Part 2: Travelling with haemophilia (Sam's Travels)
Wed 1 Mar 2017
Sam is a leader and mentor of the youth community across Australia and is involved with his local community through Haemophilia Foundation New South Wales. Recently, Sam was the recipient of a Go For It Grant, which helped him to attend the WFH Congress in Orlando. Here Sam tells his story of travelling to Orlando and attending the Congress
Part 2: Travelling with haemophilia
What did I learn about travelling as a person with haemophilia that I can share with you?
There are quite a few things that I learned about travelling itself and about travelling for someone with haemophilia.
The first and most important thing I learned was how necessary it is to prepare in the weeks leading up to your journey and making sure that; your VISA is in order, your passport is correct and current, your flights are booked and you have enough time to get to your connecting flight if one is delayed, that you have airport transfers booked or enough money to catch a taxi, having money both in cash and on a credit/debit card, and finally and one of the most important, travel insurance.
Once you have done all of this preparation, print out EVERYTHING. Make sure you have a paper copy of your receipt and your flight details. A paper copy of your hotel booking and the receipt for that. The print out for your visa application and the receipt for that. Seeing the pattern yet? It’s important to make sure you have these hard copies if anything goes wrong because It is evidence and can be used as proof if any of the companies tries to debate you., It’s also useful because you can use it to help you remember what the next step you have to do is.
On the haemophilia side of things, I decided on my international flights to and from America to get an extra-legroom seat. This was both a good idea and a bad idea. If you have bad legs or ankles, the legroom seats a huge, and will help if you have mobility issues. The big problem I found was sleeping. With nothing in front of you to push your legs up against you’re left trying really hard to find a way to sleep. If you can’t sleep sitting straight up, the legroom seat might not be for you. The other problem is that because there was no seat in front of me, my tray table and screen were stored in the armrest. This meant that I couldn’t lift up all of the arm rests and sleep along the other seats because the one in the middle didn’t move! So be careful if you choose a seat with extra legroom because it may lead to different problems, but this was just my experience.
The second thing I learned about was travelling internationally with treatment product. I had absolutely no issues whatsoever with taking my product through security. What I personally did worked for me, but I don’t know if it would work for you. Firstly I opened it all up and took out all of the needles from each of the boxes (I took about 15 boxes). I then put all of the needles into a plastic Ziploc back and put it in my checked luggage. Then I put all of the boxes back into their original packaging and put them into a cooler bag labelled FRAGILE and then took it onto the plane as carry on. I also contacted my nurse who gave me a signed letter from both him and my haematologist stating the nature of the product and why it was important that it come with me on the plane. Through all of my trips through security and customs, both entering and leaving all of the airports, domestic or international, I never had any TSA or Security agent stop me and ask about the product. No one even unzipped the bag to have a look at it. So hopefully this same system will have the same results for you!
Read about the next part of Sam's travel, at the WFH World Congress.