Traveling with Asthma

There are some extra challenges when traveling with asthma. The tips here can help you prevent asthma symptoms. And they will make your travel easier.

Talk to your healthcare provider about your asthma before you travel. Ask if you need to take any special precautions. Be prepared if your asthma gets worse while you're away from home. Know where to go for medical care. And think about delaying your trip if your asthma is not under control when you plan to leave. 

Staying away from triggers

Stay away from asthma triggers by planning ahead:

  • Plan your vacation at times and places where pollen counts are low if pollen allergies set off your asthma.

  • Don't go to places with high air pollution levels. For example, stay away from very smoggy cities.

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

  • Before you visit, tell friends or family if scented candles, aerosol sprays, or pets trigger your symptoms. They can make their homes more asthma-friendly for you. If possible, sleep in a room where pets aren't allowed.

  • If traveling by car in areas with pollution or smog, keep the windows closed. Use the air conditioner or heater.

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

  • To help keep yourself from getting a cold or other infection, wash your hands often. And try not to touch your mouth or nose. Use hand sanitizer if you can't wash your hands with soap and water.

What to take with you

Here are some tips about what to take on your travels: 

  • Take a copy of your Asthma Action Plan. If you don't have one or if yours isn't up-to-date, talk with your healthcare provider.

  • Keep controller and rescue medicines with you in your purse or carry-on bag. Don't put them in checked bags. Bring more medicine than you think you'll need . You may have a delay or lose your bags. Let family members and traveling companions know where you keep your medicines and your Asthma Action Plan.

  • Take your health insurance information card, your provider's phone number, and a list of your medicines. Let family members and traveling companions know where you are keeping the information.

  • Bring your peak flow meter and your portable nebulizer, if you use either.

  • 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 sanitizer and face masks with you. Keep them in your purse, travel bag, or backpack.

  • Pack wipes to clean surfaces, such as your food table or tray.

Online Medical Reviewer: Dan Brennan MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Deborah Pedersen MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Jessica Gotwals RN BSN MPH
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2023
© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.