Today, let’s chat about traveling while on oxygen therapy. When a doctor first prescribes someone oxygen therapy, they often worry that their life as they know is over. Suddenly, they have to lug around an oxygen concentrator wherever they go, and the adventures and travels they’d previously planned feel unattainable. While life dramatically changes when you start oxygen therapy, there’s no need to give up on plans for adventure and travel. You just need to change how you prepare for a trip. Keep reading to learn some helpful tips for traveling while on oxygen therapy.
3 Helpful Tips for Traveling While on Oxygen Therapy
1. Starting Early Is One of the Most Helpful Tips for Traveling While On Oxygen Therapy
Some people have the luxury of packing a bag at the last minute and setting off on an adventure. While you no longer have that level of freedom, if you start planning early, you can travel easily. If you’re hoping to do some air travel, you’ll need to contact the airline and inform them that you use oxygen. Airlines will often allow you to choose between using your own portable oxygen concentrator, as long as it’s FAA approved, or using their oxygen.
Either option will work depending on your oxygen needs during layovers. Buses and trains require the same level of warning but don’t offer their own oxygen, so you’ll need to bring your own. And if you’re trying to book a cruise, give them at least a month to prepare since cruises are longer. Also, your doctor will have to liaison with them to make sure you have the oxygen you need on board.
2. Bring Extra Supplies
If you’ve had time to get familiar with your oxygen needs, then you may feel tempted to travel light and bring only the medical supplies you need. But travel is never perfectly predictable, so you should always bring extra supplies with you. Pack extra batteries for your portable oxygen concentrator in a bag that you can easily access. Have at least one extra nasal cannula and appropriate tubing in case something damages your original cannula and tubing. And if you use other accessories, like humidifier bottles, bring at least one extra as well.
3. Research Your Destination Well
People who already use supplemental oxygen should avoid traveling to high-altitude destinations that may further compromise their ability to breathe well. However, there are still many destinations around the world that are safe for you to travel to. Research your ideal travel destinations beforehand and learn about how consistently they have electricity, what kind of medical care is available, and the level of physical activity required.
Our helpful tips for traveling while on oxygen therapy are to start preparing early, bring extra supplies, and research your destination well. As long as your mode of transportation is accessible, you have everything you need, and you know what to expect, you can travel almost anywhere with ease. Travel is for everyone, and that includes you.