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Traveling with Asthma

There are some extra challenges when traveling with asthma. The tips here can help you prevent asthma symptoms. And they will make your travel easier.

Be prepared if your asthma gets worse while you're away. Know where to go for medical care. And think about delaying your trip if your asthma is not under control when you plan to leave. 

Staying away from triggers

Stay away from asthma triggers by planning ahead:

  • Plan your vacation at times and places where pollen counts are low if pollen allergies trigger your asthma.

  • Don't go to places with high air pollution levels. For example, stay away from very smoggy cities.

  • Reserve a nonsmoking hotel room. And ask about rooms away from damp or wet areas.

  • Before you visit, tell friends or family if scented candles, aerosol sprays, or pets trigger your symptoms. They can make their homes more asthma-friendly for you. If possible, sleep in a room where pets aren't allowed.

  • If traveling by car in areas with pollution or smog, keep the windows closed. Use the air conditioning or heater.

  • Stay away from smokers and places where smoking is allowed.

  • To help keep yourself from getting a cold or other infection, wash your hands often. And try not to touch your mouth or nose. Use hand cleaner or sanitizer if you can't wash your hands with soap and water.

What to take with you

Here are some tips about what to take on your travels: 

  • Take a copy of your asthma action plan. If you don't have one or if yours isn't up-to-date, talk with your healthcare provider.

  • Keep controller and rescue medicines with you in your purse or carry-on bag. Don't put them in checked bags. Take more medicine than you think you'll need. You may have a delay or lose your bags.

  • Take your health insurance information card, your provider's phone number, and a list of your medicines.

  • Bring your peak-flow meter and your portable nebulizer, if you use either one.

  • Take an allergy-proof cover for your pillow (and even one for the mattress).

  • Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace with information about your asthma.

  • Take hand cleaner or sanitizer with you. Keep it in your purse, travel bag, or backpack.

Online Medical Reviewer: Alan J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN CCRC
Online Medical Reviewer: Tennille Dozier RN BSN RDMS
Date Last Reviewed: 10/1/2018
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