Wherever you take your break, it’s important to be well prepared for travelling.

Location, location, location

If you or your child has PH, the first thing to consider when planning a holiday is the location. Whether you decide to stay in the UK or travel abroad, there are lots of things to check before choosing the best destination for you.

For example, how far a journey are you comfortable with, how are you going to get there and when would be the best time to make your journey? What temperature is ideal for you? It’s nice to get a bit of sun but extreme heat can make people with PH feel tired and breathless. And boring but essential, you may want to consider your proximity to a hospital, in case you need emergency treatment.

You may also want to take a close look at your hotel or room – how easy is it to get to? Is there a lift? Most accessibility information for hotels can be found on their website but it’s always good to give them a quick call to check too. Many people find that booking through a travel agent can be useful, as you then have one point of contact for questions about any aspect of your holiday.

Breathe easy

Travelling by air with oxygen will require a fair amount of additional planning and unfortunately, due to tightening regulations and security, it has become more difficult to organise your own oxygen for flights.

Obtaining expert help is essential and fortunately, companies specialising in oxygen can help by supplying PH patients with portable concentrators for flights that don’t provide oxygen themselves.  

Pure o2 can help with supplying PH patients with portable concentrators for flights that don’t provide oxygen themselves, and they can also supply oxygen to use whilst holidaying in the UK, or for travel abroad by other means.

They offer a rental service, delivering the unit a few days before departure to give you time to get to know it, and all hire fees are free of VAT. Also, should you wish to purchase equipment, Pure o2 offer this service as well. They also provide emergency backup services for all patients travelling abroad.

Adele Heath, one of the directors at Pure o2, said: “It’s really important, if you are planning to fly, that you seek advice from a professionally company like ours to ensure you are prepared. We have good relationships with all the major airlines and with over 16 years of experience, there’s not much we don’t know about flying or travelling with oxygen.”

As well as offering advice and organising rentals and sales, Pure o2 will liaise with the airline should any problem occur. They offer expert travel assistant on all matters, to help take the stress out of holidaying on oxygen.

They can be contacted on 0161 747 26 17 or via their website, www.healthoxygen.com If you do decide to fly then ultimately, our advice at PHA UK is to check with the airline before booking a flight to avoid wasting money.

Choosing to cruise

Omega Advanced Aeromedical offers a wide range of support services to help people with oxygen requirements plan worry-free holidays, and the company’s founder, Bill Quantrill, says they are seeing an increasing number of people with PH choose to sail instead of fly.

Cruising has always been a popular option for people with pulmonary hypertension and has become even more attractive now as a result of increasing difficulties associated with organising oxygen for flights.

Again, if you rely on oxygen to manage your PH, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have your supply covered for your holiday before you even set off.

He told Emphasis: “Cruises are so well-prepared to support passengers with any health issues and it’s the method of travel we now recommend for people who need to take an oxygen concentrator and a supply of oxygen cylinders along with them.”

Omega Advanced Aeromedical work in partnership with all the cruise liners and can deliver all the necessary equipment to people’s cabins ready for arrival.

“The equipment is all compatible with on-board electricity supplies and because there are such strict rules about the storage of gas and liquid oxygen – due to it being so flammable – we also liaise directly with stewards to ensure oxygen cylinders are kept in a safe storage place until they are needed.”

Bill’s team will endeavour to meet and greet wherever possible, at ports in Southampton, Dover and Harwich, and will discuss all specialist needs.

Omega Advanced Aeromedical can also arrange for customised on-board scooters, chairs and hoists. They can be contacted on 01273 308 176 or at info@omegaoxygen.com If you are travelling to America, their US office can be contacted on info@aeromedic.com