3 Travel Considerations If You Have a Lung Disease

As the weather turns warmer, many of us will be thinking about vacations and traveling. While traveling with a lung disease does require some careful consideration, having a lung disease doesn’t mean that you have to be confined to the house.

The British Lung Foundation has some advice for traveling with a lung disease and some of the things you may have to think about while planning your trip.

If traveling by bus, ferry, cruise ships, plane or train, you will need to contact the operator if you need to travel with oxygen. They’ll be able to advise you of their oxygen policy, what you need to bring or if you need any special equipment. If you require a wheelchair, you’ll need to find out if there’s wheelchair access or assistance to help you get on and off the vehicle.

MORE: Study find bronchiectasis risk factors identified in COPD patients. Read more here. 

Generally speaking, places at high altitudes may cause problems for people with lung diseases as their lungs will need to work much harder to breathe. The climate may also be a factor; if it’s too hot, you may get fatigued easily. Consider the terrain of your destination, how easy will it be to walk around or use a wheelchair?

The further away you travel, the more you may need to consider: how easy is it to get oxygen delivered to your destination? will you need additional insurance? how would you cope if you needed medical assistance in another country?

Speak to your healthcare team before planning any vacation, they’ll be able to advise you on the type of vacation you are physically up to.

Take all the medications you require for the duration of your holiday and some extra in case of emergencies. Find out where you can have oxygen delivered from. Make a list of all the medications you take, including antibiotics for infections and keep this with you to show medical professionals if you become ill while traveling.

MORE: A majority of patients with bronchiectasis may be at a heightened risk for comorbidities resulting from a sedentary lifestyle.

Bronchiectasis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


  1. carol lehrman says:

    What is the best travel nebulizer for international use? Must be light weight, small and are lithium batteries a potential problem on airplanes? Any suggestions would be helpful because there are several on the market, some rather pricey.
    Thank you.

  2. Anne Pemberton says:

    I have used the De Vilbiss Traveller, and was permitted to take the lithium batteries to the UK in 2016- check current regulations. I never used the battery since the compressor is dual voltage. Disinfecting can be a problem – I could not buy the distilled white vinegar I normally use in the US. Check the owner manual online first before buying and see if the disinfecting products are available where you will be traveling.
    I now have a table top Pari Vios compressor nebulizer, which I really like, and may purchase the travel version (Pari Trek), which seems better than the De Vilbiss, and I can boil the nebulizer to disinfect it so it is more convenient. Good luck.

  3. Cynthia Flora says:

    Just bought a Pari Trek-S travel nebulizer and it works very well. Compressor at 4-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ x 1-5/8″ is compact and lightweight. Can disinfect mouthpiece/med chamber with distilled or boiled water and white vinegar. Comes with two power connections, a regular plug as well as one that fits into a car’s cigarette lighter. Use it only when I am on the go because because my tabletop model is more sturdy, but I love it!

  4. Anne Pemberton says:

    Thank you Cynthia, I’m very glad it works well, I also purchased this model.
    How do you boil your water for 5 minutes when you travel?
    For international travel in Europe I checked Pari UK’s disinfecting instructions for the Pari sprint nebulizer and they give other alternatives, such as steam sterilizers (electric or microwave). White distilled vinegar is not available there. https://www.pari.com/fileadmin/user_upload/PARI.com_UK/Doc/IFU/023D1001-M-de-en-IFU-LC-SPRINT-Nebuliser.pdf
    I will try the microwave version, which was also mentioned by a patient speaker at the bronchiectasis conference in May 2017. However, it is bulky for traveling.

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