March 9, 2021

Traveling with Epilepsy

Lifestyle & Wellness

Planning a trip? Our guide to traveling with epilepsy walks you through the things you need to think about before booking your tickets.

Are you planning a vacation? There’s nothing as exciting as exploring somewhere new!

Traveling with epilepsy is normally low risk - as long as you take some simple precautions. By setting aside a little time to prepare, you can enjoy your travels with minimal stress. 

Here’s everything you need to know about epilepsy and travel. 

**COVID-19 update**
The CDC’s guidance states that you should avoid all travel during the coronavirus pandemic unless strictly necessary. 

Can you travel with epilepsy?

Yes, you certainly can! Travel is a wonderful way to experience the world, meet new people and grow in confidence. Depending on how well controlled your seizures are, you might need to take some extra precautions. It might also be necessary to talk to your epilepsy treatment team about your plans. And there might be some destinations that you’ll want to avoid. But, generally speaking, traveling with epilepsy is perfectly possible. 

7 tips for traveling with epilepsy

Here are some helpful tips to plan for your next vacation or business trip:

1. See your doctor before the trip 

Your doctor can help with your plans and advise on where it is safe to travel. If you take antiepileptic drugs, make sure that you have ordered enough to cover yourself for the trip.  

Store your medication plan in Epsy so that you will receive helpful reminders – you might be more likely to miss doses when your daily routine is changed by travel. This is especially true if you’re crossing time zones. Traveling abroad with epilepsy means you might need to take your medication at different times of day - including in the middle of the night. 

2. Get travel insurance for someone with epilepsy

If you’re traveling outside the U.S., choose a plan that allows you to seek medical care if needed during your trip, including treatment for seizures.

When you’re applying for cover, remember to tell the insurer you have epilepsy. Forgetting to tell them might mean that they won’t pay out if you have a seizure and need treatment abroad. If you have any doubts, call them up and ask if they offer travel insurance for someone with epilepsy. 

3. Traveling with epilepsy medication

Remember to keep your medication with you at all times, whether you travel by road, rail or air. Make sure the medication is in a temperature controlled compartment that is not subjected to extreme heat or cold.

4. Prepare for transport issues

Different transport types can present specific problems when traveling with epilepsy. It might be worth speaking to the airline, bus or train provider to let them know about your condition. If you are flying, it is useful to bring a letter from your doctor listing your prescription medication and information on any implanted medical devices. This can help you pass through security screening more quickly.

Driving with epilepsy: Everything you need to know

5. Plan for potential triggers

Travel can affect seizure triggers so it’s helpful to prepare for them:

  • If overheating is a trigger for you and you’re going somewhere hot, make sure to bring extra water
  • Ask your doctor how to manage your medication if your travel means you have to change time zones
  • Be sure to get plenty of sleep as tiredness may be a seizure trigger for some

6. Carry epilepsy ID

This is a small card or bracelet that some people with epilepsy carry to explain their seizures to bystanders. If you don't speak the local language at your destination, get a translation of your card in case you need to explain what is happening.

7. Try to travel with someone if possible.  

Traveling alone with epilepsy can be challenging, especially if your seizures are not controlled. So, going on vacation or business trips with others is often preferable. 

But, if that’s not possible, make sure to tell your transportation provider about your condition and what they can do if you have a seizure.

Get the most out of traveling with epilepsy

Traveling is one of life’s great pleasures, and many people with seizures take trips without any serious problems. With a little extra planning for traveling with epilepsy, you can see the world without any worries. Bon voyage!