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The do’s and don’ts of travelling with CF

Traveling with CF is not an impossible task. With the right to-do list, you can successfully prepare for some well-deserved vacations. Whether it is in Canada or an international destination, regardless of the temperature, going away can become stress-free and manageable. Check out some of the best tips from our community:


Brenda Chambers-Ivey’s travel tips:

When it comes to travelling, the best tips are more or less common sense:

  • Don’t forget your medications and equipment!
  • Carry all of your medications and such in your carry on. Other items can be replaced by you may have a hard time getting your meds replaced…. especially in a foreign country.
  • Take double the supply of meds that you need, just in case
  • Carry them in the original prescription containers if possible
  • If carrying liquid, place in zip lock type bag to prevent spillage and make sure that it is easily accessible when going through security. I find it is best to point out any liquid medication and sharps to security even before they scan your carry-on
  • Obtain a letter from your doctor or Nurse Practitioner listing your medications and dosages. This is especially important if you are travelling out of the country
  • If you have a Medic Alert device, make sure your information is up to date and that you are wearing your device
  • If you are on oxygen special arrangements will have to made with airlines ahead of time

Bon voyage!

Robert Burtch’s travel tips:

  • Don’t forget your medication. I have a few times and had to find alternatives or have to visit a pharmacy mid-trip.
  • Always carry a meds list signed by a pharmacist or doctor. Travel letters also help navigate borders and airports.
  • Go everywhere and anywhere! I have been on 4 continents.

Kim Wood’s travel tips:

  • Always, always, always travel with extra meds and supplies!
  • Keep extra copies of your CF clinic letter listing your medications.
  • And don’t forget to keep up your water and salt intake if you’re going somewhere hot.

Terra Stephenson’s travel tips:

  • Talk to your CF team before going! It’s different for everyone, but for me, when I went to Europe for 5 weeks, I was able to stop a couple of the medications that require a particularly bulky amount of equipment or special conditions, and I balanced that out with extra physio.
  • I also looked up where the CF clinics were in the areas that I was travelling, just in case something happened (which didn’t, fortunately), but that gave me peace of mind.

Meaghan MacRury’s travel tips:

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare.
  • Always take more than you need, and never assume you’ll be able to ‘pick something up’ wherever you are travelling if you run out of something. Especially at airports, you can never be too prepared. I have had some security officers pass me through without opening a pill bottle, and then I have had others that read every doctor’s letter and open every bottle to match the name to the letter. The scale varies, so my best advice is to assume they will question everything, so leave no questions unanswerable before you leave your house.

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