Staying one step ahead
- Talk to your CF center care team to make sure you’re ready to go
- Identify CF centers in the area you’re visiting, and if you’re driving far, plan your route so you know where they are along the way
- Have a doctor’s note on hand stating that your prescription medications are a medical necessity
- This is helpful if there are questions during airport check-in, security, the flight itself, and customs
- Pro tip: If you’re traveling internationally, contact your local consulate or the embassy branch for your destination and confirm the status of your medications in case there are restrictions
Take advantage of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) services, including applying for TSA PreCheck® for faster screening (approval can take up to 60 days so plan ahead). If that’s not for you, call the TSA at least 72 hours ahead of your flight and get help coordinating the security screening process in advance.
Their toll-free help line is 1-855-787-2227, or you can visit the TSA online at TSA.gov
- Schedule refills with plenty of time to spare ahead of your planned travel
- Make sure medicines are labeled
- Bring an extra supply of medicine just in case there are delays getting home
- Look into ways to store any refrigerated medicines
- This could mean calling the hotel to make sure a refrigerator is in the room or keeping a cooler in the car during a long ride
- When flying, talk to the flight attendants and ask if there is a refrigerator you can use while in the air
Pack up and go
- Pack a separate bag for medical supplies so they’re easy to find
- When flying, store your medicines in your carry-on to avoid lost luggage fiascos
- Grab some extra high-fat snacks that are travel-safe
- Bring back-up nebulizers
- Include an adapter when traveling abroad to ensure they are compatible with foreign plugs
- Consider getting a travel cart so any heavy or bulky supplies are in one place and easier to transport
It can be hard to stay on top of your treatment routine when you’re out and about. To help make it a little easier, consider setting phone reminders for the same time each day or try using a health app to keep you on track.
Become a pro at avoiding germs and viruses
On top of regular worries about germs, traveling can feel dicey these days due to concerns about periodic spikes in certain viruses. These are some ways to help get yourself from Point A to Point B while keeping your health and safety in mind.
Stay up-to-date on vaccinations
Certain destinations may require you to be up-to-date on COVID-19 or other vaccinations. Talk to your CF care team to see if these vaccines are right for you and when you should get them before traveling.
Wearing a mask, especially on flights or in crowded spaces, is one way to help protect yourself from airborne germs.
Wash your hands
Clean hands can help keep you healthy. But are you washing them the right way? Make sure to lather up and scrub for at least 20 seconds. That includes in between your fingers and under your fingernails.
Don’t get tired out, plan your route
If you’re worried about fatigue or other impacts of traveling, plan your trip accordingly. Pick a driving route with plenty of places to stop, or avoid splitting up long flights into smaller ones that might require fast and stressful trips between gates. If you are flying, leave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport so you can relax while you wait.
Avoid high-flying germs
Wiping down your seat and tray with disinfectant wipes and wearing your mask can go a long way at 30,000 feet.
Think before you drink
Choose a drink with an unbroken seal if you’re unsure about the cleanliness of what’s available from the tap or soda fountain. When in doubt, keep a sports drink in your bag for a great source of electrolytes.
Be prepared with travel insurance
It’s very important to know what kind of travel insurance you’re getting. Confirm that it covers your specific needs. Does your policy provide coverage for pre-existing conditions? Does it have restrictions in place regarding medication adjustments or doctors' visits within a certain time frame before departure? Be thorough when choosing a policy.