Having a feeding tube or IV line can make traveling stressful. Learn to enjoy travel with nutrition support by planning ahead and knowing what to expect.
Top 6 Steps To Prepare for Travel
- Consult with your healthcare provider prior to arranging your travel to determine if it is appropriate and how to handle an emergency while away. You may find it helpful to have your physician write a letter to explain the need for the supplies and formula you will be traveling with. Have the physician’s letter accessible to you at all times, along with a day’s worth of supplies.
- Prepare for a possible emergency by having a plan of action. Identify hospitals on your travel route and where you will be staying. Discuss with your physician appropriate steps to take if you become ill or are unable to give yourself your nutrition while away.
- Make arrangements for refrigeration at your destination for storing your PN bag or opened, unused cans of formula.
- Prepare your list of supply needs ahead of time. Pack a couple extra of each of your commonly used supplies in the event of loss or breakage. At a minimum, you should always have flushing supplies with you.
- Make a list of phone numbers for your doctors, agencies, and home health companies. If you need assistance or have a problem, this will make it easy to contact someone.
- Call Option Care Health in advance of your travel to notify us so we can support you and help arrange your delivery.
Flying? Use the following tips to assist you prior to your air travel:
- Contact the airline, train, or transportation security authorities at least 72 hours in advance of your travel as to whether your medical supplies are allowed through security checkpoints.
- When traveling by air, pack 1-2 days’ worth of formula/TPN and supplies in your carry-on bag. You may need to obtain a letter from your physician, explaining the medical necessity of the formula/supplies, to expedite the TSA screening process. TPN will need to be in a cooler with ice packs while not in use.
- Carry feeding supplies and formula separately from other luggage to make screening easier
- Put everything in zippered plastic bags so that when you get to the security checkpoint, it will be easy to pull them out without having to dig through your whole carry-on bag.
- Declare your items to a security officer ahead of time. Security checkpoint inspectors may choose to test your pump or inspect more closely for safety reasons.
- Allow extra time in case you run into delays at security. This is advised for all travelers, but going through the security screening process with larger-than-usual quantities of medical liquids and individuals with special needs can take extra time.
- Consider applying for the TSA Pre✓® option if you travel regularly. This may expedite your time through security.