Travel Tips for the HT traveller.
Over the many years that i personally travelled for my Ht's and helping others who have chosen to hop on a plane overseas we have learnt a few tricks of the trade you would say to make travelling as easy and problem free as possible. It's a daunting task to get a HT never mind travel thousands of miles and also across different time zones so hopefully the tips below will help the many who intend to venture overseas to their chosen clinic.
1. Keep well hydrated at all times. Drink as much water as you can as travelling can dehydrate you making you feel over tired at the other end. Avoid alcohol!
2. Get a massage the day before.
3. Its a long day from start to finish before you get to your hotel so travel in something comfortable in order to make the journey more enjoyable.
4. Make sure you have all documents in order a few days before:
5. Check passport is upto date and has appropriate time still left on it (minimum 6 months)
Flight info/ tickets are ready (checking in online is always a good idea as takes stress out at airport)
Additional passenger info all filled in online (airline require this)
Your online visa filled in : Link to http://www.unitedstatesvisas.us/system.html
Travel money - (always good to have $ in your wallet for taxi/food/drinks etc)
Hotel info to hand when you arrive to info Taxi driver.
6. Travel with good time to spare - ie minimum the day before and schedule the flight so you get the opportunity of a good night sleep the night pre op.
7. Stay local to the clinic so that you can easily get there from the hotel and in good time. Also if time do a reccy the night before so you know exactly it is where you are going as often you need be at the clinic early ie 7.30am
8. On entering the US /Canada you will be asked for the reason of travel - simply inform them "leisure" as this will save a great deal of time at customs.
9. Travel light if possible - If returning home within a few days then try only use carry on luggage. Saves a great deal of time waiting for your hold luggage. After several hours on a plane you just want to hit the shower at the hotel.
10. Travel accessories to help pass the time. A good couple of books, charged ipod/iphone, magazines - anything to kill an hour or 2.
11. Best airline in my opinion is without a doubt Virgin so if you have a choice their 1000+ movies, large seats, free food and drinks make the journey much shorter ;-)
1. Make sure going through customs nothing on you is going to bleep - ie belt, money, phone, rings. This way you will sail through the security without having to remove your hat. Bleep and your hat will have to be removed possibly. If this happens however just inform the guard you have just had "head surgery" and you are more than happy to remove the hat but request a private room. You will more than likely just be asked to move on ;-)
2. Take a travel pillow, very handy.
3. Keep well hydrated all the time.
4. Ideally get a night flight home as then you fly through the night making your body clock adjust well as you will sleep on the plane and arrive home in the am. (this applies to UK/US travellers)
5. Take 2 loose hats with you. (one might not fit)
6. Travel comfortable ie tracksuit
7. Ask doc for sleep aid as then the flight home will be a breeze once on the plane ;-)
8. Get picked up from airport at home so that there is a friendly face once you touch down and you do not then have to drive on top of the journey.
9. Stay rested all day on retuen but try stay up till late afternoon /early evening as this way you will get your body clock back in line very quickly. It might require a little bit of fighting but well worth it.
10. Be aware that the travelling can be a mission anyway even without the HT on top so keep rested and be aware of the post op blues once home - You will be tired both emotionally and physically so respect it and rest up.
Hope this helps a little and hopefully others can add to it to make everyone elses lives easier who are intending to travel for their HT's.