Packing, and the Packing List for Travelers with Asthma
I’ve written before about prepping for travel with asthma. Packing still takes me a bit of time (usually proportional to how long I am going away for and if there is a plane involved), but I’ve got the routine down a lot better more recently, even if that trip requires “business” clothes. The asthma-related portion of that is simply routine for me now, which makes the overall packing experience much smoother. I try to keep an extra supply of meds on hand all the time (somehow I’ve now acquired two extra sets, not that I am complaining as it is clearly consumable!)—the bonus of this was that I did not have to go to the pharmacy as I was packing for a four-day trip to Toronto yesterday.
I wrote in my previous post about travel prep that I’m a big fan of the packing list apps that are out there. My current favourite is one called TripList, and I love it so much that I’ve paid for the Pro features, which do make my life easier by letting me archive previous packing lists as well as generating packing lists based on activities I select from a list, and providing me a weather forecast for the city I am visiting. (Drawback, it does not have a multi-city feature, but this probably is not a high-demand feature ;) This allows me to save custom items like “Prescriptions” and “Neb” into my list so that when I generate a new list, they are already in there.
I’ve yet to master the One Bag packing method, and I blame asthma for that ;). However, whether you use an app or an old school paper list, here’s my standard packing list—I have various sized roller suitcases and hiking packs, but that’s because I would rather have a smaller bag, even if not a carry-on, than empty space!
Here’s what my packing list looks like for the current adventure:
Medical (AKA the asthma stuff and then some)
- Allergy meds
- First Aid Kit (this is remnant from my goalball coaching trips but hey, they’re small and light and never a bad idea!)
- Nausea medicine (which I never use but I have it at home so why not)
- Prescriptions (which I keep intending to itemize for each of my medications to get checked off)
- Extra pair of shoes (usually Converse!)
- Socks/underwear (x each day plus one)
- Jeans (itemized for what I will be doing and to prevent me from over-packing jeans!)
- Pants (dress pants)
- T-shirts (x each day, usually minus one)
- V-neck shirts (appropriate for business/business casual)
- Sweater (x each day I am attending a conference)
- Hoodie (1 in addition to the one I will fly in)
- Sweatpants (dual purpose PJs/lounging around/workout gear, if I ever went to the hotel gym…)
- ATM/Credit cards
- ID (Passport)
- ID (Nexus card)
- Bullet Journal
- iPhone Lightning cable (x2-3… Seriously.)
- Micro USB cable
- Earbuds (Primary pair + extra)
- Extension cord (short 3 outlet power bar)
- USB extension cable (female-to-female, because hotel power outlets)
- Bluetooth keyboard
- Laptop (I bought my MacBook Air a few years ago honestly to take on a trip. It’s been a great investment!)
- Laptop charger (yes, list them separately!)
- Phone charger (yes, it’s on there twice, because forgetting it would suck.)
- Food and Snacks
- (Change for the subway - Not on every packing list but change is usually good!)
- Correction tape (like Wite-Out)
- Daypack/bag/purse (I re-pack the stuff I want at my seat on the plane into a small tote bag and then re-integrate it into my backpack that lives in the overhead while awaiting my luggage).
- (Dia’s Trader Joe’s bag — Asthma.net blogger Dia left a bag of snacks with me in California and now her TJ bag is in my possession!)
- Plane candy (hard candy for the ear popping thing)
- Ice pack, small insulated bag (not hugely necessary and just packed based on perceived need!)
- Tallygear hip pack bag (one of my airport security and plane boarding must-haves!)
- Ziploc bags
- Anti-perspirant/deodorant (see also: previously forgotten items)
- Brush (see also: previously forgotten items AND one of my athletes texting me twice yesterday and today ensuring I brought a brush… I now have a backup comb even!)
- Extra glasses
- Nail clippers (honestly this is half on here to remind me to just cut my nails before i leave)
- Lady items
- Disinfecting/hand cleaning wipes (like WetOnes - great for everything from washing your hands in a pinch to doing a final swipe over a spilled drink cleaned up with paper towels… ahem, nod to my goalball players ;).
Business Meetings (AKA Conference Attendance)
- Business cards
- Pen + pencil
(A great feature of this app is that it also reminds you of what you should DO before going away!)
- Check-in online
- Confirm tickets/reservations
- Make itinerary (AKA check that everything has morphed into TripIt from my email)
Unless I am traveling out of the country, I do most of this stuff paperless.
I may have a few additional items that are trip-specific that vary between trips (such as Dia’s Trader Joe’s bag from California… ;)) but this list does not change much—some things may be omitted (like how I do not need business cards to go to the cabin) but for the most part, this is the same scene most trips. It gets a little more fuzzy when I’m traveling between climates, but at least with a list, that’s easy to plan appropriately for!
The asthma stuff is the first thing I pack (the backup meds) and the last thing I check off the list—my currently in use inhalers get packed the morning of the trip, immediately after I use them. That part is basically less hassle at this point than figuring out the dress code of an event if I’m attending one!
How does your asthma change with the seasons?