Travel, Health

Medical Travel Insurance – Tips For Someone Travelling With Lung Cancer

Travel tips for someone travelling with Lung Cancer

If you have been diagnosed with lung cancer and are currently planning on going on holiday, then you’ll naturally have a lot of questions to find answers for before you travel.

The physical and emotional impact of travelling abroad can make it a challenging time for some. However, that needn’t be the case if you plan ahead and put appropriate precautions in place.

Whatever your condition, getting time away from your daily routine and making time to take a break from your everyday pressures is such an important part of managing your illness. This might be a two-week cruise abroad in the sunshine, a short retreat in the British countryside or a weekend visit to relatives a few miles up the road.

Before you go

For a lot of patients, going on holiday with lung cancer will have very little or practically no impact on how well you feel. Holidays can be tiring however, especially if you’re travelling long haul.

Decide on your destination carefully, as you don’t want a holiday to make you unwell. Special occasions, such as a family event, may put you under pressure to go and so it is important to weigh up all the pros and cons of travelling.

Before you start planning a trip, speak to your doctor or consultant to make sure you’re well enough to travel. You’ll need a letter confirming you’re fit and healthy enough to travel to satisfy your travel insurance company, a topic we’ll come on to in just a moment.

Travel insurance

When travelling on holiday it is very important that people get fully covered with a travel insurance policy to provide protection in case things go wrong.

Travel insurance will cover cancellations, losing tickets or passports, being in an accident, losing luggage or possessions, and, importantly, medical costs.

Though you don’t legally have to take out an insurance policy to travel, it makes good sense as you could face significant costs if things go wrong while you are away. Repatriation alone has been known to cost in the tens of thousands of pounds in severe cases.

Most people don’t want to take the risk. The medical part of the insurance is widely used to cover your medical costs that would not normally occur back home on the NHS.

If you have a medical condition, such as lung cancer, getting travel insurance doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s just a process, and one that will go much more easily with the right insurance company and the correct documentation decalring your fit to travel.

Specialist insurers understand pre-existing medical conditions, like cancer, better and can tailor the insurance they provide to cover your particular condition and situation.

Make sure you ask your insurer about:

  • Cancer cover at any stage of the illness
  • 24 Hour emergency assistance cover.
  • Care cover in a private hospital.
  • Emergency repatriation: transport back to the UK.
  • Holiday cancellation / lost baggage / flight staff strikes / airline bankruptcy.
  • Medical expenses cover (some policies offer up to £15m although a typical policy offers around £1m).
  • Overnight stays in the hospital.
  • Accommodation for friends and family who may be supporting you.
  • Emergency medicine replacement.

To be certain a travel insurance policy is appropriate for your needs, insurers have a process called “medical screening”.

Their medical department will questions about your condition, they’ll need your medical treatment history and contact details at the hospital performing your therapy.

Holiday insurance with cancer coverage can get expensive, so it’s best to shop around to find the cheapest quote. Try our list of holiday travel insurers that have medical travel and pre-existing medical conditions cover in our handy guide. Before accepting a policy, read through the policy terms and conditions carefully, especially the exclusions section.

If you are travelling to the European Union, your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will no longer be valid after the 31st October 2019.

While it’s sensible to hold one, don’t rely on it. It’s worth familiarising yourself with the current level of health care on offer by each individual country. We’ve created a guide for travellers from the UK visiting the EU after Brexit with an individual country by country guidance. Always make sure you have travel insurance.

Recommended Travel Insurance Providers that provide Cancer cover

We’ve carefully reviewed travel health insurance providers that all understand, and cater for varying types of pre-existing medical conditions. Most, such as Allclear and Staysure, cover any medical condition.

Always speak directly with the insurer to find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Click here to see our full list of travel insurance providers or click “Quote” to get a quote from one of our recomended providers, or scroll down to read more information on individual policies.

Maximum Age
PolicyClever Rating*

No age limit






No age limit


World First



Columbus Direct



*Ratings data is based on aggregated review scores provided by Defaqto, Trustpilot, Feefo, and

Travel Insurance Policy Comparison

We’ve carefully reviewed travel health insurance providers that all understand, and cater for varying types of pre-existing medical conditions. Most, such as Allclear and Staysure, cover any medical condition. Always speak directly with the insurer to find out what’s covered and what isn’t.

Click here to see our full list of travel insurance providers or click “Quote” to get a quote from one of our recomended providers, or scroll down to read more information on individual policies.

World First

Read more for some helpful tips on travelling with Lung Cancer:

Choose a suitable destination

If you are planning to return to a holiday destination you’ve stayed in before, you’ll already know that it’s a suitable destination to visit. If you are going somewhere new (and there’s nothing wrong with travelling to new places!), it’s important to do some research. Will visiting the location be a strenuous experience?

Some holiday destinations aren’t particularly hilly, making it much easier to to walk around and get lots of sightseeing done. The weather can also make a destination more or less suitable for someone travelling with lung conditions. How might a destination at a higher altitude (in a mountainous region, for example), affect you?

What about higher temperatures or humidity in locations such as south east Asia. Try to check that your accommodation offers air conditioning as this might help with any respiratory problems (although do stay hydrated – air conditioners can dehydrate you).

Organise your medication

Always carry the right amount of medication with you when you are travelling. Take enough for the duration of the holiday if possible (n case your luggage is misplaced). Always keep it in its original packaging rather than your own containers as this helps to identify it at airport security far more easily.

If you’re travelling by aircraft, liquid medicines in bottles more than 100ml by volume will need to be documented in a doctor’s letter to allow you to take it on the flight and across the border.

Check your travel insurance policy for lost medication and emergency support. This is a feature of several of the policies offered by the insurers featured in our guide here.

Keep your letters and controlled drugs licences in hand luggage in case a customs officer needs to check them. Get in touch with the embassy office of the country you’re going to visit (you can do this by contacting the FCO and asking who to make contact with). Some countries have controls on prescription drugs that can be taken into their country, and some drugs are illegal. Take copies of your medical history with you making sure your documentation  describes your condition with any ongoing treatment.

Include the contact details of any health professionals involved in your case, and the contact details of people to be contacted in an emergency.

Can I go on a plane with specialist equipment and oxygen?

Check with your airline that this is allowed on your flight, and that the model of concentrator you use is acceptable. You or your doctor will usually need to fill in some paperwork for the airline so they know ahead of time that you will be taking one on board your flight. Your airline will be happy to help if you give them enough time and warning prior to travelling.

Check for any required vaccinations

Some vaccinations required to visit certain countries are live vaccines which can pose a danger to people who are immuno-compromised. Speak to your doctor for advice on what’s safe for you to have, and organise treatment early so you can be monitored prior to your travel.

Stay healthy and hydrated

Watch your diet carefully. Just because you’re on holiday shouldn’t mean you can compromise your carefully planned diet.

Drink bottled water rather than tap water in hotels, hotel water may be just as safe but it’s normally processed and treated (softened) making it somewhat unhealthy compared to drinking water. Eat well, enjoy the fresh, sea air and enjoy your holiday.

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