Planning for holidays

Holidays are an important and enjoyable part of life. This does not have to change following your diagnosis of aplastic anaemia. However, it is advisable to discuss any travel plans with your consultant before you book, as they can advise you on your treatment plan whilst on holiday, how to deal with any emergencies and vaccinations you might need. It is also a good idea to discuss any planned recreational and sports/outdoor activities before your journey, for example, skiing/ice hockey/mountain or rock climbing/wind surfing.

If you want to holiday in the UK but have low blood counts, transfusions can be arranged at a hospital near to where you will be staying.

If you are currently receiving treatment or have started taking a new medication before you depart, again, it is worth speaking to your medical team to make sure the new drug suits you well before travel. 

Flying

It is important to recognise that travelling, especially with a low platelet count (less than 20) can present significant risks.

The main risk of flying with a low platelet count is the increased risk of bleeds, especially in the head. It is therefore recommended that your platelet count is at least 50 before flying. You should also take into consideration the length of the holiday and whether a transfusion would be needed before making the return trip.

Vaccinations

If you are travelling to an area that requires vaccinations, it is very important that this is discussed with your haematology team before any vaccinations are given.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is very important for people who have/have had aplastic anaemia. Although it can be difficult to get travel insurance, there are insurance companies with special policies for people with pre-existing medical conditions. 

When taking out travel insurance consider your needs and requirements for every stage of the holiday: from before you go, your journey, accommodation, medication, transport and journey home. You can then organise extra help and assistance if necessary. Don’t leave it until you are about to go on holiday!

According to one of our aplastic anaemia survivors:

Be patient and thorough when getting quotes. Ring up for a quote rather than applying online as it gives you greater freedom to give information beyond the questions asked on the standard webpage. Also some of the drugs we take are for other conditions so aren’t necessarily linked to AA on their website.

When you ring for a quote make sure you are as prepared as possible for the questions you may be asked. For example, dates of diagnosis and treatment, when did you last need a transfusion, what medication are you taking, etc. It might be worth taking a few minutes to get this information together before you make the call.

Insurers

The following list of companies who offer travel insurance to people with pre-existing medical conditions was compiled with the help of our Patient Support Group based on their own experiences. However, the inclusion of any company in the following list should not be seen as a recommendation by the Aplastic Anaemia Trust.

Insurance Company Contact Number
All Clear Travel Insurance 0808 281 8324
Freedom Travel Insurance 01223 446914
Freespirit 0800 170 7704
Insurancewith 020 3829 3875
It’s So Easy Travel Insurance 0330 606 1422
MIA Travel Insurance 0800 999 3333
Staysure 0808 281 8124
Payingtoomuch.com 01243 784000
Towergate Insurance 0330 123 2249
World First 0345 90 80 161