Traveling can be exhausting, but can be particularly difficult and stressful when you are suffering from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or other chronic illnesses.
Here are some tips that might make your flying adventure a litter easier.
- Take a few extra pills of each medication you take and remember to refill all prescriptions before you leave.
- Be sure that you have your regular medication in their original bottles per TSA regulations. Make sure to pack all medications in your carry on, in case they are needed during travel or if your luggage gets lost. Check with TSA regarding their regulations for medications, medical equipment and liquids.
- Pack salty snacks and water bottles. Be sure that you stay hydrated! Salty snacks and water bottles can be in your checked luggage (check with the airline). Snacks can be brought in your carry on. Bring an empty refillable water, as many airports have filling stations. You can also buy these items once through security.
- Wear loose and comfortable clothes and shoes for your travel days
- Ask for help when needed. You may be able to obtain a wheelchair to help you navigate the airport before your trip and during layovers to help avoid excess walking or standing in line. Contact the airline prior to your trip and also let them know at the check in.
- Check and see if you can request (or pay for) bulkhead seating for extra leg room to stretch or put your feet up.
- Move your legs and feet around while in flight, to help with blood pooling.
- Wear compression stockings to help with blood pooling as well.
- Travel with a mask to help prevent smelling potential strong odors, and help minimize risk of catching an airborne illness.
- Consider boarding the plane last and leaving the plane last to minimize time spent standing.
- Be prepared in the case of a medical emergency
- Find the nearest hospital and urgent care center at your destination
- Keep a list of medications, allergies and emergency contacts
- Make sure that you have your insurance card. If you are traveling abroad, check to see if your insurance will cover international travel. If not, additional travel insurance is available to purchase.