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Whether you're traveling for work, pleasure, or a little bit of both, there is 1 key thing you should do to ensure your trip is fun and enjoyable: plan. For people with CF, this might require a little extra time and effort beforehand, but being prepared will be well worth it once you're there. Below are some tips that may help you.1

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Members of the program are eligible to receive:

  • Free Vitamins & Supplements
  • Copay Assistance
  • Loyalty Rewards

Three to 6 months before you leave1-4:

  • Before booking your trip, talk with your CF care team about your health and to see if any medical notes are needed when traveling
  • Talk with your CF care team about treatment plans and what to do if you get sick while away. Different time zones may affect scheduled treatments and medication
  • Find out if you need any shots or vaccinations before traveling internationally
  • Make a list of all the medicine and supplies you'll need to take with you
  • Call to make sure a refrigerator will be in the room where you stay. That way, you can store anything that needs to be kept cold
  • Make sure you have enough medicine (and extra) to last you the length of your trip. Talk with your insurance company. Some providers will allow you to have extra medicine as a vacation allowance
  • Get outlet converters for medical equipment that needs to be plugged into a wall socket. This is important if you are traveling overseas
  • Look up regional CF care centers in the area you're going to. There are links to CF care centers on the national Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) website
  • Be sure to talk to your CF care team about what vacation activities are approved and what may be considered unsafe for people with CF

What to pack4:

  • A list of emergency contacts in case you get sick or have travel issues. Keeping an extra copy of this list in different places is also a good idea (such as jacket pocket, luggage, purse, wallet, etc) in case you lose something along the way
    • Include the names and numbers of doctors who specialize in CF in the area so you can get proper help if need be. The national CFF website (for national travel) and Cystic Fibrosis Worldwide (for international travel) has locations of CF centers
  • A copy (or 2) of insurance information in case you need to visit a CF center
  • Travel-size hand sanitizer. Bring a lot of it
  • Bring a prepaid phone card if you're traveling to a location where your phone won't work
    • Be sure to ask your cell phone provider about international travel plans
  • Bring a planner or put calendar reminders in your cell phone for when you need to take your medicine and do your treatments

Travel Tips From a CF Caregiver

Traveling by car or airplane? Follow these tips from Siobhan Barry-Reid, mother of a 19-year-old son with CF.

If traveling by car, be sure to:

  • Check the manufacturer's instructions. You can probably do your treatments in the car (if you're not driving)
  • Buy a converter that plugs into the cigarette lighter. This way you'll be able to use your equipment

If traveling by airplane, be sure to1:

  • Call the airline ahead of time. Explain that you have CF and will be carrying on a lot of equipment and medications. The airline can flag your account and lift carry-on luggage restrictions
  • Request priority boarding. This way, you can get situated and store your equipment before most passengers board the plane
  • Ask your CF care team if you'll need oxygen during your flight. Even if you don't need it normally, it's a good idea to check ahead of time
  • Get a letter from your CF care team stating your diagnosis, necessary medications, and equipment. This will make going through security easier
  • Fill a thermos with ice. Store medications that need to be refrigerated in a thermos. Before going through security, empty the thermos of ice/water. Once through security, refill to keep medication cold while you travel to your destination

General reminders5,6:

  • If you're traveling to a hot place or will be very active during your trip, remember to replace the salt you may be losing during this time
  • WASH YOUR HANDS! Airports, hotels, public restrooms, pools, and most facilities you come in contact with can have lots of germs

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*Restrictions apply. See full Terms, Conditions, and Eligibility Criteria here.
References: 1. Planning ahead will prevent problems later. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/Living-with-CF/Traveling-with-CF/Preparing-to-Travel/Planning-Ahead-Will-Prevent-Problems-Later/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 2. First stop – your CF care team. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/Living-with-CF/Traveling-with-CF/Preparing-to-Travel/First-Stop-Your-CF-Care-Team/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 3. Questions to ask your CF care team. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/Living-with-CF/Traveling-with-CF/Preparing-to-Travel/Questions-to-Ask-Your-CF-Care-Team/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 4. Packing list. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/Living-with-CF/Traveling-with-CF/Preparing-to-Travel/Packing-List/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 5. Summertime tips. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/CF-Community-Blog/Posts/2015/Summertime-Tips/. Accessed May 1, 2016. 6. Guard against germs while traveling. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation website. https://www.cff.org/Living-with-CF/Traveling-with-CF/In-Transit-and-at-Destination/Guard-Against-Germs-While-Traveling/. Accessed May 1, 2016.
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