With the warmer months often comes the urge to travel. A feeding tube does not have to prevent you from joining in the fun or having a great vacation. To help make traveling with a feeding tube as smooth and seamless as possible, here are some helpful tips:
The most important step for traveling with a feeding tube is planning well in advance of your travel. Planning should include not only picking the locations you want to visit, but checking to see if there are hospitals or doctors nearby in case you have an emergency, creating a comprehensive packing list—and allowing time to order supplies —as well as scoping out access to sights if you are going to be porting equipment or in a wheelchair.
Contact your home care provider
Part of the planning ahead phase of gearing up for travel should involve contacting your home care provider in enough time to order extra supplies. Also, make any necessary additional arrangements, such as a portable travel pump, or finding out if supplies can be shipped to your destination. Additionally, alert your home care provider of your travel situation in case you have trouble with broken equipment on the go.
Pack more than you need
When it comes to supplies, too much is always better than not enough! Also, accidents happen: things can get lost or broken, or exposed to heat and cold. The Oley Foundation recommends you make a list of things you typically use for feeding in a given week, and then double up on those supplies. The Feeding Tube Awareness site has recommendations for what to pack and considerations for what you can and cannot bring on an airplane.
Make an emergency plan
The goal of your travels is to have fun, and the best way to rest and enjoy your visit is to know that you have all your bases covered in the event of an emergency. Bring an Emergency Medical Record Card with you, complete with all necessary information tied to your specific medical needs that a health professional can refer to. Ask your doctor for possible referrals in the city or country you’re visiting.
Allow extra time
Consider that everything on your trip may take you extra time, from getting through security at the airport, to visiting sights. Arm yourself with patience and vigilance but ultimately, have fun.
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