Holiday advice please

I am going on my 2nd ever holiday abroad (last one was in 2000) to Malta. I suffer with Raynauds, CREST and Sjrogrens and would be grateful for any advice / tips you can give me on what to expect healthwise. I know the air con will be a problem so have already put my gloves in the case, but is the flight likely to cause any issues, and am I right in saying that any medication has to go in your hand luggage in its original packaging? Also, do I need to get special travel insurance? Any help would be gratefully received. Thankyou.

19 Replies

  • I asked before about special travel insurance - and apparently not. Yes medication in the original packaging. Flight itself - gloves for the air con on-board. Not much else that "I" know. ooooo where you going to? I'm so envious. Have a wonderful time, I hope it's warm where you are going.

  • Thanks for your reply no-one, really helpful. I am going to a place called Bugibba in Malta. The hotel has some good results on Trip Advisor and it has a spa attached to it as well so I intend to make good use of this whilst there and enjoy some warm sunny weather to warm my aching joints up. A little nervous about the plane tho' as this will only be my 2nd time in the air.

  • It's been many many years since I've been to Malta, absolutely loved Gozo the island right next to it. My son was about 10/11years old and we visited the Popeye Movie set. We went for Christmas and New Year, even then the weather was great.

    Also everyone in Malta speaks English as well as Maltese, so warm weather, different culture and lovely cuisine. Can I come too ;) lol

    Enjoy yourself - you deserve it, sit back and enjoy the flight - think of it as a great adventure - and then say to yourself - at Least I'm not flying to Australia - that will make you think the flight is shorter lol.

  • Thank you no-one. I really am looking forward to it. My friend that I am going with also has health issues so we both understand each others needs. We plan on taking a trip to Gozo. It all sounds wonderful on the island and I've heard that the Maltese people are lovely and friendly. Only 6 weeks to wait - bring on the sun :)

  • I was told that You should also carry a list of all your medication ( I took a copy of my repeat prescription ).

  • Thanks for this Jensue. My repeat prescription is held at the chemist that I get my medication from. Do you think a hand-typed list would be ok?

  • Very nice indeed! I have been to Malta and enjoyed the visit very much. It was difficult to keep up with others when we went on excursions but enjoyable nonetheless.

    Travel insurance is difficult to get as soon as you mention certain illnesses. I travelled last May and I couldn't find any cover for the multiple diagnosis especially when I mentioned I had a total hip replacement. In the end I just bought a basic travel policy and prayed. I'm pleased to say all went well. Make sure you have your EU health card with you. I also take repeat a prescription list just in case I run out of anything. Proof that your doctor prescribe medicine.

    The sunshine will do you the world of good. Hope you have a great time in Malta.


  • It sounds like a lovely country to visit from everyone's comments. My friend that I am going with suffers with osteo-arthritis and asthma so taking things slowly will not be a problem. I have basic travel insurance so will do the same as you and pray that nothing related to to medical condition occurs. My repeat prescription is held at the chemist but I will take all my medication in their original packaging and type a list of the medication as well and hope that this is ok. I have just received my EU helath card.

    I am looking forward to the warm sunshine which I am sure will lift my spirits as this weather that we are having (even tho' the sun has started to shine) is still not very warm and I am still wearing my gloves. I shall take them with me because of the air con on the plane and also, I anticipate will be in a lot of places that we visit.

    Thank you so much for all the good information that you have given Graygirl1, much appreciated :)

  • I'm sure that if you ask at your doctors surgery they will print out a copy of your repeat prescription. I know that my GP is very helpful with things like this.

    I'm going to be doing a long hall flight next February to New Zealand and will be away for 34 days so I will have to sort out my Methotrexate very carefully because I'm only given 28 days worth of tablets & have to blood tests done monthly because my WBC are rather up & down so they like to monitor me carefully. Also holiday insurance is going to need sorting out because of having SSc and along with quite a few other problems but I'm going to let that stop me.

  • Oh never thought of that, good idea. Will ask next time I visit the GP.

    Wow, New Zealand, that sounds wonderful, are you visiting family / friends? When I read my travel policy, it stated that it would not pay out for anything to do with a degenerative condition, so I imagine, getting insurance will be difficult. Perhaps it's something that the RSA could assist with information on.

    I always try and have a positive outlook on these conditions that I have, they are not going to get better so why let them make me miserable now.

