The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Looking to travel this winter? Here’s what you need to know…
This year over 98 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more for the holiday season. While 91% of long-distance travel is by personal vehicle, many Americans may be unprepared for winter road trips. Depending on location and distance, this journey can be difficult for anyone, but particularly for those suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, the inherent risks can be great. With your safety this holiday season in mind, the Lung Institute has compiled a list of 5 crucial tips for traveling this winter with lung disease.
5. Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Before getting on the road, it’s critical to know your vehicle has been thoroughly inspected and is operating as intended. Not only will this give you peace of mind that your vehicle is in top shape before travel, but you can fix any maintenance-related issues before traveling. We recommend that you have your oil changed, your tires inspected and rotated, and your battery checked.
Be sure to keep your gas half-filled at all times in order to avoid freeze up.
4. Plan It Out
Prior to hitting the road, be sure to know your route. Beyond simply knowing how to get to your destination, learn alternative routes in case adverse weather, construction or accidents impede you. The best way to facilitate this plan is to leave early and give yourself as much time as possible to get to your destination without rushing. Leaving in the early morning allows you to avoid traffic, accidents, and keeps you driving during the day to get to your destination earlier.
Fatigue can accumulate quickly for those with COPD so don’t be afraid to stop. In case of delay or illness, have a car charger on hand and keep your phone charged at all times.
3. Check the Weather
Always check the weather before any long-distance traveling. This will not only help you avoid storms, rain, and snow, but it will also give you time to reconsider your route in case of bad weather. An added benefit of knowing the weather pattern in advance is time for preparation. In case of rain, be sure to replace old wiper blades, pack rain ponchos, and bring umbrellas. In case of snow, you may consider packing tire chains and salt.
Let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival. If you become stranded in any way, it will be possible for others to send help.
2. Invest in an Emergency Travel Kit
The Emergency Travel Kit is essential to anyone traveling during the winter season. Equipped with a first-aid kit, shovel, flashlight, snacks and several other key items, an emergency travel kit is an absolute necessity for road-trips of any kind.
For those suffering from lung disease and using supplemental oxygen tanks, be sure to include several tanks on reserve in case you become delayed or stranded in your car.
Where you can find it: http://goo.gl/oSKJ3Q
1. In Case of Emergency
If for any reason you become stuck or stranded in the snow, it is possible to run the heat but only momentarily. Be sure to only allow the heat to run for ten minutes every hour. Afterwards, crack the windows in order to vent the air.
Exhaust blockages can be lead to carbon monoxide gas build up inside the car. If you are stuck in a storm, remember to clear the exhaust pipe frequently if running the engine.
Although it can be difficult traveling with lung disease, take your time on the road, leave early and follow our simple tips to promote the safest possible journey. If you or a loved one suffers from COPD, or any lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us at (800) 729-3065 to find out if you qualify for cellular therapy and Happy Holidays from the Lung Institute!
Gearing up for travel this holiday season? Let us know if these tips were helpful! Share your thoughts and comments on our list of the 5 Crucial Tips for Winter Travel with Lung Disease below.