A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking.  ~Earl Wilson

These are tips I have purely based on experience. I follow all of them myself when I take a plane somewhere and offer them here to help any of you traveling. May they help ease your anxiety so you may enjoy yourself! We all need a little time out from life!

  • Make sure to visit each of your doctors within two weeks before your flight to make sure you are healthy enough for the trip and to have all your medications filled so you don’t run out while you are away
  • Print out and complete the Travel packets found on the Oley site (download the whole packet so you can fill it in on your computer if you want and discard the info that isn’t important for you)
  • Have your doctor sign the documents you printed out (I printed out 4 copies – 1 for me, 1 for each airport, and 1 for the hospital should I need to be seen while away)
  • Call ahead and have your TPN or Formula and all your supplies for the time you’ll be away, shipped to your destination. It eliminates the fear of forgetting something important. Most companies have offices around the country and can easily ship to anywhere you go, even out of the country. Make sure you know the exact date your shipment of supplies will arrive at your destination and that there will be someone there to take care of it. I know my TPN had to be taken immediately to the fridge as Arizona is HOT outside and will kill my TPN if not taken care of properly.
  • Check-in online 24 hours before your flight so you can change seats, trying to get one with more leg room
  • At check-in (checking baggage or not, I did) ask for an escort pass – I had my husband, and my parents on the way back, escort me through the checkpoints as it made it easier for them to keep an eye on my things (and my dog) as I was taken aside and patted down
  • Tell TSA everything you have before even starting the pat down. Some, it will be their first encounter with your setup.
  • GO THROUGH THE CHECK POINTS HOOKED UP TO YOUR FEEDS, it just makes it easier for them to believe you and be comfortable with everything
  • They will swipe down all of your things that cannot go through the scanner (pump, backpack, medical supplies, formula) and make sure there is no bomb residue on it
  • Your escorts can go straight through to the gate if you want. I find having people there helps with the anxiety. It was my first attempt to fly since the rules were changed last December.
  • If travelling with a service dog, like I did, tell the flight attendants before you board to make sure your seat will be good enough for a service dog (Sea-tac kept the seat next to me open – I opted for the isle seat – so that my dog would have more room when they learned of my service dog…again, Sea-tac is amazing)
  • 4 Responses

  • Kailee says...

    I just wanted to comment that there are quite a few TPN companies that won’t ship TPN/supplies to your destination. I had two in the past, so this is what I did–maybe it will help someone else. I would start by lining a suitcase with a towel, then I’d put my TPN in, and lastly I’d surround it with ice packs. I’d then fold the towel around them to catch any leaks as the ice packs thawed (although I put them in plastic bags) and to insulate everything as well. I would pack what supplies I could into the suitcase (always take extra supplies just in case!) and then I’d put the rest in with my clothes. I’d also pack several TPN bags into a carry-on suitcase with ice and take them on the plane with me. I’ve traveled with as many as 14 TPN bags like this, so three suitcases plus the carry-on. The suitcases are VERY heavy and it can get quite expensive to pay overweight fees on top of what you’re already paying for the bags. I’ve always told the person checking in my bags that they contained medical supplies and that it was my understanding that I didn’t have to pay extra if I was transporting medical supplies. I don’t think this is actually true, but it has worked every time!! It’s a huge pain to travel this way, but I’ve traveled all over the US like this and I’ve done it all by myself (and I’m pretty small), so it is possible! My TPN has always stayed cold too. When I got to my destination, if a refrigerator wasn’t available (and even if one was, my TPN bags didn’t usually fit into one), I’d stop at a drug store and buy a few styrofoam ice chests and pack them with hotel ice. I’ve also had a hotel keep my TPN in their refrigerators, although some hotels will refuse or be hesitant to do this because of food regulations/not really knowing what it is. Another option I just learned about from another TPN consumer is to buy collapsible coolers and pack TPN into them and check those as baggage and then you don’t need to buy coolers. The website for the coolers is: http://www.polarbearcoolers.com/ (go under the ‘medical’ section. They’re expensive but they’re having a sale, buy one got one free, just enter the code 2112).

  • Kirby says...

    Thanks Kailee, for an alternative solution to travelling with TPN. I haven’t had an issue with the company I receive my TPN from but I’m sure there are many others who might come across this issue. Your solution helps people become more independent.

  • Kirby says...

    What size of cooler did you get? I have to go home for the holidays and for my sister’s wedding and I’m afraid that this trip (longer than the last) will require more space in an already packed refrigerator (that’s what happens when you live around people who eat stuff!). A small fridge might be an option as I’d like to visit more often, but just for this trip – I need something that can hold about 10 2000mL TPN bags + IV meds.

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