Traveling or getting a change of scenery may be a way to relax while experiencing a new place, even if it’s one town away. Many of our LVNG With Lung Cancer community members have traveled with lung cancer and continue to plan trips big and small. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind before planning travel.
- Consult your cancer care team about where you are headed, what activities you may be doing, and how long you plan to stay at your destination. Sometimes vaccinations are necessary when traveling to certain locations, so it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about everything you’ll need
- Ask your doctor to assess your health before going on a trip. It may also be helpful to see if they think getting extra medicine is necessary for your trip. Work together with your doctor to plan for the best way to reach them while you are traveling, in case you need to get in touch
- Try to plan as much as you can by booking early, make a packing list, getting proper documentation, asking for accommodations you might need, reserving seats that give you enough leg room, and researching medical centers closest to where you will be staying. If looking to fly with oxygen, find out which portable oxygen concentrators are approved for use by the Federal Aviation Administration before you bring them to the airport. It may also help to add travel insurance to your trip and buy refundable travel tickets. This gives you the ability to cancel or change your trip if you need medical attention
- Get comfortable for long flights or trips with extended periods of sitting. This is key. Try to wear loose clothing if possible and do light leg stretches when you can. You may also find compression stockings to help with swelling and discomfort
- Take precautions with your health whenever you travel. Try to wash your hands often to help prevent an infection while away. When outside, wear sunscreen and protective clothing to avoid getting sunburned. Be sure to get plenty of rest when traveling; it'll help keep up your strength
- Listen to your body. Check in regularly with how you feel during your trip. Walking around periodically can increase your circulation and help reduce the risk of blood clots. Stay hydrated by bringing along a water bottle and drinking plenty of water. Carrying a healthy snack or meal can also keep your energy levels up and help prevent nausea during travel
While At Your Destination
- Strive to be flexible, because with any sort of traveling, plans can change. Lung cancer can bring both good and bad days. Pacing your activities may help you manage your energy so that you have enough time to sightsee as well as rest.
- Savor the experience, and focus on enjoyment. Try to build in some time for relaxation and downtime during your trip.