Many people like to travel. In fact, the U.S. Travel Association reports that $31,400 are spent every second in travel-related expenses in the U.S. alone. Yes, that’s every second.
Though it can be fun to spend some time away from home, when you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), getting from one location to another can be a little more complex. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make travel easier, and here are four tips that can help.
Pre-Travel Packing Tips
Regardless of where you’re going or how you intend to get there, you want to make sure you have enough medication and/or oxygen to last you your entire trip, preferably longer in case your return home is delayed.
And if you are going to be separated by your luggage at all, such as if you’re checking a bag with your transportation provider, pack your scripts in your carry-on so you still have access to them if the airline misplaces your luggage.
Keep the names of your healthcare providers handy as well, just in case you need to contact them while away.
Tips for Traveling by Plane
TSA stands for Transportation Security Administration and this is the agency responsible for airport security. Thus, if you have respiratory equipment and are traveling by air, working closely with this agency can help create a smoother boarding process.
For instance, nebulizers, CPAP machines, and other devices must be removed from your carry-on to go through the x-ray machine, whereas the tubing and facemasks can remain in their cases. Additionally, nebulizer liquids are exempt from the pre-set limited amount of 3 ounces.
It also helps to pre-notify the TSA of your medical condition so they’re aware of your needs before you go through screening. You can do this via their online form called TSA Cares or you can contact them directly by phone at (855) 787-2227.
If you need assistance at the airport, such as by getting from security to your gate, they can help with that as well.
It’s a good idea to check with the airline you’re using too in order to learn their policies regarding respiratory equipment. Here are links to the policies of some of the most-traveled airlines:
Easier Travel by Car
If you’re getting to your destination by car, there are other things you can do to make the process easier.
For instance, keep the vehicle windows closed, preventing traffic-related fumes and other lung-agitating agents from getting inside. Also, if you’re traveling with someone who smokes, ask them to only light up when you stop so you aren’t subjected to secondhand toxins.
Although driving or riding in a vehicle isn’t a strenuous activity, it’s not uncommon to become tired after spending hours sitting in the car. Regular breaks can help, making your travel more enjoyable versus wearing you completely out.
Additional Travel Tips
If you’re traveling via other means—such as by train or going on a cruise—it’s always helpful to contact the booking agency beforehand to see if there are any additional actions you need to take.
Plus, when you’re moving from one location to the next, regardless of your mode of transportation, it’s easy to not drink as much water as you should, which can leave you with a dry respiratory tract. (This is especially true if you’re flying as the air in plane cabins lacks any real humidity.) Thus, keeping a bottle of water with you at all times encourages you to sip on it regularly, avoiding this concern.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute offers a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 or fill out the form to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.
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