Travel
How to prepare for take-off

How to prepare for take-off

The 4 things you need to know about flying. Find out more

Measure out how many products you’re going to need, because you’re going to be a long way away from the normal supply chain. You have to pack your bag accordingly, give it a lot of thought. It’s necessary to carry the Travel Certificate so that you can pass through customs and quarantine comfortably, with the catheters in your bag. 

Will I have problems going through security?

Some products contain fluid lubricants - ask your doctor to write a note on what products you use or download a travel certificate so you can bring products in your hand luggage.
This also goes for other lubricants or hand sanitiser gels you might need. Present the product information to the security staff.

What if I need to catheterise during the journey?

Make sure to catheterise as close to boarding as possible, which might be at the airport. On long distance flights you might need to catheterise on the plane. If possible request an aisle seat close to the toilet.

how to stick to catheterisation_schedule

What do I need to pack?

Take an adequate number of supplies and accessories with you. Remember to order them in due time before your travels. Place supplies in both your check-in baggage and in your carry on luggage, in case you are changing planes or your luggage gets delayed or lost.

How do I stick to my schedule?

Your catheter schedule will probably not match the schedule of the air travel. A time difference during flight also puts a challenge to your daily routine. If you have doubts about remembering when it’s time, set an alarm clock on your watch or phone

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Pack a “smart kit”

Pack a “smart kit”

What to pack for when you’re away from home. Find out more

Compact intermittent catheters don’t take up much space in your bag. But when you are away from home you may want to bring more than just your catheters to ensure that you can catheterise in a safe and convenient way regardless of the bathroom facilities.

So when you are at work, travelling, doing sports or socialising, make sure that you have everything you could possibly need – also in case you have ‘an accident’ 

 

Ideas for what you could pack – depending on your needs:

  • Catheters (always pack extra)
  • Extra underwear and maybe extra clothing
  • Disposable gloves
  • Wet wipes/ towelettes
  • Antibacterial gel or hand wash
  • Hand-held mirror
  • Plastic bags (for used accessories, used catheters or wet garments)
  • Pads
  • A bottle of water
  • Paper towels or tissues
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Have a safe trip!

Have a safe trip!

Being away from home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming challenge. With proper preparation, you can find the peace of mind to relax and enjoy your trip. Prepare for your trip

Leaving your home base when you have to catheterise requires that you make some extra preparations for both your journey and stay.

Pack smart with bladder issues

Pack smart and plan ahead

When you’re away from home, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a little extra of everything - just in case. Consider the different environments you will encounter during your travels. Whether you enjoy nature, power shopping or delving into fine arts at a museum, make sure you take enough of your supplies and accessories to suit each situation. Have you made an activity plan for your trip? It’s a good idea to make a corresponding bathroom plan, too. There are many tools which can help you locate convenient bathrooms wherever you are, such as websites or smartphone apps like the 'WheelMate'.

Long journey? Prepare for it

Long travels can be a challenge. If you don't have access to bathrooms during the journey, consider a catheter and bag solution. If it’s impossible for you to catheterise during the journey at all, talk to your doctor or nurse about another solution (could be a short-term indwelling catheter). Always try any alternative solutions out at home first, so you can get comfortable with the new product.

Research catheter suppliers

Research before you go

While you’re researching top restaurants or must-do attractions, take some time to locate the nearest medical facility in case you need supplies, medication or accessories. It may also be useful to research whom to contact at your destination, should any catheter issues occur. If you’re going away for a long time, find the contact information for a catheter supplier where you’ll be staying - and be sure to take your prescription along with you.

If you need help

Always keep the telephone number of your nurse handy. If you are unable to reach your nurse, you can always call us any time for guidance.

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Find a toilet with Wheelmate

Find a toilet with Wheelmate

Bathrooms anywhere in the world – evaluated by users. Find your nearest toilet

The WheelMate app is a simple way to find clean, accessible restrooms and parking spaces on the go. It's free and constantly updated by users to provide a dynamic overview of the nearest public conveniences - wherever you are.

Maybe you want to upload locations in your neighborhood that others can benefit from when they come to your area.

Download the WheelMateTM App on Apple Store here or on Google Play here .

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Travel certificate

Travel certificate

Prevent trouble at security by bringing a travel certificate. Download a travel certificate

This helpful document explains your condition, the medical supplies you are carrying and why you might need support and privacy as you go through security.

