Exploring the great outdoors, going on vacation or visiting friends and family can be fun and relaxing, but it can also be difficult if you have breathing problems. Whether you have shortness of breath or a medical issue like asthma or COPD, here are some tips that can help make your traveling experience more enjoyable – because planning ahead can ensure you have a better time!
Talk with your doctor before traveling
If you have a pre-existing medical condition, it’s important you speak with your doctor about WHERE you are traveling, WHEN you are traveling and HOW you will get there. Your doctor could have suggestions that can make your trip much easier, including tips about the geography, any concerns about seasonal weather issues or things you should know about your mode of transportation. Your doctor might also suggest some prescriptions or medications that might help your travels. Also, you may want to have your doctor provide you with a copy of your recent medical records just in case you need to visit an emergency facility along the way.
Plan for how you will travel / mode of transportation
For many people with breathing issues, traveling by car is the easiest form of transportation, especially if you need to bring along medical oxygen. Going by car can also allow flexibility in case you need to stop for rest, food or just to go at your own pace. However, if you have breathing problems and are traveling by plane, there can be several concerns which require some planning. If you need medical oxygen, you will want to speak with an airline official as soon as possible after planning your trip as many airlines don’t allow oxygen tanks or canisters on flights. So, you’ll need to plan ahead for any oxygen requirements.
You should also arrive at the airport very early to allow for any unforeseen issues, as well as to allow for time in case you need to take it slow during the check in, security and boarding process. The airport can provide wheelchair assistance if you need it (another reason to arrive early, as you might need to wait). In addition, try to check as much luggage as you can. If you have breathing problems, you’ll want to avoid lugging around carry-ons that could weigh you down and slow your progress. If you require medication, have duplicate amounts in your luggage or in a small carry-on in case your luggage gets lost in transit.
Plan for geography and inclement weather
Just as important as how you’re traveling is WHERE you are traveling to. Your destination may sound nice, but you should prepare for any potential issues regarding geography and weather. Are there any hills you will need to climb? If cold weather triggers your breathing issues, you may want to wait to visit until warmer months. If you’re visiting higher altitudes, there can be less oxygen in the air to breath and you may get winded faster. Also consider dressing in layers that’s suitable for the season and weather where you are visiting. If you’re going hiking in remote areas, consider carrying raingear, a map and compass, bugspray, a flashlight, sunglasses and sunscreen, matches or another fire starter.
Know where you’ll be staying and any emergency medical facilities nearby
It’s important to become familiar with where you’ll be staying, including your lodging and the actual town or city you’ll be in. For example, if you’re staying at a hotel, another home or even an Airbnb, are there a lot of stairs you will need to climb? It might be worth calling ahead to see if you can have a ground-level room close to the entrance. How large is the complex? Are there any animals which you might be allergic to?
Also consider the pollution levels in the areas you’ll be visiting, particularly in certain cities. Are you staying in a city with bad air pollution, or with a nearby source of bad air quality like an airport, factory or construction zone? Bad air quality can cause your breathing issues to flare up or worsen.
Finally, make sure you are familiar with the locations of nearby emergency medical facilities in case you need to visit a doctor!
Why carrying supplemental oxygen can help when traveling
Did you know there is only 21% oxygen in the air we breathe? The majority is useless 78% nitrogen. Many people are surprised to learn that fact. Your body needs oxygen to create energy to power your cells, muscles, tissues and organs. When you don’t get enough oxygen, you can feel tired, short of breath or even sick. If you’re older and experience shortness of breath or have a hard time maintaining energy while traveling, using supplemental oxygen only makes sense.
Boost Oxygen is portable 95% pure oxygen for healthy and all-natural respiratory support while traveling. It’s not medical grade oxygen and not a cure for any sickness or disease, but it can be an easy source of supplemental oxygen if you’re “on the go” during vacation or visiting friends and family. Our portable oxygen canisters fit anywhere and can be recycled along with any cans or bottles! Help Is Here!