Category Archives: Medical Conditions

EHIC and Brexit: Will Your EU Health Insurance Card Still Be Valid?

travel insurance after brexit EHIC

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Unfortunately there is no yes/no answer. Currently, the official line on the .gov website says that if the UK leaves the EU without a deal “your EHIC might not be valid anymore.”

So, what are UK travellers expected to do if travelling to an EU destination after Brexit?

The official recommendation is: “Buy travel insurance that comes with healthcare cover before you travel.”

EHIC Vs Travel Insurance – What’s the difference?

The NHS and the Government have always recommended that travel insurance should be purchased by anyone travelling to an EU country. The new advice is for travellers to make sure that the travel insurance has comprehensive medical cover.

EHIC benefits:

  • An EHIC provides access to state healthcare in your destination EU country either free or at a reduced rate.
  • An EHIC can be used for getting treatment for some existing medical conditions.

An EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and should always be used in conjunction with a travel insurance policy.  For example, the EHIC would never cover transport costs to return home in the event of serious illness or injury.

If EHICs become invalid, UK residents will no longer be able to access free or reduced-cost medical treatment in EU countries.

How will comprehensive Travel Insurance help UK travellers after Brexit?

Travel Insurance with comprehensive medical cover provides cover for injury, illness, and repatriation – all of which can be costly.

Did you know? The average cost of medical treatment in Spain is just over £8,000, and in France nearly £11,000. The most common things that require treatment are broken bones, heart conditions and food poisoning.

Travel insurance with healthcare cover, for a premium, can also take into account pre-existing conditions, and risks associated with any activities you may have on your holiday agenda, such as skydiving or bungee jumping.  In addition, travel insurance covers you for things related to travel such as lost or stolen passports, and delayed or cancelled flights.

To find out what kind of travel insurance you might need if your EHIC is no longer valid call our team on 01892 833338. We offer comprehensive options for all single trip travel insurance, multi-trip travel insurance, longstay travel insurance – and on some of our policies kids go free.

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A Gluten-Free Holiday Guide – Advice For Coeliacs

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If you have to watch what you eat for health reasons, going on holiday can throw up a whole host of food-related challenges. This month we are focussed on sharing helpful information for those who can’t eat gluten.

Get location specific advice has some excellent country-specific information sheets to help gluten-free holidaymakers ensure their food is safe to eat. This includes information about the cuisine, local coeliac groups and useful phrases you can show to those in charge of your food. For example, when visiting Vietnam:

I suffer from an illness called coeliac disease and have to follow a strict gluten-free diet, or I may become very unwell.
Tôi bị một căn bệnh gọi là bệnh celiac và phải
tuân theo một chế độ ăn không có gluten chặt chẽ, nếu không tôi có thể trở nên rất khó chịu trong người.

Make your dietary needs clear when booking EVERYTHING

Whether it is your flight, a hotel, or a restaurant, state your needs clearly when booking. This not only gives your host more time to ensure your needs can be met, but will also mean you are more likely to get a decent gluten-free meal.

Double check your dietary needs have been understood when you arrive

Remind the person that you booked with that you are the gluten-free individual, or ask to speak to the chef to make sure that your needs have been taken seriously and that you will be served food that won’t make you ill.

Pack essential foods

Things don’t always go to plan, so pack bare essentials you know you can eat. Take your own gluten-free breads and pastas for example, not just snacks. There aren’t many establishments that will deny someone breaking out their own gluten-free bread roll if they aren’t able to cater for their needs.

But do check that you can take them into the country!

Some countries have strict policies on what foods can be brought in. Check with your airline, and also ask your GP to write a cover letter explaining the importance of these foods for your health.

Go to Italy – it is a top gluten-free destination!

Ok, so this is the home of pasta and pizza dishes, so how can it be so good for those who need to avoid gluten? Well, there was a national coeliac screening programme that raised awareness of coeliac disease, and in turn educated a whole country on the importance of gluten-free menus and preparation areas. The Italian Coeliac Society, understanding that gluten based foods are a staple in every Italian household then set about publishing a list of eateries and B&Bs in the country that are certified gluten-free.

Talk to your travel insurance provider

As a coeliac, you must make sure that you tell your travel insurance provider about your condition. As a general rule a customer with a medical condition (or several) can declare their recent medical history and current situation and if the condition is stable and well controlled, not awaiting investigation or treatment, for example surgery, then the condition can be covered.

