aarc.org Navigation Bar

Taking Your Lung Disease on Vacation

For Immediate Release

IRVING, TEX. (June xx, 20xx) – Getting ready to go on vacation is always a lot of work, but if you have breathing problems that require you to be on oxygen, planning for a trip can sometimes seem overwhelming.

It doesn’t have to be that way, say respiratory therapists from the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC).

“A lot of people who are on oxygen think they can’t travel anymore,” says xxxxxxxxxxxx. “That’s just not true. It just takes a little extra planning.”

xxxxxxxx says the first thing to do is talk to your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for the trip. “Your doctor knows your specific medical problems and needs, and will be able to answer your questions.” The next step depends a lot on what form of transportation you’re going to be using to get where you want to go.

“If you are traveling by car, bus, train, or ship then you can take your portable oxygen system with you,” says xxxxxxx. You’ll need to let the bus, train, or cruise line know you will be taking oxygen on board, however, and follow their instructions for its use. You’ll also need to make sure the bus or train stops at cities where you can get your portable oxygen tank refilled. If you’re taking a cruise, you’ll need to have enough oxygen delivered to the ship before leaving harbor.

Also check the latest information on airline travel. Certain oxygen concentrators are now allowed aboard airlines, thanks to lobbying efforts by the AARC and other health care groups. A list of those approved devices is on the AARC's patient education website, YourLungHealth.org.

If you’ll be staying in a hotel during your trip, you’ll also need to call them ahead of time and let them know you’ll be using oxygen during your stay.

While traveling with oxygen may sound complicated, xxxxxxxx emphasizes help is readily available for people who give it a try. In most cases, your oxygen supplier will work with you to set up the trip, making sure you have what you need when you need it.

“One purpose of oxygen is to improve the quality of your lifestyle,” says the respiratory therapist. “That ‘quality’ includes being able to visit friends, make business trips, and take vacations.”

Suggested Sidebar: Helpful Hints for Traveling with Oxygen

Here are some helpful hints from the American Association for Respiratory Care on taking oxygen on the road:

  • Call your oxygen supplier and let them know when, where, and how you plan to travel so they can arrange to meet you at the airport, hotel, or other locations along the way to deliver you the oxygen you’ll need while you’re away.
  • Call the hotels you'll be staying at and let them know you’ll be using oxygen in your room.
  • Notify your doctor about your travel plans. You’ll need a special prescription for oxygen used while on the airplane.

For more information on traveling with oxygen visit the AARC’s consumer web site, www.YourLungHealth.org.

Respiratory therapists are specially trained health care professionals who assist physicians in treating and managing respiratory patients in hospitals, outpatient centers, physicians' offices, skilled nursing facilities, and patients' homes.

The American Association for Respiratory Care is a professional membership organization of respiratory therapists dedicated to respiratory therapy education and research. Among its goals are to advocate on behalf of pulmonary patients for appropriate access to respiratory services provided by qualified professionals and to benefit respiratory health care providers.

To learn more about lung health, visit the American Association for Respiratory Care's patient education website at www.YourLungHealth.org. 


Sherry Milligan AARC Communications Manager (972) 406-4656, milligan@aarc.org