A holiday on peritoneal dialysis offers the least restrictive options for travel.

All travel should be planned in discussion with your dialysis healthcare team. The longer the time away and the further the trip, the more planning will be needed.

The dialysis companies can do a lot of the organising with you; it’s important to be clear with your instructions and plans.

Holidays interstate
A machine and the fluids can be delivered to your holiday destination. Check which items you need to pack in your suitcase. It’s worth travelling with a medical summary and treatment letter from your doctor.

We have produced a quick reference 'Home Dialysis on the Road'', a guide to help you plan your dialysis ‘on the road’. It includes practical tips and real-life stories. You can download this guide here

Short local holidays
Peritoneal dialysis equipment can be put in the boot of your car. Even if you normally use automated peritoneal dialysis (APD) you may choose to use continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) bags for ease while you are away. 

For short trips you should do a bag before and after your journey. At your destination, choose a quiet and clean space to do your dialysis. You should have no problems if you treat the bag changes with the same care as you would at home.

Longer local holidays
If you are going to be away for more than seven days you can ask the dialysis company to deliver your peritoneal dialysis bags to your destination. This should be organised well ahead of time. 

You will usually need to take the other small pieces of equipment with you. A coat hanger can improvise as a hook for your bags. If you have access to hand cleansers and can find a quiet, safe space, the bags can be changed while travelling.

Holidays overseas
A number of countries can provide you with dialysis supplies, which may be free of charge. Usually this will only be the CAPD bags. However, you must check with your dialysis healthcare team or dialysis company before you plan your trip. 

Detailed information is usually available in booklet form and your dialysis healthcare team should be able to provide this. It’s important to have a medical summary and extra supplies should your return be delayed. Some clinics may also give you antibiotics in case of peritonitis.

Travelling by air on peritoneal dialysis

  • If you have large volumes of peritoneal dialysis fluid, the altered pressure in an aircraft can make you feel uncomfortable, so consider flying ‘dry’. Discuss it with your dialysis healthcare team.
  • Take a one-day supply of peritoneal dialysis fluid on your flight in case there are delays in deliveries at your destination or flights.
  • Notify the airline if you wish to carry large volumes of peritoneal dialysis fluid and ask if there is a charge. For example, Qantas allows up to 100 kilograms of medical equipment, but you must organise the quantity with them beforehand. The information on their website does not cover this topic clearly.
  • Check the airline luggage allowance and conditions. Pack all dialysis equipment in your check-in luggage.
  • Check the Customs regulations in the country you are visiting. If you are carry dialysis equipment ensure you carry a treatment letter from your doctor with your current health condition and medication list. 
  • There are conditions for taking medical supplies on planes and in the hold. Read about these conditions here.
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