At for a condition such as Coeliac, we are able to cover customers with a stable condition, including those with Stomas, provided they haven’t had an unplanned hospital admission in the last 6 months.

For more information please see Travel Insurance Medical Conditions.

Choose self-catering

If you can’t trust what other people might serve you, then you can ease the stress and opt to cook up your own gluten-free cuisine on a self-catering basis. While you’ll have to be patient and shop carefully for ingredients, it is a great way to learn a few new words. Life is made a bit easier if you are holidaying in the EU, as the packaging has to have the same labelling information that we are used to in the UK, where allergens are written in bold.

Opt for a resort

Resorts are more likely to cater for a variety of dietary needs, and are more likely to be familiar with the seriousness of cross-contamination. Another bonus is that they are also more likely to have nutrition sheets where every dish has its ingredients explained in minute detail.


*** Please Note ***

Policies, terms and conditions may change – all information published in this blog pertaining to travel insurance from is only deemed valid at the time of publication.

Top Tips For The Mature Solo Traveller


Travel Tips for Mature Solo Travellers

Courtesy of

If you are single, over 50, and want to travel the world, you will love these essential tips, guaranteed to ease the anxieties of travelling alone, and make your holiday more enjoyable! 

Spend Wisely

Travel off-peak when it is cheaper, but also be mindful of seasonal and extreme weather conditions for your own comfort and safety – you don’t want to get a cheap deal because you’re travelling during the monsoon for example!

Solo travellers should be aware of single rooms supplements – consider booking through a dedicated solo travellers website to make sure you aren’t paying over the odds just because you aren’t sharing your room!

Travel Lightly

Only take a few items with a view to doing washing while you are away, that way you can take a smaller bag. Using a suitcase with wheels will make lugging your luggage around much easier. A top tip from seasoned travellers is to invest in a luggage set so your hand luggage attaches to your suitcase making it easier to manoeuvre.

Stay Safe

Leave essential travel details with someone back home – insurance details, passport number etc. in case your property gets lost or stolen. Another good precaution is to take a pre-paid money card to avoid carrying too much cash with you. You should also make a note of the local emergency numbers and key phrases in the local lingo. Final safety tip: Update friends or relatives with your itinerary so they know where you planned to go should they worry about your whereabouts.

Don’t Ignore Health Issues

If you need medication, be sure to pack enough for the whole holiday and keep them in original packets to go through customs. It is wise to make a note of your medication’s generic name in case you need more while you are away. Other things to consider could be: backup batteries for hearing aids, a spare set of glasses. If you have mobility issues, notify your airline, cruise or tour operator well ahead of your travel date.

Work On Your Wellness

Stay hydrated to boost your energy levels and take regular short walks to aid circulation.If you are flying to your destination wear compression flight socks to reduce risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

Is Accessibility An Issue?

Assess the accessibility of your accommodation – would steps be a problem, is it at the top of a hill? You should also consider the accessibility of the location – if you are out of town are you close to public transport? Another point to consider would be to tell a car hire company your age before you arrive in case they have limits. You could also consider staying at a resort that has everything you need to hand.

 Get The Right Insurance

Check that you have adequate travel insurance, as if you are over a certain age there may be limitations on standard policies, and age-related conditions may need specific cover. You should also make sure you understand what pre-existing conditions your insurer needs to be aware of. We actually specialise in offering holiday insurance for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions, and for the more mature traveller!

Travel With Other Mature Solo Travellers

No matter how mature you are, travelling solo can be a daunting experience, but it is in fact dining alone that causes the greatest anxiety. If this sounds familiar, consider booking a holiday where you can choose to socialise with other solo travellers without the fear of ending up on a dating-style “singles holiday”. Friendship Travel provide group dining in the evening, offering holidaymakers the feeling of safety, security and company alongside the freedom to be as sociable (or not) as you choose. One package that would appeal to the older solo traveller this summer is in Tsilivi, north of Zante town:

Friendship Travel has virtually exclusive use of a small hotel just 100 metres from the beach. Facilities include a swimming pool, bar and restaurant and a stroll of around 10 minutes leads to the heart of the resort. A seven-night holiday costs from £595 to £735 per person inclusive of return Gatwick flights, transfers, accommodation with breakfast, five evening meals, sole occupancy of a twin room and services of a Friendship Travel host. To find out more call Friendship Travel Reservations on: 0871 200 2035.


