Nothing beats a summer jaunt, and planning ahead is the key to enjoying a relaxing break – whether it’s in the UK or further afield. Here are some important things to consider when preparing for a trip away…

Check that you’re able to travel by plane – and request a fitness to fly letter in good time

Before you book a flight, check with your specialist centre that you can travel on a plane. You may need a ‘fitness to fly’ letter, and this will need to be issued by your specialist centre within 14 days of your flight. But please get in touch with them as soon as you know you’ll be flying, ideally at least six weeks beforehand. This is really important as it gives consultants time to prepare the letter and send it out at the appropriate time.

Get organised with oxygen (and factor in a cost)

Even if you’re not normally on oxygen, you may need it to fly, especially if it’s a long-haul flight. Your specialist centre will be able to advise on this too.

You may need to hire a concentrator, so this needs to be factored into your holiday costings. If you own a portable oxygen concentrator, check with the airline to ensure they will allow your individual concentrator on the flight.

If you are planning to cruise, it’s also important to check with the operator that your oxygen needs can be accommodated.

Budget for travel insurance

his is important for peace of mind if you are holidaying abroad. Unfortunately, people with health conditions like PH have to pay more for travel insurance, so consider this when budgeting for your break.  

The following insurance companies have been recommended to us by PHA UK members who have had good experiences with them when travelling abroad (recommendations correct as of April 2024):

Staysure – 0800 033 4902

Avanti – 0800 888 6195

Able2travel – 0845 839 9345

Freedom Travel – 0870 774 3760

When taking out your cover, you must declare that you have pulmonary hypertension, even if it’s very stable. And you must declare any other pre-existing conditions too. It can be tempting not to, in order to keep the costs down, but it’s simply not worth the gamble.

Make sure you have enough medication

This is important even when you’re holidaying in the UK. Always take more than you think you will need, in case of delays. And if you’re flying, split your medication between your hand luggage and hold luggage – just in case.

If you’re taking drugs or medical equipment through airport security, make sure you have a letter from your doctor that explains why you need them.


  • Always keep a list of your medication and important telephone numbers on you, in case of emergency, and make sure the details of your specialist centre are included.
  • Keep your medication in a safe in your hotel room.
  • Take two copies of your most recent PH clinic letter with you on your travels.
  • Consider booking through a travel agent if you want one point of contact for questions about your holiday.