My Marvellous Guide to travelling with heart failure

Welcome to the Marvellous Guide to Travelling with Heart Failure. We know people with heart failure, along with their carers and families, very much see going on holiday as getting back to normal after a diagnosis of heart failure. With the availability of better treatments and care, travelling with heart failure, especially abroad, has become more achievable.

It is important to be prepared when travelling with heart failure and we hope this guide will give you thoughts about how you can plan your trip, whether it be to Brighton or Barbados. We hope this guide resonates with you and helps you make some of those decisions so your trip is safe and organised thoroughly. We have also partnered with “Medical Travel Compared” on the subject of travel insurance, as this component of travelling abroad should never be disregarded; it is important to declare any existing conditions so that the right cover can be arranged.

We hope you find this guide a useful resource for a safe and thoroughly enjoyable trip.

Travelling with Heart Failure

If your condition is unstable, or your blood pressure is very high, travel of any kind is best avoided. Heart conditions like any other condition can cause you problems on holiday, so choosing your destination wisely and planning your itinerary with care should help to minimise any potential risks.

Holidays are an important time to allow yourself to rest and relax. If you have recently been unwell, had surgery or have just been discharged from hospital, you should wait until you have made a full recovery and your Doctor has confirmed that you are fit before you travel. Whether your condition is stable or unstable, you should always consult your GP well in advance of departure and ensure you obtain confirmation from your GP that you are fit to travel and, where relevant, fit to fly.

  • Prepare carefully for your trip, well in advance, and choose a destination where you are confident in the medical facilities and access to medical treatment
  • Check your accommodation and the local facilities are suitable. For example, avoid staying at a hotel situated at the top of a steep hill, miles away from the nearest town
  • It is generally not advisable to use spa facilities e.g. baths, saunas, hot tubs or steam rooms if you have high blood pressure, a heart condition, angina or have had a heart attack
  • Do not use facilities that involve a sudden change of temperature e.g. a sauna followed by plunging into cold water. If you are planning to use such facilities, please consult your Doctor first
  • Do not overexert yourself. Avoid hectic itineraries and, when travelling, use lightweight luggage, preferably on wheels and make use of porters
  • Take out adequate travel insurance to cover your condition
  • Take sufficient medication for your entire trip
  • Take a list of your medications and their dosages

Download the PDF


Top Tip for London Transport

If you struggle to stand while using public transport, there is a free badge and card available to help you alert fellow customers that you need a seat. 

Please offer me a seat

The badge and card can be used on all the following services: London Underground, London Overground, Elizabeth line, Buses, DLR, Trams and River Services.

‘Please offer me a seat’ badges and cards can be sent to any address in the Greater London area, and to South East England.  For more details visit TFL Here

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