Travelling With Asthma

Having Asthma or a child with Asthma doesn’t mean you can’t travel, with a little extra planning you can enjoy trouble free family holidays

The following article is reproduced with kind permission from the National Asthma Council Australia. For further information see their website at www.nationalasthma.org.au

The Traveller with Asthma

Travelling should be enjoyable and worry-free if you take a few precautions. If you are travelling interstate or overseas, here are the most important points to remember.

  • Visit your doctor well in advance of your departure to ensure your asthma is under good control when you leave. Tell your doctor your destination in case there are any particular precautions needed.
  • Check that any medical insurance you take out will specifically cover your asthma (contact your travel agent or Asthma Foundation for advice).
  • Ask your doctor to provide you with a letter outlining the history and severity of your asthma and your treatment. Take your written Asthma Action Plan. 
  • Where possible, take all the medication you will require, as well as some extra, with you. 
  • Ensure that your medication is carried in your hand luggage and spare supplies in your suitcase. 
  • If you normally use a nebuliser, check that there are appropriate power outlets where you are going. You may need to obtain a power point adaptor, or consider using another medication delivery system such as a spacer. Plan carefully when travelling to remote locations. Also ensure that the nebuliser can be used on the plane. Discuss this with the airline well in advance as they may wish to inspect the unit prior to departure.
  • Travel to high altitudes is okay as long as your asthma is well managed at sea level. People with asthma are not usually affected. Trekking, sightseeing or skiing should be problem-free when you have well-controlled asthma, a written Asthma Action Plan and adequate amounts of medication. 
  • People with asthma should not scuba dive.

For travellers with allergies: 

  • Anticipate, where you can, any increased exposure to allergens, for example to pollens or indoor pets.
  • Warn airlines or resorts of any food hypersensitivities or intolerances well ahead of departure. 
  • If you have experienced anaphylaxis, make sure your self-administered adrenaline and Anaphylaxis Action Plan are up to date.

For more information and support, contact your local Asthma Foundation 1800 645 130.