Travelling with Vertigo

Dog Island at Kuna Yala Panama
30th March 2015

Dizziness, labyrinthitis, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or Ménière’s – whatever your type of vertigo, there’s no need to let it be an obstacle to you travelling and enjoying a great holiday. The truth is most varieties of vertigo can be perfectly manageable when you travel, provided you take the right precautions.

The following tips should help you on your way:


Travel checklist – what to bring

  • All your medications – Make sure you have plenty with you to cover your holiday, plus any delays or losses during your trip.
  • A letter from your doctor – This should confirm your medical condition and any treatment you are undergoing, including the names of your medications and dosages. This is a good reference for doctors if you need medical treatment while you are away, and makes getting replacement medications easier if necessary. Show this letter to security and customs staff at the airport as it should help you pass through smoothly through with all your medications.
  • Sunglasses if you are going somewhere bright and sunny – Reducing glare reduces your likelihood of a fall during a dizzy spell.
  • Comfortable, robust shoes – Footwear with wide heels and non-slip soles is best.
  • A walking stick – Even if you don’t usually use one, you might consider carrying a fold-up one on holiday or for standing for long periods of time, often in queues at the airport. Tiredness can bring on vertigo so a stick will mean help is at hand if you get a little shaky.
  • Travel insurance documents – Travel insurance is particularly important when you have a pre-existing medical condition like vertigo. Bring your documents with you and keep them handy as you will need to contact your insurers as soon as possible if you have an unexpected emergency.
  • The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – This gives you free or subsidised medical treatment in the EEA, Switzerland and other countries with health agreements with the UK. But bear in mind that treatment is where EHIC cover ends. Therefore, the National Health Service (NHS) advises travellers to cover their holidays adequately with a private travel insurance policy, using their EHIC as additional cover only. You can apply for the EHIC online or by calling 0300 3301350.


Plan Your Trip

Consult your doctor before you go if you are concerned about travelling with vertigo – You may need some medical advice or even extra medication to help relieve your symptoms on holiday.

Travelling with someone else -This could be invaluable if you need help you during a bout of vertigo.

Find out what the medical facilities will be like at your destination – It’s good to know beforehand that there are adequate services nearby should you have a vertigo-related complication while you are away.

Prevent falls – Caution is often the best policy when going to unfamiliar environments so when you arrive at your accommodation, be aware of objects which could cause you to stumble during a dizzy spell. Wherever you are staying, ask staff or your host to move any pieces of furniture which could prove to be hazardous, and stay on the ground floor, ideally in a room without split levels or steps. You may also want to avoid the claustrophobia of going up and down in lifts.


Old Town Square in Prague with view of the Tyn Church


During Your Trip

Changes in air pressure – These are main triggers of vertigo, particularly when you are travelling by air. You will probably need to “pop” your ears by yawning or chewing hard. Over-the-counter decongestants can often help clear the nasal passages and equalise your middle-ear pressure.

Activities which involve pressure changes such as scuba diving or even diving into swimming pools can cause dizziness, as can going up high mountains. For a trouble-free trip, try not to expose yourself to these triggers.

Motion sickness – This can often strike when you are travelling by train, boat, bus or car so it’s a good idea to ask your doctor or chemist for motion sickness medication before you go. If you are travelling long distances, try to stop off along the way and get out for a few minutes. If your train stops at stations, take the opportunity to disembark for a short while to get back in touch with the ground. Similarly if you are in a car or bus, get out for a few minutes at regular intervals. You can often minimise sea-sickness by keeping your eyes firmly on the horizon, ideally while standing on deck, weather permitting.

Food and drink – Try to stick to light options to avoid motion sickness. Drink plenty to avoid dehydration and dizziness, avoiding things like creamy chocolate drinks or fizz in favour of light drinks such as water and apple juice.


Vertigo travel insurance

Travel insurance for vertigo is vital if you are to be properly protected on your holidays. Remember to declare your vertigo, along with any other pre-existing conditions you might have, when you take out your travel insurance policy – that way you will be adequately covered if you need to make a claim.

With so many different types of travel insurance policies on the market today, it can sometimes be difficult to choose the best one for your particular needs. No problem. Talk to TIM who will gladly make the necessary comparisons to find a policy to best suit you.

At Talk to TIM, we do the hard work for you. We find you the right policy, leaving you to get on with the fun things, like looking forward to your trip. Get an online quote from us today and see for yourself how easy it is to obtain quality, affordable travel cover. Alternatively, Talk to TIM free of charge on 0800 054 2252 – we look forward to helping you.


The information provided in this blog is non-advisory and merely meant as a general guide to the matters covered in our articles. For more information, please consult a professional advisor.

All travel insurance provided by Talk to TIM is subject to agreement from the underwriters. Terms and conditions apply, details of which can be found within the relevant Policy Documents.

Tags: , ,

Comments are currently closed.