  • Don't worry, you'll be fine. Nothing untoward is going to happen. Only one more little advice. Don't spend too much time in direct sunlight without your sunscreen. I like the children's Nivea range from any chemist or supermarket. It's good if you have sensitive skin and works as a primer for your makeup. Remember you don't need to cook yourself under the sun to get a tan but you could get terribly sun-burnt. You can get a nice gentle tan in the shade also. Make sure to drink lots of water eat lots of lovely fresh fruits and take plenty of pain relief meds in your bag wherever you go. Don't push yourself too much to do lots each day. Pace yourself and get some nice naps especially in the middle of the day when the sun is at it's hottest. You'll be good to go again in the evenings.

    You and your friend will have a great time and the aches and pains won't feel so bad when you're warm and happy. This advice is for both of you. Take good care. Have fun! One more thing, comfy footwear for walking around during the days. ok? I sound like your mum, don't I? It's because I've been there, done that and I care. We all care for each other on this forum.


  • I too have Sjogren's and always take a silk, or similar, scarf with me to cover my mouth. and stop the air con from drying me out too much, or triggering my asthma.

    I always make sure my 'pre-existing' illnesses are covered by travel insurance too - insurance companies will wriggle out of claims any way they can, so consider that.

    Enjoy your holiday.


  • Thanks for your kind comments Kathy. All the information on here has been really helpful and I am really looking forward to a lovely holiday.

  • I went to America earlier this year and used a website called for my travel insurance. They came up the cheapest out of all the websites I tried. (I've got raynauds and systemic sclerosis with lung involvement). Have a great holiday.

  • Thanks for the info Bubbles01, I will have a look :)

  • My husband has Severe seconadary Raynauds, Systemic sclerosis with many of the usual complications, lungs etc. and spine problems. We have spent a lot of time in Malta, in fact he spent 3 weeks with friends who live there, last summer. The heat and sunlight does help him amazingly, it reduces the effects of his outward symptoms by about a third, and the good it does him lasts for quite a while when he comes home too. I think that you should have a great time there. Bugibba is quite touristy, but that does mean that you should find everything you need locally. Also, it is a great hub for the local bus services, you can catch buses to most places from there. It is best to make an early start (if you can) when travelling, as many places close or quieten down for early afternoon and then re-open late afternoon again. I am so jealous, wish we where going there now. Apparently there is an amazing planetarium recently opened there, but you need to book well in advance, probably on line, if you like that sort of thing. Have a fab time, make sure that you have something warm to put on, when you are on the plane, ask for a blanket as soon as you get on the plane, If they have them, they don't usually have many. Have a fabulous time!

  • I am grateful for the information "adow". Having not been abroad for over 10 years, I was a bit dubious as to what Malta would be like, but so far, I haven't heard any bad reports about it at all and am really looking forward to going. Even more so now that you have said that the heat and sunlight has been so much of a benefit to your husband. I think the only problem will be the plane and the air con, but as long as I have some warm clothing with me, hopefully I will be ok. Thanks again for your kind comments x

  • Isn't the world a small place !? No-one - my Husbands family have been going to Gozo for years, and have an apartment in Schlendi Bay !

    As for advice for the OP - take all your medication in your hand luggage. As long as you have the prescription (or recent repeat) then you will not have any problems. Do not take the risk of putting it in your suitcase.

    I take the disposable hand heaters (like Little Hotties) with me whenever I fly. I regularly have to go through Airport screening for my job, and carry them with me always - and I have never had a problem taking them through, so they are invaluable when it comes to aircraft and air conditioning !!! I would also advise some warm socks.....I learnt that one the hard way !

    Enjoy your time in the sun, I'm sure it will do you the world of good.

  • For air travel I always pack a pashmina which is very light. You can wear it round your neck, drape it over shoulders or even on your head if you are underneath the AC outlet! Wear lots of light layers that you can take off or put on when necessary. I recommend using Arnica pillules and Rescue Remedy drops - obtainable from chemist/health shop.

    Start a few days before flight. Arnica is homeopathic and taken between meals two to three times a day, together with some drops of Rescue Remedy under the tongue. Ask for an information leaflet or advice at time of purchase. Continue to take during the flight and for a few days after arrival. It helps when travelling and in times of stress.

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