Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling With Asthma
Update your Asthma Action Plan
It's always important to have an up to date action plan, but this is especially true when you're away from home and your usual health care team. Make sure your written plan reflects your current health status and treatment plan. Make a copy to bring with you for quick reference.
Carry all your medications with you
Whether you're flying, sailing, driving, or hiking, you want to be sure you have all your medicine with you, not packed away in one of your suitcases. Airlines misplace luggage and if you have an asthma attack, you'll need quick access to your rescue inhaler.
Another great idea is to create a list, of your current medical conditions, medications, prescribing physician and dosage, just in case someone asks.
Also, be sure you have enough of your medications to last throughout your trip. Refill prescriptions early if you can, or make arrangements to fill a prescription where you're going.
Prepare for unusual triggers
You may have gotten used to the triggers in your home or work environments. Hopefully, you know what to do to avoid them and avoid asthma attacks. But when you travel, you never know what triggers may be present.
You might be around people who wear strong perfume (my personal bugaboo!) or who smoke. Dust mites and pollen often live in hotel carpets, curtains, furniture and bedding. Pollens you're not normally exposed to might be in bloom at your destination.
Be aware of these dangers and consider bringing along allergy medicine, even if you're not currently needing it at home. Also, check the weather and pollen/mold forecasts for where you're heading.
Shore up your health before you go
We often run ourselves ragged when preparing for a vacation or trip, but there's a lot to be said for living as healthy a lifestyle as you can in the days before you leave. You want to be as healthy as possible from the start.
So, get plenty of sleep in the days before your trip, if you can. Drink your water and make healthy food choices. Manage your stress, by not saving everything for the last minute.
Make sure your immunizations are up to date, especially your flu and pneumonia shots.
Scout out the health care at your destination
It's always a good idea to know where you might be able to go to seek out health care, should your asthma spiral out of control while traveling. Check out urgent care locations or perhaps ask your doctor for a recommendation or referral.
Also, check your health insurance policy, so that you'll know up front if your plan covers emergency or urgent care in other states or countries. And don't forget to pack your health insurance card!
Traveling, whether for pleasure or for business, can be fun. But it won't be fun if you lose asthma control while you're gone. So, plan ahead, prepare for the unexpected, and enjoy yourself!
AAFA. Traveling with Asthma and Allergies. Accessed 3/31/18.
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