Hi I’m Cass. I live with sickle cell disease (hbSS) and love to travel domestically and internationally. Here is what I travel with to keep me healthy while I am flying.
Request a High Altitude Simulation Test (HAST) from your doctor/pulmonologist to track your oxygen saturation based on altitude. This test will determine whether you will need to fly with oxygen.
- Portable Oxygen Concentrator (POC): You will need a prescription from your doctor to be eligible to fly with a POC. This can be rented or purchased. Insurance may cover costs.
- Nasal cannula
- Charging cords
- Extra batteries
- Doctors note for POC
- Power bank: To ensure you can charge your POC or other important devices.
- Pulse oximeter: To measure your oxygen saturation while flying.
- Wearable (apple watch): To track your general health
Make sure you stay as healthy as possible while you’re flying. These items are to minimize sickle cell symptoms and general health.
- Medications: Travel with meds in your personal item or any item that will not be checked in to ensure the airlines do not lose your medications.
- Daily meds/supplements
- Pain meds
- Snacks: Make sure you have food to take medications
- N95 mask: To ensure you do not pick up germs while traveling and get sick while on your trip
- Disinfectants: To ensure you do not pick up germs while traveling and get sick while on your trip
- Water bottle: Flying is dehydrating, so you will need to drink extra water and anticipate extra bathroom breaks
Travel clothes (dress in layers)
- Compression socks – Great for blood circulation
- Comfortable shoes
- Hot water bottle
- Electric hand warmers
- Roller luggage: Don’t carry any personal items. Use a roller luggage to carry that wait when traveling to conserve your energy
- Travel with disability placard if renting a car: All U.S. states recognize each other’s disability placards, and many countries have partnerships that will also recognize disability placards from other countries