Hypertension – known as high blood pressure – may or may not be something that crosses your mind daily.
Yet, on World Hypertension Day (WHD) 17th of May, the aim of The World Hypertension League is to increase awareness of hypertension. The date also falls within May Measure Month. May Measure is a global blood pressure screening awareness campaign. Its mission is to help people get their blood pressure checked.
If you notice these two awareness campaigns and are concerned about your blood pressure, it’s understandable to feel anxious. After learning about them at Free Spirit, we wanted to share some positive advice and tips if you’ll be travelling with hypertension soon.
While a relaxing holiday can have positive health benefits for hypertension, it’s vital to be aware that some elements of travelling can potentially raise already high blood pressure levels. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have some strategies up your sleeve to alleviate them when they occur, to ensure that you can make the most of your holiday and your health.
Here are our top tips for you to travel happily and healthily…
10 Tips for travelling with hypertension
If your doctor has diagnosed you with high blood pressure, you’ll probably be controlling it with lifestyle changes and/or medication. Nevertheless, it’s important to be aware of your condition when outside of your usual routine. Ensure you have a happy and healthy holiday by keeping these tips in mind ahead of your holiday.
1: Speak to your doctor first. It’s a good idea to get their go-ahead on your travel plans before making any bookings, just to make sure they are happy.
2: Ask your GP for a prescription for extra medication to cover your trip if needed, as well as a copy of it.
3: If required, request a doctor’s letter that gives you permission to take your medicine with you to your chosen destination.
4: If you’re flying, get an up-to-date blood pressure reading as close to the date you fly as possible.
There should be no reason why you can’t travel by air. However, it’s a good idea to check your blood pressure with your doctor before you go – especially if you haven’t had a blood pressure test for over a year.
5: When you’re travelling by air move around the cabin regularly. Do gentle leg exercises while in your seat.
6: Avoid salty snacks and alcohol throughout your trip. A break from your usual routine can affect your blood pressure.
7: Plan when to take your medication.
If you’ll be travelling to a different time zone, make sure you factor in the time difference. Most medicine for high blood pressure is taken daily. If that’s the case for you, the most important thing is to stick to one dose within a 24-hour period. It’s better to have a slight gap between doses than to take two too close together.
8: Be aware of how activities may affect you.
You should be able to take part in most activities while you’re away. Although, anything that could include sudden changes in pressure is best avoided, such as scuba diving.
On the other hand, using saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs shouldn’t be a problem. However, make sure you’re well-hydrated beforehand. Also, limit your time within one and take someone with you. Remember that the heat can lower your blood pressure, making you feel faint and light-headed, especially if you take blood pressure medication.
9: Know how to recognise the signs of high blood pressure, even if your condition is under control.
A spike in your blood pressure can cause symptoms such as dizziness, chest pains, an erratic heartbeat, confusion, headaches, and problems with your vision.
10: Arrange medical travel insurance for high blood pressure. It’s vital that your travel insurance provider both knows about and can provide cover for your condition.
Travel insurance and hypertension
At Free Spirit, we specialise in offering high blood pressure travel insurance for people of any age, with a wealth of medical and non-medical benefits. Simply contact us to find out more about our travel insurance for high blood pressure, or apply for a quote online.