The official blog of the Lung Institute.
How to Go on Vacation with Lung Disease
It’s time for a vacation.
For someone with a chronic lung disease, going on a vacation can seem daunting or nearly impossible. If you have a lung disease and are preparing to travel, packing and actually traveling, might leave you feeling short of breath, fatigued or even frustrated. However, taking a vacation is good for you and important for your well-being. We’re here to help you make your trip successful with a list of tips on how to go on vacation with lung disease.
Why is it important to go on vacation?
Many people feel stressed about their life. It’s normal to have a certain amount of stress in daily life; however, sometimes that stress level can become too high, taking a toll on people’s mental and physical health. Taking a vacation can inspire creativity, give new perspectives, improve relationships, help with problem solving and advance productivity. Everyone needs time to unwind, relax, explore and enjoy time with family and friends.
How to Go on Vacation with Lung Disease
It’s important for people with a chronic lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis to go on vacation, too. Consider avoiding cities with dirty, polluted air, and be careful about high-altitudes. Keep in mind that for air travel, advanced noticed is required to make arrangements for your oxygen needs. The airline may need a letter from your physician, a brief medical history, and proof of a current oxygen prescription. While new airline rules allow for portable oxygen concentrators, you won’t be allowed to bring or use oxygen cylinders or liquid oxygen on the airplane.
For traveling via train, bus, or cruise ship, it’s still important to call several weeks in advance to discuss your medical needs and oxygen use with your carrier. Even though it may seem difficult, there are travel tips and steps you can take to prepare yourself for a successful vacation experience.
- Notify your doctor
- Wear emergency identification
- Carry an oxygen prescription with you
- Check your medications to ensure you have enough for your trip
- Obtain important paperwork (letter from your doctor, verifying your medications and portable oxygen)
- Have a list with the names and numbers of your primary care physician, pulmonologist, respiratory therapist, oxygen supplier, and any other important medical providers
- Keep a list of your current medications both prescription and over-the-counter
Oxygen Therapy Traveler’s Basic Checklist
- Carry extra batteries for your oxygen with you
- Direct flights are recommended whenever possible
- Plan ahead to know if you will need oxygen refills during your trip
- Call your home health care company and discuss travel plans with them
- Contact your travel carrier to inform them of your oxygen needs and use
- Learn how to use your portable oxygen system and know how long it will last
- Check with your air carrier ahead of time about using personal portable oxygen concentrators
- For car travel, crack the window a little and place your oxygen unit upright in the seat next to yours, secured by the seat belt
Vacation and Lung Health Success
Before planning your next trip, think of some people and places you want to visit, and make a list of what you want to do. To help make your next vacation a success, you can try these tips on how to go on vacation with lung disease. Do you want to see the cowboy experience or want to enjoy a sunset on the beach? You could make your next vacation a trip to promote the healing of your lungs by receiving cellular therapy at the Lung Institute.
With clinics nationwide in Tampa, FL; Scottsdale, AZ; Nashville, TN; Pittsburgh, PA; and Dallas, TX, you’re sure to enjoy all the sites, dining, and beauty these places have to offer while starting the process to improve your quality of life. If you or a loved one has a chronic lung disease and would like more information, contact us today at (800) 729-3065. It’s time to plan a vacation for you and your lungs.