Guide to POTS

Hoping this makes a confusing chronic illness diagnosis easier

POTS and Travel

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I can only speak from my own experience, and I hope that provides some insight into what POTS is and how it can affect you or those around you.

Can You Travel?

Yes! Of course, you can! Travel to your heart’s content! I’ve been to over 30 countries since becoming ill, and I plan to visit many more! There are a few things you should be aware of before traveling, but not too many, so don’t worry excessively.

Do be aware that some places have restrictions on bringing medication, so it’s good to research this before your trip. This doesn’t apply to most places, but it’s good to be aware. Carry your medicine in prescription pill bottles so you can prove ownership and easily identify them if necessary.

Check the elevation of your destination. If it’s significantly higher than what you’re used to, you might struggle more than usual. Also, consider the season and weather conditions. If you’re sensitive to barometric pressure, you might want to avoid visiting places like India during monsoon season. And if extreme heat is challenging for you, it’s best to avoid Florida in August.

Plan Downtime

Remember to plan for downtime during your trip. You’ll need rest, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in your hotel room all the time. Plan relaxing activities like an afternoon at the beach, watching a movie, or enjoying a leisurely long lunch. Taking time in the middle of the day to relax and regain energy can be beneficial.


Airplanes change altitude, which is problematic for POTS. They also increase cabin pressure to compensate for the altitude change, which can affect anyone but particularly those with POTS. Drink plenty of water. I know it’s tempting to avoid drinking to minimize restroom visits during the flight, but staying hydrated and moving around can help with blood circulation. I would also recommend wearing compression stockings.

Trains and Buses

I’ve never had any problems with train travel. Even though trains can go fast, they don’t usually experience significant altitude changes, or if they do, the transitions are slow enough not to affect me. I’ve had a similar experience with bus travel.


I’ve been driving for the past 11 years without any issues. However, some individuals with POTS may experience dizziness, so it’s essential to consult your doctor if you have concerns about driving. That being said, I’ve never had any problems as a passenger in a car, so that’s not something I would worry about when it comes to travel. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids, regulate the temperature in the car, and take every opportunity to move around during long car rides.


There are numerous types of accommodations available nowadays. Always do your due diligence when choosing lodgings. Consider factors such as the presence of an elevator, the number of flights of stairs, availability of air conditioning and heating, private bathroom facilities, access to drinking water, and the availability of a shower bench. It’s important to consider all possible issues you might encounter before making a booking.


If you have a travel companion who can assist you, feel free to bring a suitcase, backpack, and additional bags. However, if you’ll be responsible for carrying everything yourself, pack as light as possible. Traveling can be tiring, and lugging around a heavy suitcase and bag while navigating a new city or country can make you feel unwell. I suggest opting for a small suitcase or a backpack. Anything beyond that will only be cumbersome and weigh you down. You can always do laundry at your destination.


Check the elevation of your destination! I cannot stress this enough. Nothing can ruin your vacation like not being able to function at the location due to the elevation, especially if you have specific activities planned. Flying to a high elevation is generally not as challenging as climbing or walking to higher altitudes, so you might fare better than you expect. However, it’s advisable not to schedule any major activities during the first few days until you see how you adapt. Have backup plans and allocate plenty of downtime for rest and relaxation.


Regulating body temperature is particularly difficult with POTS. Therefore, ensure that your chosen destination can accommodate this aspect. If you’re considering a trip to Florida in August, it might not be the best idea. However, if you must go, plan to spend a significant amount of time indoors in air-conditioned spaces. Conversely, if you’re planning a visit to Quebec in January, make sure to spend ample time indoors with adequate heating.

Final Note

Always listen to your body, pace yourself, and adjust your plans accordingly. By taking necessary precautions and being mindful of your limitations, you can enjoy fulfilling and memorable travel experiences despite having POTS.

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