Top 10 Holiday Dangers Abroad and How to Avoid Them

1 – Being mugged – Don’t dress like a tourist. The advice is to avoid wearing new and/or expensive items of clothing, especially footwear and bags by well-known brands. Also avoid accessories such as hats and bags with tour operator logos on. Looking lost with a map in your hand is also a sure-fire way of attracting unwanted attention from local opportunists!

2 – Tummy upsets – Check that the tap water is safe before you travel, but bear in mind that other countries may treat water with alternative chemicals that could still cause upset in the young, elderly or sensitive. When buying bottled water, always make sure the cap is still attached to the ring. Many travellers avoid salads abroad, and some people find that meat and seafood dishes are more likely to give them a bad tummy. Vegetarian dishes and reputable eateries are the safest option in many places.

Street Food Vendors

Trying out food from markets can be a great way to sample the local delicacies – but stick to vegetarian food to minimise your chances of it disagreeing with you!

3 – Losing important documents – Make copies of passport, tickets, hotel information, travel insurance documents, driving licence etc. in case any of your belongings get stolen. Make sure you keep them separate from the real documents, many travellers choose to scan their items and email them to a trusted friend or relative so they can be easily retrieved.

4 – Getting injured – Be extra aware of your surroundings as health and safety requirements are often not as stringent abroad as they are in the UK. Slippery poolsides, loose balcony railings and walkways in need of repair can all catch an unaware tourist out, and lead to serious injuries.

5 – Road accidents – Always wear a helmet if hiring a moped, even if the local laws say you don’t have to. Many tourists are fatally injured every year from neglecting such an important safety issue. Also be aware of the rules of the road at your destination, you should know them as well as you do the UK Highway Code!

6 – Dodgy tour operators – Only ever go on an excursion, tour or take part in a sports activity from a reputable provider. Ask at the local tourist office, or at hotel reception. Many resorts and travel agencies have their own itinerary to choose from. Disreputable providers may not have your safety as a priority, and they may lack insurance cover should the worst happen.

7 – Falling ill – Check the vaccination requirements of your destination well ahead of your holiday. Some destinations require a course of jabs over a number of weeks.  Also find out ahead of your holiday where you go for medical advice and treatment should you become ill. Remember that even in the EU with an EHIC card, you could still be billed for treatment, and will be billed for repatriation. As such, make sure you get travel insurance before you leave!

8 – Getting arrested – Check Gov.UK for the travel advice for your destination. It will have a section on local laws and customs. It is important to know what might cause offense, as in some countries this could lead to being thrown in jail. Actions that break the law also vary from country to country, and what might be fine here, may be very bad somewhere else.

9 – Natural disasters – First find out if the place you are travelling to is a high risk area for earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions or avalanches, and then find out what to do in the event of a natural disaster. Ensure that you speak with your travel operator or hotel receptionist for information about evacuation procedures.

The Icelandic Volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, causing mass disruption to flights throughout Northern Europe.

10 – War, terrorism and violent outbreaks – Ask yourself if you really need to travel. If war or political unrest has broken out at your holiday destination, it might be wise to change your travel plans, you should be covered by your travel insurance. However, if you are a volunteer or your work is taking you to hostile areas, you should make sure you speak to whoever is organising your trip to find out what safety precautions you need to take. Once again Gov.UK is the go-to resource for the latest information on threats of violence.

Even if your holiday is affected by illness, accident, theft, in fact, any of the above… with adequate travel insurance, you can turn to someone for help. Why not give one of our advisors a call today on 01892 628584 to find out how we can help you stay safe on your holiday abroad or visit for an instant online quote.


Med Helper – Recommended Travel App of the Month May 2014

Going on holiday can wreak havoc with routine – great if you are looking to ‘get away from it all’, but not so great if you need to make sure you continue to take prescription medication at your usual time. Med Helper is an app that offers extra value by helping you keep track of what you have taken, and when, perfect when you are in a whole new time zone!




What does Med Helper do?

Med Helper has a range of features that are useful even if you aren’t travelling. Its main features include:

  • A schedule so that you know when you are meant to take which medicine
  • An alarm to remind you to take your medication
  • An inventory so that you know when stocks are running low

What makes it good for travelling with a medical condition?