Find the travel certificate here

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Travel advice A-Z

Travel advice A-Z

Check this list of good advice for your next travel. Advice for your next adventure

Good things to know before going away:

Clothes

  • Wear something loose and comfortable if you need to sit for a long time in an uncomfortable and narrow airplane seat.
  • Choose something with dark colours in case of leaks.
  • Select clothing that is easy to open or change. Women may prefer a skirt, which is easier to pull up.
  • Choose trousers or a jacket with pockets for catheters.
  • Choose a hotel with a washing machine in case you should need it.

Travelling with companion

Companion

If you travel with your family they may already know about your condition. That might not be the case if you travel with a friend or colleague. Consider whether it is better to tell your travelling companion about your situation – you might need their understanding, flexibility or even help during the trip. It is far more easy to tell them in advance instead of in the middle of a difficult situation.

Doctor

Share your travel plans with your doctor or nurse well in advance, if you need special medication, switching to another product or if you need their advice regarding some of your activities.

Food and drinks

Often a change in environment and routine affects our digestion. Avoid constipation and dehydration, which can worsen your bladder problems. Make sure to drink enough water (avoid too much caffeine and sweet drinks) and try to eat food which is high in fibre. Read more in our ‘Diet and Nutrition’ theme. If you are not sure about the quality of the drinking water, buy bottled water.

Bathroom

  • -If you travel by plane, request an aisle seat near the bathrooms when you book your flight.
  • - Check out all the places you want to visit - restaurants, shops, theatres, museums or landmarks - to see if they have bathrooms – especially if you need a wheelchair-friendly one.
  • -Also check if it is common to pay a fee for using bathrooms and make sure to have small change in local currency on you.
  • Learn the word for bathroom in the local language – also the pronunciation or simply carry a piece of paper with the word written on it. You can also use the WheelMate app for smartphones to locate the nearest public bathroom.
  • If you have a disability it might be possible to get a card which you can show at restaurants, shops or other businesses if you urgently need to use their bathrooms without being a customer. This can be helpful for you when there are no public bathrooms in sight. Ask your doctor or patient association about it.

Schedule

Plan your visits to the bathroom. If you travel by airplane, catheterise as close to boarding as possible. Plan all other bathroom visits during your stay allowing time before or after an event. Set a watch or phone alarm, if you worry that you might forget when it is time.

Security check

Ask for a private screening by the security staff if you feel uncomfortable walking through the screener, as they may pick up pads or other medical devices in front of everyone else.

Smart kit

Pack a small bag with all the things you need for catheterisation or in case you have an ‘accident’. See the list of relevant items in our article about packing a smart kit.

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Hit the road - or rails

Hit the road - or rails

What to consider when you travel by car, bus or train. Find out more

Trains

Enjoying the landscapes while you relax into the train’s gentle rhythm is a good way of travelling if you have bladder issues, because there are bathrooms on board. When you book your tickets, ask how the station is equipped, and you may want to book a seat near a toilet.

Travelling by car with bladder issues

Car

If you are the driver, you are in control and can decide when to take breaks. So all is fine, as long you don’t get too carried away by your favourite road trip soundtrack and forget to stick to your bathroom schedule. If you are the passenger, prepare the driver in advance about your need for breaks. If it is someone who doesn’t know about your bladder issues, it might be good to tell them that you need to go when you need to go (not necessarily when the car needs to be filled anyway). Just say you need to use the bathroom at fixed times – no more explanation is required. Use the WheelMate app to locate the nearest bathrooms on your trip.

Bus

Some buses have a tiny bathroom onboard (usually involving stairs). If this is inconvenient for you, ask the bus company in advance when the planned breaks are, so you can see if you can make it fit with your own catheterisation schedule. You can also consider to bring a catheter and bag solution, enabling you to catheterise on the bus. Pack a blanket as well for privacy.

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How to store catheters on travels

How to store catheters on travels

Can your catheters put up with both skiing and sunbathing? Find out more

However, most catheters will not get harmed by being stored at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) and up to 140°F (60°C) for up to 24 hours.

You would normally not need to worry about catheters, stored in your suitcase in the aircraft hold. However, always check with the supplier if you’re going somewhere with extreme temperatures.

Make sure your catheters are more or less room temperature before you use them. If they are too cold, place them close to your body for a while before use.

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