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100% accuracy at time of writing cannot be guaranteed.  A listing in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not mean it is an endorsement.  All companies listed are tried at the reader’s own risk.  All information provided is intended as a supplement to any professional help already

given.  Before acting on suggestions from anyone, ostomates are advised to check with a doctor or stoma care nurse that the course of action is suitable

for them. Whilst every care is taken, the author will not be held responsible.
















Many ostomates find it beneficial and convenient to go abroad on holiday by leaving from UK seaports on a cruise.  This alleviates the hassle of security at airports.  A stoma patient can travel from place to place, and the same bathroom in your cabin is always available.

Disposal of appliances does not cause a problem, since wrapped up in the normal way by double bagging, they can be placed in the bathroom waste bin.  On request, some cruise lines will provide yellow medical waste bags, which can be collected regularly and discreetly from the cabin.  Cruise companies have stated that flushable pouches are not suitable for the toilets onboard.  


Before boarding the plane, use the toilet facilities in the departure lounge to empty or change your pouch.  This will make an ostomate feel more relaxed, give extra confidence for the initial part of the flight, and provide maximum security from the possibility of leaks.


In hot weather or humid conditions, an ostomate may need an increased fluid intake, particularly if they have an ileostomy.  When abroad, drink plenty of bottled water, and check that the seal is unbroken.  Commercial isotonic sports drinks, which contain varying amounts of salts and sugars, may help with combating dehydration.  Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, which could cause dehydration.

Especially when abroad, an ostomate should be very wary of the water supply, and only use bottled or boiled water, including cleaning teeth, stoma, etc.  Even in the UK, when an ostomate is away from home, it can be better to use bottled water, since in different areas of the country, tap water may affect an ostomate differently from their own tap water.

Avoid ice cubes, unless they have been made with bottled water.  Salads and unpeeled fruits may also have been washed with local tap water, so it is best to avoid these foods.


The UK is one of several nations in the US Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), which means that

British citizens can travel to the USA and stay for up to 90 days, without having to obtain a Visa.

However, it is compulsory that all travellers, using the Visa Waiver Programme, register online

using the Electronic System For Travel Authorisation (ESTA) system.

The following guidelines may be helpful:   


●  The ESTA is a pre-checking scheme, enabling the US Department of Homeland Security to determine whether an individual is eligible to enter the United States before they travel.

●  The ESTA application form can only be completed online.

●  The official ESTA website, where a visit to the United States can be registered, can be found at

●  All travellers, whether they are holidaymakers (including children) or those who are travelling on business, are now required to obtain prior approval before entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme.

●  Applications may be submitted at any time before travel.  However, it is recommended that ESTA applications should be submitted as soon as travel arrangements are made and at least 72 hours before departure.

●  A charge applies, which can be paid using major credit cards.

●  In most cases, travellers will receive a response within seconds.  Responses will be one of the following three categories:

    (a)  Authorisation Approved - travel is authorised, and no further paperwork is


    (b)  Authorisation Pending - travellers should check the ESTA website for a final

         response within 72 hours of the application.

    (c)  Travel Not Authorised - travellers must obtain a visa at the US embassy

         before travelling to the United States.

●  An ESTA is valid for up to two years, or until the traveller’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

●  If an ESTA application is approved, it is valid for multiple entries into the United States.

●  A copy of the approved ESTA should be printed out.  If this is not possible, it is imperative that travellers make a note of their reference number for their ESTA.  The reference number is not emailed to you.  

●  Although an ESTA is mandatory, the ESTA does not guarantee admission to the United States at port of entry.  An ESTA only authorises a traveller to board an air or sea carrier to travel to the United States.  The final decision to authorise entry will be made by the Border Control Officers at the place of entry into the USA.

●  An approved ESTA is not an American tourist visa.  It does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a USA visa, when a visa is required under USA law.  

●  Individuals, who possess a valid visa, will still be able to travel to the United States on the visa for the purpose for which it was issued.  Individuals travelling on a valid visa will not be required to apply for an ESTA.

●  For future visits or changes, details can be updated through the official ESTA website.


When an ostomate is on holiday, either in the UK or abroad, it is comforting to have peace of mind that there is a system available to help, if there are any problems with ostomy supplies.  World Assist Alliance is an international network of delivery companies, who are dedicated to the delivery of stoma appliances to customers.  In order to participate, each organisation has signed up to a promise, that should an

ostomate have problems with any of their products, whilst in their particular country, they will help with emergency appliance supplies, and in most locations, provide specialist nursing advice, if required.

This World Assist Alliance service is free for the supply of appliances in emergencies.  There is no need for a prescription, any insurance claim, or completion of any forms or paperwork.

This service is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and United States Of America.

In the UK, Fittleworth Medical Ltd. are able to offer this service to customers of their home delivery company, and further details can be obtained by visiting their website, or telephoning

Fittleworth Medical on 0800 378 846 or 01903 731 244.





A - E

If an ostomate is travelling to an EU country, it is essential to obtain a European Health Insurance

Card (EHIC).  The EHIC replaced the former E111 form in 2006.  In most European countries, this

card entitles the patient to reduced or sometimes free medical treatment, where treatment becomes necessary during a temporary visit.  

The card is only valid for treatment offered under the state healthcare schemes operating in these countries, i.e. it gives access to basic health treatment under the same terms as people who live in

the appropriate country.  

All countries throughout the EU are included, and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and

Switzerland.  The EHIC card is not accepted in the Channel Islands (including Alderney, Guernsey

and Sark), the Isle Of Man, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican.

The EHIC is not a substitute for travel insurance, since it offers basic medical treatment only, so

not everything is covered.  Ostomates only receive the same, free medical care as residents of the appropriate country - so they will have to pay for everything which residents do, which could include hospital care and medication.  It certainly may not cover all health costs, and it never covers holiday cancellation, delays, personal belongings, luggage or repatriation expenses.  The EHIC card does not cover situations where patients go abroad with the intention of being treated in hospitals overseas.

The EHIC is valid for up to five years, and can be renewed up to six months before the expiry date.  

Everyone has to have their own EHIC, including children.

Further information, including a full list of countries covered and details of their health systems, can

be found in the booklet ‘Health Advice For Travellers’, available from the Post Office.  It is

recommended that this booklet is carried, when travelling, as it contains information on what to do

if treatment is necessary during the holiday.

To apply for an EHIC, call 0300 330 1350, or go to the website.  An application

form can also be obtained from the Post Office, or online here.  Allow twenty-one days for

receipt of the EHIC, after applying.

Whilst on holiday, it is advisable to carry the EHIC at all times.