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Going on holiday

How and where can I travel?

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

On this page:

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.

How do I know if I can travel if I have a lung condition?

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.

Travelling with a lung condition in the UK doesn’t usually present too many issues. Lots of travel providers offer assistance to customers and you’ll be more aware of what to expect. If you use oxygen, it’s relatively easy for your oxygen provider to deliver your oxygen equipment to any part of the UK.

But travelling abroad can present some additional challenges, 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.

Where can I go on holiday if I have a lung condition?

We all have different and individual preferences when it comes to booking a holiday. But you should 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: is your destination hilly or rocky? This 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. 

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has useful guidance for planning a holiday that meets your needs at every stage.

Tips for going on holiday with a lung condition

  • 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 or travel companion - can cope with physically.
  • Be prepared: it’s important to plan ahead to make sure you have all the medication and equipment you need in advance.
  • 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 about their experiences on our web community. Our friendly helpline team are a great source of information. Give them a call on 03000 030 555

Read next: Holidays in the UK

Download our going on holiday information (PDF, 250KB)

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.