Travelling with hemophilia
1) Where is your favorite or least favorite place to travel to and why?
Anthony: My favorite place was Zurich when I went two years ago on a trip across Europe, during which I visited France, Germany and Switzerland.
Bryan: I loved Jamaica because of the beaches. My most memorable trip was Dubai because of the experiences, culture and trying out new things.
Jafar: In general, I don’t like to travel to countries that are underdeveloped due to difficulties in transportation and logistics, and other mobility-related services in airports.
Kevin: My favorite places are Barcelona, due to the gentle and welcoming people, and Dubai, as it seems to be from another world. My most memorable trip was travelling with my family through Europe.
2) What preparations do you make or consider before you travel that a person who doesn’t have hemophilia might not be aware of?
Anthony: It’s important to get enough factor, pack lightly, avoid dangerous places and travel to places with great public transportation like Europe.
Bryan: I always make sure I have medicine with me.
Jafar: I make sure I prepare the icebox and gather enough dry ice packs. I can’t do tour guide activities because I find it too stressful for me, and I also don’t go to places where I need to walk a lot. I always get medical documents for travel safety.
Kevin: Keep clear space for medicine and manage your trip to be aware of your limits.
3) What are some of the challenges you’ve experienced while traveling?
Anthony: Sitting on a plane for a long time; short overlays between flights are difficult because hurrying between flights can cause you to have a bleed.
Bryan: Not being able to do extreme sports such as skydiving, ziplining or motor sports.
Jafar: Running in the airport to get from one gate to another in transit and feeling disappointed that I can’t walk around and discover the city streets.
Kevin: I had surgery one month before a trip through Europe. Traveling after this was really challenging as I had to figure out how to walk for longer distances, etc.
4) How has hemophilia affected other people traveling with you?
Anthony: People are usually helpful, but often they don’t really know what’s going on. I prefer to not share too much about hemophilia with other people when I’m traveling.
Bryan: I’ve never had a bad experience, so people who have traveled with me have had easy travels.
Jafar: I usually tell my travel buddies to feel free and go explore and I’ll follow later. If I don’t, they have to walk slowly and sometimes they don’t do certain sport activities just to stay with me (e.g. rock climbing).
Kevin: The family needs to be aware, but it doesn’t really affect the traveling. Don’t be overprotective.
5) If you could say anything to a person with hemophilia that wishes to travel, what would it be?
Anthony: Pack lightly, take enough factor, plan the trip carefully, talk to people and don’t worry about reaching out for help. Additionally, always take a letter from your doctor that states why you need medication.
Bryan: Just go for it, align with your doctors and enjoy yourself! through the media, lectures and newspaper articles, as well as by lobbying the government for better treatment standards.
Jafar: Take enough medication and keep the medicine with you on the flight, rather than putting it in cabin baggage. Be responsible and always remember that your health matters the most. Book transit flights with enough transit time (3 hours or more).
Kevin: Enjoy your trips, be responsible, but not overprotective. Don’t limit yourself.
Please check COVID-19 international travel guidance before travel in case of any restrictions