Updated 12/04/2023 This post does not contain any affiliate links.
Managing Medication and Equipment While Traveling With Health Conditions
Traveling with health conditions requires extra planning to have an enjoyable trip. I have a 5 day trip coming up and I want to share the process with you in case you are new to traveling with health conditions. The most important items are your medications and any equipment you will need like oxygen, nebulizer to administer inhaled medications, walker, cane, wheelchair, CPAP/BiPAP machine and other similar items. If you’ll be flying, check with your airline about specific rules for traveling with medical supplies before you get to the airport.
I used to lug my nebulizer around while traveling and would have to look for an electrical outlet to do a breathing treatment, but then I discovered a portable unit at my local medical equipment store. What a difference it makes to carry a light, portable unit with me when I travel! It uses a rechargeable battery that I plug in at the motel at night. My particular unit is no longer available for sale, but I have used it comfortably on the beach. It is an ultrasonic model that makes very little noise while it run,s so you can use it in restaurants or museums. My at-home nebulizer is compressed-air powered, and it is very noisy. A quick search on Google for travel nebulizers brought up Walgreen’s, CVS, and Walmart‘s online shops and Just Nebulizers at https://justnebulizers.com
Direct Home Medical carries batteries and AC/DC electric cords for all brands of CPAP/BiPAP machines. I have ordered supplies from them, and they are very quick and accurate with delivery. When traveling out of the country, make sure you have the proper electric cord.
If you will stay in a hotel, or someone’s home, locate an outlet close to your bed. If you are using your humidifier, remember to place the machine below your head. Bring distilled water for your humidifier.
I just discovered that you can now purchase travel size bottles of distilled water to bring with you. This company sells H2Dose distilled water in 16.9 oz travel size bottles. https://www.cpap.com/search?query=distilled%20water%20for%20travel
This short article discusses traveling with oxygen including flying with oxygen. Portable oxygen concentrators are the easiest way to travel since they can be “recharged, plugged into the wall or a cigarette lighter in a car, and can be taken on airplanes.” They suggest using a “model that delivers enough oxygen to keep your saturation 90 percent or greater at rest and with activity.”
When traveling with oxygen, be aware of any open flames, and stay far away from them.
Tube Feeding Supplies
Here’s an article on flying with tube feeding supplies. https://www.shieldhealthcare.com/community/nutrition/2013/08/05/traveling-with-a-feeding-tube/
Here’s an article written by someone who knows about traveling with a urinary catheter.
For your medications, make sure you have enough doses for the length of your trip. It is a good idea to have enough doses for when you first get home. If your prescription will run out when you’re away, you can take the original bottle/box to a pharmacy there. Make sure there is a refill left on the prescription. Take your health insurance cards with you.
I put my medications into a weekly pill box to help me remember to take them. I can also check easily if I took that morning’s dose if the box is empty. If you usually take them straight from the bottle, use a pill box while on vacation. Since your routines will be different, you will be more likely to forget doses. A pill box will help you keep track more accurately.
If you need to travel with IV medications and have a PICC line, check out this article here: https://blog.mighty-well.com/2017/01/six-tips-for-traveling-with-a-picc-line/
This discussion page is all about airport travel and ports for IV medications. https://www.disboards.com/threads/traveling-with-a-port-a-cath.2410554/
Please, do not try to go without your medications or prescribed health treatments during your trip! Who wants to spend their vacation in the ER or hospital?
Continue with Part 2: Handling Anxiety here https://upbeatliving.net/traveling-with-health-conditions-part-2-managing-anxiety/
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Till next time, Kathy