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Traveling with a Chronic Condition
Any trip needs advance planning so you can be comfortable and lower your risk for worsening symptoms. Use this checklist to create a smart travel plan for a safe and enjoyable trip. Bon voyage!
Involve your healthcare providers
Arrange a consultation with your healthcare provider at least 4 to 6 weeks before traveling.
Get written instructions for how to handle problems while away.
If you are crossing time zones, be sure to ask your healthcare provider how to take your medicines on schedule.
Discuss your specific travel concerns. Take notes or ask a loved one to do it.
Always plan to travel during slower times, or off-season, when there are fewer people.
Consider what times of day you usually feel your best and when you need to take medicine.
If you will be flying, call the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at least 72 hours before your flight. The TSA can give you special help at security screening checkpoints.
Avoid medicine mishaps
Do you have enough medicine? Do you have extra in case of an unplanned delay?
Pack your medicines in your carry-on luggage in their original containers.
Bring extra prescriptions in case of emergency or in case medicines get lost.
Pack light and take only what is absolutely necessary.
Carry your healthcare providers’ contact information, a list of medicines and a brief medical history with you at all times. Give a copy to someone traveling with you.
Bring a copy of your health insurance’s out-of-area care policy.
Get the specific prescription for your oxygen requirements in writing.
Make a plan for getting oxygen at your destination.
Arrange supplemental oxygen in advance with your airline. Ask about costs, paperwork, and layovers.
Steer clear of smoking if you have a chronic condition
Prepare for an emergency
Wear a medical alert bracelet.
Pack a travel health kit.
Locate the hospital closest to where you are staying.
Know the emergency services telephone number.
Traveling can be demanding, but it can be done. Pace yourself and schedule even more rest than usual.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Kolbus, Karin, RN, DNP, COHN-S
Online Medical Reviewer:
Lentnek, Arnold, MD
Date Last Reviewed:
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