We know that traveling with primary immunodeficiency (PI) can be difficult. However, there are ways to prepare to make it less stressful.
Take the following into consideration and share these plans with your healthcare team before leaving. And remember, you can always call a MyIgSource Patient Advocate at 1-855-250-5111 to discuss traveling. Since all MyIgSource advocates are either a person living with PI themselves or someone who has a loved one with PI, they know firsthand what it is like to travel with PI.
When planning a vacation, it's important to consider the overall safety of your destination. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains up-to-date information for travelers about health concerns in other countries. Talk to your healthcare team about whether the destination you have in mind is a good choice for you, and what extra precautions you may need to take. If you have to be away for an extended period of time, consider finding an immunologist near your destination who may be able to treat you if needed. It may also be worth locating an immunologist in case of emergency.
Your Infusion Planning
To limit potential complications, try to plan your time away from home around your infusions: schedule them just before leaving or as soon as you return, if possible.
Your Packing List
Bring all necessary medical supplies when packing. To make sure all your items are readily available, be sure to pack them in your carry-on bag for easy access. For rules surrounding Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening of medical supplies, visit the TSA website.
Also consider bringing additional information about your or your family's health, including healthcare records, names and dosages of medications, and extra copies of insurance cards.
Finally, your Ig manufacturer may offer a travel kit to help make traveling easier. To learn more about complimentary travel kits available for Shire Ig treatments, speak to one of our advocates at 1-855-250-5111.
Traveling With PI
Traveling is an enjoyable part of life, but can be stressful for individuals living with primary immunodeficiency (PI). However, there are ways to prepare to make it less stressful.
Your Healthcare Team
Speak to your healthcare team well before your trip. The questions below can help you make sure you are having an effective conversation; consider using them as a discussion guide.
- Are there any places you think are not prudent for me to visit?
- Are there any precautions I need to take before visiting the destination I have in mind?
- Do I need to make any adjustments to my infusion schedule? Should I do an infusion before I leave or immediately after returning?
- If there is an emergency while I'm traveling, whom should I have the physicians treating me contact and what is the best way to do this?
- Is there an immunologist you trust in the area I'll be traveling?
While You Travel
In addition to normal illness-prevention techniques, such as frequent hand-washing and not sharing drinks with people who may be sick, you may want to take some extra precautions when traveling. Some tips may include:
- Bringing extra layers of clothing when you will be outside for a prolonged period of time.
- Carrying snacks when you are away in case meal time gets delayed.
- Packing antibacterial hand wipes in case you don't have good access to a place to wash your hands.
- Not drinking well water or water from a stream, particularly when camping, because it may have higher concentrations of bacteria or parasites.