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Traveling with Asthma: Precautions and Tips for a Smooth Journey

Post written by BFH Staff Writer on September 11, 2023
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Traveling with Asthma. “As a mother of a little one with asthma, traveling can be both exciting and daunting,” says Andrea, a 28-year-old mom. “I remember the first time we planned a family vacation; my mind was racing with all the “what-ifs. ‘What if my baby had an asthma attack in the middle of the flight? What if the hotel room wasn’t clean enough?’ But, with careful planning and preparation, our trip was a smooth and wonderful experience.”

Andrea adds, “Before we embarked on our journey, we consulted with our baby’s doctor. We followed her instructions on packing the medication and even filled a spare inhaler, just in case. We also spoke with the airline beforehand to request a seating arrangement to keep us closer to the front of the plane so we could quickly exit in an emergency.

To ensure a clean and asthma-friendly environment, we made reservations at a hotel with allergen-free rooms. These rooms were specially designed to reduce dust mites and other triggers that can set off asthma symptoms.

Throughout the trip, we closely monitored our baby’s asthma symptoms and avoided triggering activities like smoke-heavy areas and large crowds. We also tried to find local pharmacies at our travel destinations if we needed to refill our baby’s medication.

With these precautions, we could enjoy our family vacation with ease and peace of mind.”

Traveling is an exhilarating experience that allows us to explore new destinations, immerse ourselves in different cultures, and create unforgettable memories. However, embarking on a journey requires careful planning and precautions to ensure a smooth and enjoyable adventure for individuals with asthma. Here are some handy tips to travel safely with asthma. 

Consult Your Healthcare Provider

Before you embark on your travel adventure, you must schedule a consultation with your healthcare provider. Discuss your travel plans, destination, and any concerns you might have. Your doctor can offer personalized advice, review your asthma management plan, and adjust your medication regimen.

Pack Medications and Essentials

Pack your asthma medications in your carry-on bag to ensure easy access during the journey. Remember to bring an ample supply of inhalers, nebulizers, spacers, and other prescribed medications. In addition, pack a copy of your asthma action plan, which outlines steps to take in case of an asthma attack, and keep it with your medications.

Research Your Destination

When planning your trip, research your destination thoroughly. This includes understanding the local climate, air quality, pollen levels, and potential triggers that might exacerbate your asthma symptoms. This knowledge will help you prepare adequately and make informed decisions about your activities and excursions.

Choose Asthma-Friendly Accommodations

Opt for accommodations that prioritize clean indoor air quality and offer non-smoking rooms. If you’re staying in a hotel, request a space free from allergens and irritants. Consider choosing accommodations with allergy-friendly bedding and air filtration systems to create a more comfortable environment for your stay.

Be Mindful of Air Travel

Air travel can present specific difficulties for individuals with asthma, given the variations in cabin pressure and recycled air. However, there are several precautions you can take to ensure a smoother and more comfortable flight:

● Inform the airline about your asthma condition when making your ticket reservation. By doing so, you can request a preferred seat that suits your needs, such as a seat closer to the front of the cabin or one with more legroom.

● Consider packing a small, portable air purifier during the flight. This can help filter the surrounding air, reducing the potential exposure to airborne triggers and irritants.

● Stay adequately hydrated throughout the flight. Drinking enough water will help keep your airways moist, making breathing easier. Avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate you and potentially worsen asthma symptoms.

Carry a Written Asthma Action Plan

A written asthma action plan is essential, especially when traveling to unfamiliar places. Ensure the plan includes clear instructions on managing your asthma, recognizing symptoms, and knowing when to use your medication. Share this plan with your travel companions, and keep a digital copy on your phone for easy reference.

Stay Prepared for Allergens

Different environments can expose you to new allergens and triggers. To minimize the risk of asthma attack, consider these precautions:

● Carry a face mask to protect yourself from dust, pollen, and other airborne irritants.

● If you have allergies besides asthma, pack necessary allergy medications.

Pace Yourself and Listen to Your Body

Traveling can be exciting, and it might tempt you to fill your itinerary with many activities. However, it’s important to pace yourself and prioritize your well-being. Listen to your body and rest when needed to prevent overexertion and potential asthma flare-ups.

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