Make Traveling with an Oxygen Concentrator Easy with These Tips
If you plan on traveling with an oxygen concentrator, there are some things you need to know to make your trip as seamless as possible.
Technology advancements have given oxygen therapy patients the freedom to make vacation plans without constraints and worries. While traditional oxygen tanks can be heavy and bulky, portable concentrators offer easy transportation.
Depending on your method of travel, there are a few things you should know for a hassle-free journey. Continue reading to learn vehicle, cruise ship, and airplane tips for traveling with a portable oxygen concentrator.
Traveling by Vehicle with Oxygen Therapy
Vehicle transport makes it easy to travel with all of your oxygen supplies. Before departure, be sure to consult your doctor about how much oxygen you’ll need. This way you can plan your stops ahead of time and determine if you’ll need an oxygen refill. Also, if you’re traveling by bus or train, check with the travel company to find out if there are any rules or restrictions concerning oxygen concentrators beforehand.
Here are a few more things you can do to prepare for vehicle travel:
- Charge your concentrator before you leave and pack plenty of spare batteries along with the charger cables
- Research hospital information for your area of travel in case of an emergency
- Store your oxygen tanks by placing them upright and check for leaks before leaving
- Never store oxygen tanks in the trunk of your car
- Pack any other medications you need
- Crack a window to encourage air circulation
- Avoid any open flames near your machine
Cruise Ships and Oxygen
Before departing on a cruise ship, be sure to obtain a doctor’s clearance to travel. After that, it’s important to contact the cruise liner at least a month in advance to let them know that you’ll be traveling with an oxygen concentrator. Cruise ships make it very easy to travel with oxygen, but this way you can learn their policies and be prepared.
Here are a few other tips to keep in mind:
- Pack extra batteries and chargers
- Don’t place any oxygen equipment in checked baggage just in case it gets lost or damaged
- Arrive at the cruise ship early just in case your equipment needs to be checked before boarding
- Don’t get your portable oxygen concentrator wet at any time
- Keep your device out of direct sunlight
Oxygen Concentrators and Flying
Airlines have made it easy to travel with a portable oxygen concentrator as long as it is FAA-approved. Some airlines may require a doctor’s note for oxygen therapy, so contact them beforehand to ensure that you’re good to go. If the flight is lengthy, you can also ask the attendants about charging port accessibility.
In addition to charging your batteries and carrying a backup, here are a few more tips to follow for airplane travel:
- Arrive at the airport early to allow ample time for potential inspections of your equipment
- Keep emergency medications and your inhaler on hand
- Check with your doctor about the potential need for supplemental oxygen as you reach higher altitudes
- Have your unit’s manual handy just in case a technical issue arises that you’ve never experienced