We’re talking chronic illness, here, rather than the sniffles – the sort of condition you learn to live with, and undergo serious treatment to recover from. There’s something about being unwell that often brings out an urge to see the world, but you may be subject to some limitations. Although you can get pre-existing medical travel insurance to cover most conditions, these days, you may find that hot humid weather makes you feel worse, or that you’re unable to get appropriate vaccinations due to compromised immunity. Nevertheless, there’s still much to explore – just be aware of your limitations, and build your expectations within them:
Europe by train
From London to St Petersburg, Europe has a fantastic rail network. Sleeper trains carry you fast from country to country and save you the cost of a hotel, while daytime trips through glorious countryside are far more interesting than dehydrating flights overhead. What’s more, InterRail (for Europeans) and Eurail (for non-Europeans) save you hundreds, and permit conveniently flexible travel across a wide network of participating rail operators.
Rail travel is always worth considering when you’re ill – it features far fewer discomforts than other modes. Flying can be incredibly uncomfortable if you’re unwell, as can waiting around in airports, while car travel can be stuffy and easily causes motion sickness. The Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable, which contains maps and timetables for all major European rail and ferry routes, is an excellent source of inspiration, and can be found at your local library if you’re unwilling to buy one new straight away.
American road trips
This will require one or two designated drivers and a long haul flight if you’re not already in the States. If you can meet those demands, however, the American road trip is iconic, whether you’re travelling through stunning Yosemite National Park and taking the glorious Pacific Coastal Road down through California, heading inland through the desert, or even cross country on legendary Route 66. You won’t have to worry about medical facilities, hygiene or quality of life, and USA offers varying climates, so you can choose wherever you’ll be most comfortable.
Cruising the Mediterranean
If you’re recovering from an illness, there’s a balance to strike between resting and rehabilitating yourself by ambling about. Mediterranean cruises are an ideal solution – you’re not stuck on board for days, like you would be crossing the Atlantic, for example, and you’ll make frequent stops at places of interest. The weather is clement throughout this area all year round, and it’s easy to tailor your choices on the hoof, so to speak – you can go exploring if you feel up to it, or sit and enjoy the view when you need a rest.
Around the Arctic Circle
Whether you’re there for the wildlife or the Northern Lights, boat trips up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic Circle are superbly rewarding. They don’t take too long and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to rest. A good alternative is to take boat trips from northern Scotland, which you can reach by train from across the UK.
This post was written by Tristan, who is the face of the World First travel blog. He writes about global goings-on and helps keep travel-lovers up to date with breaking news and travel tips. If you’d like to know more about World First, head to the website!