Going on holiday

How and where can I travel?

Everyone looks forward to going on holiday and getting away from their routine. But if you’re living with a lung condition, or looking after someone who is, it can take a bit more planning.

How do I know if I can travel?

Travelling with a lung condition in the UK doesn’t usually present too many issues. If you use oxygen, it is relatively easy to arrange for your oxygen provider to deliver your oxygen equipment to any part of the UK. You will also know how you would cope with a long car journey to Cornwall or a coach trip to Blackpool.

But travelling abroad can present some additional challenges to consider, particularly if you’re flying. And if you use oxygen, you will also need to plan ahead to make sure it’s there when you need it.

Before planning a trip, always speak to your doctor or health care professional to ask whether you are fit enough to travel as there may be some additional tests they want to carry out.

“We have had a fabulous holiday for nearly 3 weeks that has just been delightful. My husband has been well and has walked more during the holiday than he probably has all year.” Tracey

Where can I holiday?

The world is your oyster. But think about things like:

  • Climate: many people with lung conditions prefer warm climates that have salty air such as by the Mediterranean Sea. Lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes, such as in mountains, can make breathing difficulties worse.
  • Temperature: extremes of hot and cold weather can affect your feelings of breathlessness and lead to a flare-up of your condition.
  • Terrain: whether your destination is flat or on a hill, could affect your ability to get around comfortably.
  • Transport availability: the types of transport available at your destination.
  • Whether you have any special needs, such as oxygen treatment or wheelchair access. 

Holiday tips

  • Plan in advance: if you leave things to the last minute, you could forget something crucial. Think about how far you can walk, how many stairs you can manage, how accessible the toilets will be and what transport you can use.
  • Be realistic: places you liked in the past may not be suitable now. Pick a trip you – and your carer - can cope with physically.
  • Shop around: different insurance companies have different policies for people with lung conditions, so find the best deal for you. Many travel agents offer holidays for people with special requirements.
  • Ask questions: travel agencies are used to dealing with special requirements. They should be able to answer all of your queries and concerns. You can also ask other holidaymakers on many websites and our own web community. Our friendly helpline team are also a great source of information. Give them a call on 03000 030 555.

Next: Holidays in the UK >

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Download our going on holiday PDF (387KB)

Last medically reviewed: March 2018. Due for review: March 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.