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Why I Pack Two Inhalers When Traveling.

Why I Pack Two Inhalers When Traveling

So, as I’m packing my bags to go to Philadelphia to meet the Health Union gang, I finish the packing job by stuffing two inhalers into my suitcase. My wife is watching as I do this, and says, “Why do you need two inhalers?” My initial response was: “Um, I don’t know. I just like to have two.”

That was kind of a lame response. But it got me to thinking: “Why is it that I pack two inhalers because I always do?” I usually carry them in two different locations. This morning I plucked one out of the luggage and put it into my pocket for quick access.

Then I got to thinking.


I wrote the above a year ago. That was a thought I had for an article as I was packing last year. I had a thought and I had to get it down. I saved it as a draft in Google Documents. Then it got lost. I forgot about it.

So I woke up with writer’s block. To rattle my writer’s imagination I sifted through my Google drafts. That’s where I found this idea. I must have been too busy on that day to write. I probably had to rush to catch my plane. But, I’m glad I wrote it down when I did. Because today I found it when I needed an idea.

I know exactly what I was thinking. I know exactly what I would have written had I had time to finish this post one year ago.

Ironically, this morning I packed for this year’s trip to Philadelphia. And you bet I packed two Ventolin inhalers. I did this even though I haven’t needed any puffs yet this year. My asthma is controlled enough I don’t even need it much (a miracle of sorts). But you still have to have it. You never know when you’ll need it.

Plus, if you don’t have it you WILL need it. This is evidence you’re a member of the Ventolin Club. You are a member of the club when you know you cannot leave home without it (your inhaler, that is).

So, why do I pack two inhalers?

I keep one in my pocket and one in my luggage. I only have one bag with me on this trip. This one I just carry with me on the plane. In it is all my medicine. In it is an unopened Ventolin inhaler. It’s still wrapped in foil in its original pharmacy stamped box. Another one is in my pocket. This one is open and ready for use.

Why do I do this? Why bother?

That’s a good question. I think it’s especially a good question from someone who doesn’t have asthma. I, on the other hand, have 47 years of experience with asthma. There have been times when I needed an inhaler. I was convinced I packed it. But, it wasn’t there.

Then what? You panic. And, Lord knows stress and anxiety can trigger asthma. So, you have an asthma attack just because you don’t have it.

So, I make sure to pack a spare. And I very seldom ever open the spare. It’s just there in all its glory. It’s there for others who don’t have asthma to ask about.

In today’s day and age of good asthma control, chances are I won’t use the one in my pocket either. That’s just how it is. BUT YOU DON”T WANT TO BE CAUGHT WITHOUT ONE. So, it pays to have more than one.

So, this is one post that took me a year to write. But it was well worth the effort. I am quite confident I am not the only asthmatic to do this. What about you? How many inhalers do you pack?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • sharonkf
    1 year ago

    My husband and I travel overseas often for work trips of 3-7 weeks. I am grateful to my doctors who understand my health and life and always make sure I have enough meds, including an extra inhaler, prednisone, antibiotics, etc. My asthma doc will give me a sample of my control inhaler if my prescription will run out while traveling and my insurance won’t let me order another yet.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    1 year ago

    Ditto what Leon said. It certainly sounds like you and your doctor make a great asthma control team. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi Sharonkf and thanks for your post. You must feel fortunate to have physicians who understand your asthma condition and the best way to manage it while traveling. With both you and the doctor working together, it sounds like you have the best approach to controlling your breathing while you’re away from home. Wishing you the best, Leon (site moderator)

  • Katbird
    1 year ago

    I recently took a three week winter van camping trip through British Columbia, Yukon Territory & Alaska. I took several inhalers, a travel nebulizer, prednisone, and an antibiotic- and my daily long-acting (cortisone & bronchodilators) inhalers and cortisone nasal spray. I needed extra albuterol puffs in the bitter cold, but none of the rest of my “just in case” meds. I truly understand the anxiety and wanted you to know you are not the only one who takes extra inhalers. Always take an extra when traveling.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    1 year ago

    Thanks. Katbird. Great to know I’m not alone. There actually was a time I thought I was. But, those days are long gone, thanks to fellow asthmatics like you sharing your stories. Good to have extra inhalers. Even better when they’re not needed. Thanks. John. Site Moderator.

  • Leon Lebowitz, RRT moderator
    1 year ago

    Hi katbird and thanks for your post. It’s always gratifying when we support one another here in our online community. The sharing of experiences goes a long way towards making this community what it is today. Warm regards, Leon (site moderator)

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