Going on holiday

Holidaying with oxygen

On this page, we explain the practicalities you should think about when holidaying with oxygen. Before you book a holiday, discuss your health needs with your respiratory specialist or GP.

Using oxygen on holiday in the UK

You can arrange oxygen for travelling within the UK through your oxygen provider. You will need to tell them your holiday details, including the dates and where you will stay. Give as much notice as you can - if possible - six weeks. This is most important during busy times like school holidays. But two weeks’ notice is often enough at less busy times of year.

Make sure the owner of the accommodation where you plan to stay is happy to have oxygen equipment and cylinders there and get their permission to store it. You should also make sure you know how to travel safely and securely with your oxygen. Your respiratory team and oxygen provider will be able to advise you if you are unsure. 

Using oxygen while travelling abroad

The government is currently advising against all but essential travel to some countries. Read the latest guidance from the Foreign Office on travelling abroad.

Our coronavirus hub has the latest guidance for people living with a lung condition.

If you need oxygen on your holiday abroad, you’ll need to arrange it at your destination before you travel. UK companies generally don’t allow their equipment to be taken outside the UK. Your respiratory specialist or oxygen supplier can give you details of oxygen providers abroad. You’ll need to organise and pay for this yourself. 

You can buy or hire portable concentrators but make sure you have a spare battery pack or back-up cylinder. And remember your international plug adapters. Keep one in your hand luggage and carry a spare!

Using oxygen while flying

If you plan to fly, you may need a fitness-to-fly test to confirm your need for in-flight oxygen. You can read more about this on the European Lung Foundation website.

You may not normally need oxygen, but may need it while flying due to the higher altitude. You may also need it if you go to an area at a higher altitude than you’re used to. You can test if you need oxygen at higher altitudes during the fitness-to-fly test. Your GP can help you to complete this test.

Airlines have their own rules about supplying oxygen and some charge to provide oxygen in-flight. Check with your airline before you book. Also check whether the flight is code-sharing. This is when a flight has one airline’s code and flight number but is operated by another one. You will need to check with each airline involved about their own oxygen policy.

The European Lung Foundation maintains a database of airline oxygen policies for passengers.

You can read more detail about oxygen therapy on our website. Our web community is also a useful place to ask about other people’s experiences of travelling with oxygen. 

Our friendly helpline team can answer your questions on getting oxygen, oxygen suppliers and travelling with oxygen. Give them a call on 03000 030 555

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: February 2021. Due for review: September 2021

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.