As well as offering a way to schedule medication times, Med Helper also stores information about your prescription medicines. The prescription list feature contains details about:

  • Medication Name
  • Medication Alias
  • RX Number
  • Instructions
  • Reason for Medication
  • Description
  • Side Effects

In our last blog Taking Medication through Customs – Advice for Travelling with a Medical Condition, there were a number of recommendations to take information about your medication – this app has features that make keeping that information close by easy.

Additional Features

Amongst its many features, Med Helper also stores doctor and pharmacy information, dosage history, allows you to track vitals (such as pulse, weight, HbA1c, glucose, oxygen, blood pressure etc.) to manage symptoms and it has an exportable and printable reports feature.

Med Helper App Reviews

Med Helper is available for Android and iPhones/pads. Android users score Med Helper very highly indeed in online reviews – with M Stimpson stating:

Depend upon this! I forget my meds all the time without this app. It has saved my life literally with the available list of prescriptions, dosages & strengths.”

Other users include words such as Awesome, Brilliant, Simple, Helpful and Lifesaving in their reviews. Overall this app scores 4.3 out of 5 on Google Play.

Download Med Helper for Android:

Unfortunately, the app has not had enough reviews on iTunes to be able to show a rating, but if the Android feedback is anything to go by, it is certainly worth giving it a go.

Download Med Helper for iPhone and iPad


For more information, you can visit the Med Helper Website

Bon Voyage!

Advice for Travelling with a Medical Condition

Travelling with a medical condition can bring with it a wealth of complications, from getting travel insurance down to what your fellow travellers should do in case of an emergency. In today’s blog we are going to be focusing on medication, highlighting the best way to take prescription medications through customs.

Although, if you have a medical condition and you are looking to get affordable travel insurance, we can help with that too because our insurance policies are tailored to meet your needs – just visit

What you should know

Are there any restrictions on the medication you take in the country you plan to visit? If the meds you take are restricted in the country you want to visit, you may have problems taking medication across the border. Ask your doctor for information, or check the relevant embassy websites for details. Another great resource is

Narcotics and psychotropics are the main medications that are of issue. Morphine and Codeine are common medications in the narcotics class, whereas psychotropics are used to treat a range of illnesses from anxiety and depression to psychotic conditions. Some counties also have issues with the types of drugs used to treat epilepsy and Parkinson’s and even antihistamines that cause drowsiness! What these medications all have in common is their potential to affect the Central Nervous System – but don’t let that stop you checking that your medication is OK to take across a border. The UAE for example consider some non-CNS meds such as contraceptive hormones a breach.

How do you adjust to time zones? Ask your doctor for advice about taking your prescription at the correct time when travelling abroad. If you are just going on a European trip, it may not be an issue, but long haul travel could disrupt your usual routine.

Carry your medication in the original packaging. Many people will say that medication does not need to be in the original container, and that they have taken their tablets through customs with no problems at all. In fact, it is required that meds are in their original packaging, and these people have been lucky. Our advice? Why take the risk? Your medication is vital to your health; take it in the original packing to avoid risk of confiscation. This is especially important if you also need to take hypodermic needles with you. These must be kept with the medication they are for.

Make sure you keep your medication at the right temperature. Some meds need to be stored at a specific temperature. Consider an insulated pouch or flask for transportation.

Did you know? Prescription medicines are exempt from the usual aeroplane restrictions on liquids, aerosols and gels. This exemption also incudes cool packs and storage containers to keep the meds at the right temperature on board.

Only pack what you need, with a few extra. Taking more tablets than you need for the duration of your stay has the potential to cause issues, and many countries impose a 30-day limit on taking pills and potions across the border. Take enough for your holiday, and a few extra in case some get lost.

Take a copy of your prescription or a copy of a doctor’s letter. If you run into trouble at customs, having a doctor’s letter or copy of your prescription is a great backup to prove that your tablets are for you and they are what you say they are! To be totally safe, keep any paperwork you have with your medicine.

Always keep your medication in your carry-on. Having it on you ensures that it won’t go missing even if your luggage does!

Do you know the generic name for your medication? If you run out of medication, or it gets lost or stolen the local doctors and pharmacists may not be familiar with the brand name you know. Make sure you write down the generic name of the drugs you take and this will be easier for overseas medical professionals to recognise.

We hope that this advice has been useful, but remember – your doctor is the best person to ask about taking your prescription medications abroad. We wish you a wonderful trip, wherever you are going, and don’t forget, if you still haven’t sorted your travel insurance, we do great deals for people travelling with an existing medical condition. Just give us a call on 01892 628583 for a quote!