How to Travel Safely on Dialysis: A Guide for Kidney Patients


This guide is designed to help kidney patients who need dialysis treatment travel safely. Whether you are planning a short trip or a longer vacation, it is important to be prepared and take necessary precautions to ensure your health while away from home. Traveling on dialysis may seem intimidating at first, but with proper planning and preparation, it can be done successfully.

In this guide, we will cover the basics of traveling on dialysis, including what supplies and equipment you will need to bring with you, how to find a dialysis center at your destination, and tips for staying healthy during your trip. We will also discuss some common concerns that kidney patients have when traveling on dialysis and offer advice on how to address them.

Before You Travel

Before embarking on a trip, it is crucial to consult with your doctor and dialysis care team. They can assess your health and determine if you are physically able to travel. They can also provide important information and recommendations for managing your treatment while away from home.

It is also important to plan ahead and make sure you have enough medication, supplies, and equipment for the duration of your trip. Depending on the length of your trip, you may need to bring extra doses of medication or arrange for additional supply deliveries at your destination. It is always better to have too much than not enough.

Packing Checklist

When packing for your trip, be sure to include all necessary items related to your dialysis treatment. This checklist can serve as a guide, but it is important to consult with your doctor and dialysis care team for specific recommendations.

  • Medications: Bring enough medication for the duration of your trip, plus extra in case of delays or unexpected circumstances. Keep them in their original packaging and properly labeled.
  • Supplies: This may include dialysis solution bags, catheters, tubing, gauze, gloves, etc. Pack enough supplies for at least one extra treatment session.
  • Equipment: If you use a portable dialysis machine or other equipment, make sure it is in good working condition and bring all necessary accessories (chargers, batteries, etc.)
  • Medical records: It is always a good idea to have copies of your medical records with you while traveling. This includes a list of medications, medical history, and recent lab results.
  • Contact information: Bring a list of important phone numbers, including your doctor’s office, dialysis center, and emergency contacts.

Finding a Dialysis Center at Your Destination

It is important to locate a dialysis center at your destination before you leave. You can ask your doctor or dialysis care team for recommendations or search online using resources such as the National Kidney Foundation’s Dialysis Finder tool. It is also helpful to contact the center ahead of time to confirm availability and make any necessary arrangements.

When choosing a dialysis center, consider factors such as proximity to your accommodations, treatment schedule options, and availability of English-speaking staff (if traveling internationally). You may also want to inquire about insurance coverage and payment options.

Staying Healthy While Traveling

Traveling can be exhausting and stressful, which can impact your overall health. Here are some tips for staying healthy during your trip:

  • Stay hydrated: It is important to drink plenty of water while traveling, especially if you are on dialysis. Dehydration can increase the risk of complications.
  • Follow your diet: Stick to your prescribed renal diet as much as possible while traveling. This will help maintain proper fluid and electrolyte balance in your body.
  • Get enough rest: Be sure to get enough sleep and take breaks when needed. Fatigue can weaken the immune system and make you more susceptible to illness.
  • Protect yourself from infections: Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. It is also a good idea to bring disinfectant wipes and use them on surfaces such as airplane trays and hotel room remote controls.
  • Be mindful of food safety: When dining out, be cautious of foods that may increase your risk of foodborne illness. Stick to well-cooked meats, fruits that can be peeled, and bottled water.


Traveling on dialysis may require extra planning and preparation, but it is possible to do safely. Remember to consult with your doctor and dialysis care team before traveling, pack all necessary supplies and medication, locate a dialysis center at your destination, and take steps to stay healthy while away from home. With proper precautions and self-care, you can enjoy your trip without compromising your health.  So don’t let kidney disease hold you back from exploring the world – go out and see new places while taking care of yourself!