Preparing for Long Term and Short Term Travel With Oxygen

Using oxygen therapy doesn't need to hinder you from going where you want or need to go, even if it's a long journey, and if you need constant oxygen therapy. However, vacationing with a portable oxygen concentrator on long trips on a boat, airplane, bus, train or a car does require a small amount of preparation.

You should first visit your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to travel and receive the necessary vaccinations. You might also be required to show the bus line or airline the oxygen prescription from your doctor. As a basic rule, you should always call the public transportation company ahead of time and let them know you are using an oxygen concentrator.

Road Trips

In a running car, you should be able to recharge the battery of your portable oxygen concentrator through the car's DC outlet. Of course, you will need an adapter for this that will convert from the port of the regular plug to one that will fit into the DC outlet for a car. Oxygen concentrators also come with a spare battery that you can charge to full life, and then pop it into your concentrator while the other is charging, so that you can get out of the vehicle and stretch your legs, without feeling harnessed or plugged into the car.

Bus Travel

If you plan on taking a long bus ride to your destination, you will need to call the bus line at least 48 hours before you plan on starting the trip. This is necessary because of federal guidelines, and so they can make the appropriate accommodations for you.

Boat Travel

The majority of cruise lines also require prior notice before you bring an oxygen concentrator on board. You won't need to concern yourself with how you will be recharging the battery for your machine, since the cabins all have electrical outlets.

Air Travel

Try to schedule a direct flight, one that won't be stopping anywhere else between where you're flying from and your destination. This will make it much easier for you and will allow you to be fully prepared with a charged battery that lasts the whole flight, or for most of it.

If you are going on a long flight that will last longer than how long your battery will last, you might be able to plug it in and charge it during the flight. In many airlines, electricity ports are offered in business class and first class, and only sometimes in economy class. If you can only fly economy class, call the airline and see if they offer electricity ports in their economy class section of the airplanes.

You will also still need to call in advance to let the airline know that you will be bringing your airline-approved oxygen concentrator with you on the flight. As of January of 2013, 21 oxygen concentrators are approved for inflight use.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

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