Going on holiday with a catheter

It’s slowly time to count down the days until it’s finally time to leave for holiday this year. And even if it’s just a staycation in the UK, going away for the first time after having your catheter fitted can be stressful. And because we want you to have the best time when you’re away from home, we’ve looked at some of the top questions to make your next trip be go as smoothly as possible.

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Can you fly with a catheter fitted?

Absolutely, yes! Here are some of our top tips so your next plane trip with your catheter is as stress-free as possible.

The airport security process can be stressful at the best of times. Going through scanners, potentially setting them off (yes, it’s happened to all of us!) and being patted down isn’t exactly how any of us like to spend their time. But with a catheter, this can be even more uncomfortable. Did you know that you can request to be searched in a private room? You can bring a note from your GP to help with your request if you’d prefer not to talk about your catheter in front of other people.

You may be asked to empty your leg bag to go through security. We know, it’s super easy to forget about it but the fluid restriction rules also apply to urine!

And, lastly, always keep in mind that your bag might not make it to the right destination on time. You’ll know that feeling especially well if you’ve been unfortunate enough to have been that person waiting gat the baggage carousel, only to find that your bag isn’t going to show. Now this can be inconvenient if you don’t have a catheter, but if all your catheter supplies are in this one bag this can quickly become a problem. So why not send some of your supplies to your destination ahead of your trip? Or split your supplies between your hand and main luggage so you definitely have some with you? If you opt for the latter option, bear I mind that your hand luggage may be searched when going through security. However, if you prefer, you can get the contents of your bag checked discreetly in a different room away from prying eyes.

Can you swim if you have a catheter?

Yes, you definitely can! In the sea or in the pool – whatever takes your fancy. If you’re going for a dip, have you spoken to your healthcare professional about using a catheter valve instead of a leg bag? A catheter valve is a small tap which fits on the end of your catheter. Because it’s so small, it can easily be tucked inside your swimwear and gives you extra discretion. Just make sure you speak to your nurse or doctor before attempting to use one as you need to be assessed prior to using one.

I want to wear skirts and shorts on holiday, but don't want my catheter leg bag on show...

Have you ever given a short tube catheter leg bag a go? Because the tubing is shorter, you can comfortably position the bag higher up on your thigh which is perfect if you’re planning on wearing outfits that show off your suntanned legs.

How can I support my catheter night bag on holiday?

Most drainage bag stands collapse down to a compact size, so it’ll easily fit into your suitcase. It comes with a removable cover that prevents the tap from touching the floor, helping to reduce the risk of infection. Alternatively, drainage bag hangers are available. 

Reducing the risk of infection

The last time you want to end up with a pesky infection is when you’re on holiday! Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to help prevent this from happening. Let’s take a look:

  • Always drink enough, particularly if you’ve travelled to a hot country. You can check if you’re drinking enough by checking the colour of your urine. If it’s a pale, straw-like colour, you’re doing just fine. If it’s dark yellow or even orange, time to top up on the H2O.
  • Maintaining good hygiene practices abroad may be a little more challenging than at home. It’s a good idea to pack antibacterial hand gel and wet wipes to make sure you can keep your hands as clean as possible when touching your catheter.


Get in touch

If you have any tried and tested top tips you’ve found particularly useful when travelling with a catheter, we want to hear them! Drop us an email on hello@vyne.co.uk.