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Traveling With Asthma

There are some extra challenges when traveling with asthma. The suggestions that follow can help you avoid asthma symptoms and make your travel easier.

Be prepared if your asthma should worsen while you're traveling. Make sure you know where to go for medical care.

Avoiding triggers

Avoid asthma triggers by planning ahead.

  • Plan your vacation at times and places where pollen counts are low.

  • Avoid placed with high levels of air pollution. For example, stay away from very smoggy cities.

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

  • If scented candles, aerosol sprays, or pets trigger your symptoms, tell friends or relatives before you visit so they can make their homes more asthma-friendly. For example, if possible, sleep in a room where pets aren't allowed.

  • If traveling by car, keep the windows closed and the air conditioning or heater running.

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

  • To help prevent 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 is you can't wash your hands with soap and water.

What to take with you

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

  • Keep controller and rescue medications with you in your purse or carry-on bag, not in checked luggage. Take more than you think you'll need, since you may have delay.

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

  • Don't forget 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 back pack.


Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 6/25/2014
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