyst was discovered just after we'd booked and I was in hospital when we should have been away. The timing of our cancellation meant we got nearly all our money back, including some insurance but I know I wouldn't get insurance back if I had to cancel now.

Have any of you had to consider this? What would you do?



26 Replies

  • Hi Linda

    I was supposed to have gone to Tenerife in February this year but had to start chemo again last November so obviously couldn't get away. I had booked with Thomson so phoned them and was able to change the date and location of the holiday and am now going to Majorca on 2 June. I think it cost £30 per person to change the holiday but at least I didn't lose all the holiday money because at that point I hadn't been able to get insurance.

    Hope this helps.

    Cathy x

  • Certainly worth bearing in mind Cathy. Hope you have a really lovely holiday.


  • Hi linda.

    Like you , I had a holiday booked(to Croatia) when I was 1st diagnosed. Got the money back and realised would not be able to do this again.

    Not in remission now, but when I was I tended to plan my holiday well ahead BUT only actually book it about 2 weeks before. Went to Barcelona to celebrate my ist clear scan, and have also been to Corfu. Found booking at the last minute easy and reasonably priced. i still really looked forward to my holidays.

    Have broken my own rule this time though, have a holiday booked in Wales at the end of this treatment. Thats because my lovely, kind, friend booked it for me.I am really looking forward to it, but a bit worried in case I am not well enough to go.

    Hope this is helpful,

    best wishes


  • Hi Julie. Hope you get your Welsh holiday and that the weather is kind. Late booking is a good strategy except that the holiday I would love is a Douro River cruise and I think they get booked up quite early. I may have to compromise and go for something else this year.

    All the best with your treatment. Give those nasty little cells a good kicking!

  • The Just You cruise is savid to be excellent but I am not sure how they are with late bookings. I am leaving booking my holiday until august.


  • Noble Caledonia has been recommended to us but I'll look at this too.

    Thanks, Margaret


  • My daughter and I went to Portugal with Just You as I spent part of my childhood there. Several people on that trip had been on the Douro Cruise and praised it. Only trouble is most travellers with just you are singles! Their organisationis great though! I went to croatia with them 5 years ago and several people on that trip were in groups who had met on previous just you holidays. Saga is similar but not exclusively singles.


  • Hi Linda

    My story is the same as the others. Had a holiday booked in 2010. Booked it the November before and placed a deposit and booked the airline with the intention of getting a yearly insurance in the January as we always did. Unfortunately my oc was discovered and we lost the money we had paid out. So now we don't book holidays until 2 months before we go. This way I can get insurance...........just in case. Hope you sort something out. The holiday will do you the world of good.

    Love Chris x x

  • Thanks Chris. In an odd way it's useful to know that others face the same issues with the timing of their booking. I'm sure I'll sort something out.

    Linda xx

  • I went to Portugal for Christmas 2010 and got insurance from city bond travel. I was actually just about to go back into treatment though I did not know before January 2011. I had a lovely time and managed things at my own pace.

    I am hoping to go to Spain in September it depends on how well I get my stoma under control!.


  • Hope you make it to Spain, Margaret


  • I was able to claim on the insurance for my original diagnosis- I started chemo on the day I was due to fly to Jamaica, then for 2 years didnt book anything till I had been given the all clear after scans. this year, I figured I would be ok, so booked a 10 day holiday to cape verde, paid for it, then got told it had come back, and I was to have a liver resection. had no insurance- I thought I would book it when I had the all clear (doh, how stupid am I?) so lost all the money.

    Lesson learned.

    no more booking till after the scan results.Holiday before the next scan.

    insurance as soon as the booking is made.

    hoping to go to Barcelona in july, scan results willing!



  • You were really unlucky, Sue. That was a hard way to learn a lesson. Barcelona is fabulous and the trip up to Montserrat is well worth it too if you have time. And I loved the Gaudi buildings, ESP Sagrada Familia. Hope you make it.

    Linda xx

  • Sue ,

    Thats really bad luck.But Barcelona is brilliant, its got everything, lovely buildings and markets, parks and art galleries.Also near the beach.

    Sorry to see you here... remember you from another site(I had another name there, there were too many julies)I was friends with Jackie(in the pink)I often think of her.

    Hope you are recovering well from your surgery.

