Having Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) shouldn’t mean you will never travel. With careful planning and following these tips, you can travel with ease when you have COPD.
No matter where you intend to travel to and how you plan to travel, you should pack enough oxygen or medication that will last the entire trip. If you will be away from your luggage at some point, for instance when having your bag checked, pack scripts in the carry-on. This will ensure that you can still access them in case they are misplaced by the airline. Ensure that your health providers’ names and contacts are easily accessible in case of an emergency.
When carrying respiratory equipment while flying, talk to the service provider to ensure a smooth boarding process. For example, CPAP machines, nebulizers, and other devices shouldn’t be packed in the carry-on to pass via the x-ray machine. Facemasks and tubing can be carried in their cases. Nebulizer liquids should not be subjected to the 3 ounces limit. Also pre-inform the TSA about your medical issue to get all the help you need at the airport.
Use a Car if Possible
If you can travel by car, it would be easier. That’s because when traveling by car you can keep car windows closed to prevent traffic-related fumes from entering the vehicle. You can also avoid lung-agitating agents from entering the car. If you travel alongside a smoker, ask them to smoke only when you alight to avoid secondhand smoke.
Additional COPD Travel Tips
If you travel by train or go on a cruise tour, contact your booking agency in advance to find out if there is something that can be done to ease your travel. Also drink more water to keep your respiratory tract hydrated.
Follow these tips for traveling with COPD to make your travel experience better.