Travelling after your kidney transplant: 

Speaking with your Transplant Team

It is of the utmost importance to consult with your transplant team before planning any travel, as they will be able to assess your health and determine if you are well enough to embark on a holiday. The transplant team can provide you with valuable advice tailored to your specific needs and condition, ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.

Carrying Transplant Team Contact Information

Always carry contact information for your transplant team when travelling. In the event that you require advice or assistance while away from home, having these crucial telephone numbers readily available will enable you to quickly reach out to your medical support system.

When can I travel? 

UK: 0-6 months post-transplant 
Europe: 6-12 months post-transplant 
Worldwide: After 1-year post-transplant 

Advice for Flying 


Make sure your insurance covers all your current and pre-existing medical conditions.  The National Kidney Federation have a list of travel insurance companies that cover pre-existing conditions. Contact their Helpline for a list [email protected] or 0800 169 0936 

Eating and drinking abroad 

Drink bottled water. Never drink untreated water – avoid salads / ice-cream/ ice-cubes that may have been made using untreated water. 
Take special care when buying from street vendors, due to food poisoning risks. 
Make sure meat is cooked thoroughly. 

Care in the sun 

Wear high factor sunscreen, SPF 50+ with 4+ star rating. Apply every 2-3 hours, not forgetting areas such as hands, feet, lips, ears, and the back of the neck. 

Try and avoid the sun if possible and keep in the shade where you can, especially during the hours of 11am-3pm. Do not sit in the sun/sunbathe. 
Wear a wide-brim hat to protect your eyes, ears, face, and the back of your neck.

Other simple ways to avoid exposure to the harmful rays of the sun:
Protect your skin with suitable clothing. Clothing offers the advantages of even, non-sticky protection that you don’t have to remember to reapply. However, many     summer-weight fabrics don’t give enough protection and fibres like cotton offer even less protection when wet. 

Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of UV radiation. Check the label.

Remember that the sun’s rays can be reflected by snow, sand, water 
and even concrete.

Drink plenty of water, take regular walks on the plane where possible and do regular exercises (e.g., shoulder rolls, calf rises etc. 


You may not be able to obtain the same tablets whilst abroad, so it is important you take enough (plus 1 week extra). 

Take your medications in your hand luggage, it is advised that you bring a letter from the hospital explaining why you need to carry medications as well as your medical needs. Please ask the transplant team to provide one of these. 

Avoid using sun lamps.
Examine your skin regularly. If you find any unusual blemishes, moles, 
or other marks on the skin, especially one that changes in size, shape or 
colour, see your doctor.

Avoiding infections while on holiday
Transplant immuno-suppressant drugs also reduce a patient’s ability to 
fight infections. 
Simple precautions include:

Avoid contact with people who have a cold, flu or any infectious disease 
such as chickenpox.

Buy bottled water abroad or use boiled water (especially in far eastern

Avoid salads unless you have washed them and/or made them yourself, 
and avoid ice cubes, unless you have made them from bottled water.

Avoid ice cream from street vendors.

Avoid travelling to countries where the risk of catching an infection is 

Travel Vaccinations 
Please contact your local pharmacy to confirm what vaccinations (if 
any) you need to travel. Please bring the list with you to your next 
transplant clinic, so the team can discuss which ones are safe for you to 
have. You must NEVER HAVE LIVE VACCINES as they can cause severe 
infections and could be potentially life-threatening

Vaccinations - Transplant patients should never be given ‘live’ vaccines. See your renal unit for advice on live vaccines and also make sure your GP is informed. Click here for more details on vaccinations.

Download this Information in PDF

Updated June 2024

The National Kidney Federation cannot accept responsibility for the information provided. The above is for guidance only.

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