    Best wishes


  • Hey Julie,

    how are you doing- am getting there now I think- 3 more weeks off sick then a weeks leave before I have to return to work- boo hiss.

    take care



  • hi Sue

    I,m back on chemo at the mo but doing ok.Hope they don't work you too hard when you go back.

    best wishes


  • Hi Linda,

    We should be in Cyprus as I type and have lost most of the money for our holiday as we'd booked last October and hadn't sorted insurance. I'm nearing the end of 6 sessions of chemo and have a couple of long weekends in The Lakes booked for June. In a way I wish I'd left booking until the last minute as I don't know how I'm going to feel - and it might pour down!! I'd love a holiday abroad in Sept/Oct but whenever I mention it to my Oncologist he advises me to wait until nearer the time.

    Happy Holidays!

    Liz XXX

  • What a shame, Liz. Hope you feel well enough for the Lakes and that the sun shines.

    Linda x

  • Hi Liz

    I went to Tunisia about 6 weeks after my last chemo, got a last minute deal for a week back in 2009. really enjoyed it- lots of big floppy hats and hiding in the shade, but well worth it after the shock of the op/ diagnosis and treatment first time round.



  • Dear Linda and All, It was heartbreaking reading about all those holiday cancellations. I think it's really worth considering all possibilities when planning holidays as there are so many wonderful places to go that aren't too far away.

    My diagnosis hasn't stopped me taking holidays but I always book/travel independently. Having chemotherapy last year didn't stop me going away either - the hospital were quite happy to work round my pre-arranged dates. I'd take the risk and would keep enough cash in hand to get home should things go a bit pear-shaped.

    Enjoy Wales Julie - what part are you visiting?

    xx Annie

  • hi Annie

    We have a cottage booked at Penryndeudreath(don't know if i have spelling right).Actually went there last summer while on chemo and had a lovely time.had chemo yesterday and my ca 125 has gone up very slightly so hoping i will still be able to go.Friend booked holiday and told me afterwards!


  • Dear Julie

    Wow -that's quite some journey from the East of England to the North of Wales but if you do go you'll be rewarded with some stunning scenery when you get there. I always think of the mountains and hills in Wales as being upturned for the viewers' admiration.

    I'm going to the Yorkshire Dales for the weekend tomorrow - a similar length of journey and swapping one hilly rugged countryside for another. We're breaking up the trip there by staying overnight just over half way.

    I hope your chemo is going well. Sometimes the CA125 does go up and down and it's nothing to be worried about. I think it's important to do what you want and what is best for you. If the trip isn't going to do you good you shouldn't struggle to get there.

    Look at me giving advice I don't take myself!!! lol

    Lots of love xx Annie

  • Hi Annie

    Feeling really good today but that might be due to the bucketload of steroidsI had yesterday.Been having a bit of a clearout.....well actually mainly supervising my daughter doing most of the work.

    yes its along journey, took the train last time and it took all day, but the Welsh leg of the trip was lovely, mountains on 1 side and sea on the other..

    have a lovely time in Yorkshire , hope you get some sunshine.

  • Hi Annie

    I always enjoy our UK and Ireland holidays and of course it's easier to do it all at the last minute. In fact, I usually have a hard time persuading my husband to go anywhere other than Scotland and even the car has a history of throwing a hissy fit if we turn south instead of north when we get off the ferry at Cairnryan!

    I'll still try for Portugal though, but will leave the booking till August.

    Linda xx

  • Hi, thanks for answering. We will certainly organise something for June though we may stay in the UK.

  • Hi Linda...

    I found it impossible to get holiday insurance so I mentioned this to my consultant who said that I could go abroad but I should stay in the EU and take my E111 card with me which I did. I flew to the Malaga area because the British Consul for Southern Spain and the Canary Isles is there and there is a large public hospital in the city where you can present for treatment with your card. Spain is actually an expensive destination for holiday insurance because there are so many private hospitals. I thought that if I got ill, I could get in a taxi and take myself off to the public hospital with my E111 card. There are many flights home every day too so my Plan B was to jump on a plane and come home earlier than planned. With regards to your question, I can only say how I would feel in your circumstances. I know I'd worry all the time that I'd have the hassle of cancelling the holiday even if it meant that I could rebook with a re-booking fee. If you're thinking of going in September, the schools will be back and it shouldn't be that difficult to find a holiday online. When I was thinking of going to Spain and decided not to book too far in advance, I thought that we wouldn't go in the end because the dates hadn't been set and we might decide to spend the money on something else. We decided to write the dates down on the calendar in the kitchen and then told everyone when our holiday would be. That way, others in the family could make arrangements around us and it made the holiday seem much more concrete in our minds. We got a last minute (a week prior to the holiday) booking which was much cheaper than it would have been and we saved a lot of money. Hope you have a lovely holiday.


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