Going on holiday with a lung condition

Hi all,

A new year has begun and many people have started the year by planning ahead a holiday - whether that's a trip to the seaside, perhaps a cruise break or maybe a trip abroad to a warmer climate.

We've got a useful section on our website covering things that you should think about if you are planning a holiday - there's lots of tips, ideas and suggestions of things to think about: blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

We also have produced a booklet called 'Going on holiday with a lung condition' which you can order for free, or download, from this page: shop.blf.org.uk/products/go...

It would be great to hear of your experiences of going on holiday with a lung condition, feel free to share your stories below :-)

Best wishes,


19 Replies

  • Thanks for the info Ben, we don't go abroad now and just take short breaks in the UK. We do try and go to Hotels for comfort plus breakfast and an evening meal. As long as Pete can have all his home comforts and use his nebuliser he's fine. I sometimes worry about people hearing him choke when nebulising but not much can be done about that. Xxxxx

  • I was invited to a holiday with some of my friends from my darts teams late last year. I didn't go mainly because none of them seemed to understand that I wasn't as fit as them, even though I am around the same age, and couldn't do all the things they wanted to do.

    I didn't want to spoil their holiday and did chat with them first about it saying I would be quite happy if they went off and left me alone etc. However I decided not to put myself into the position of being told to 'hurry up' if they were going too fast for me or walking up hills etc. or attracting comments such as 'come on - you sitting down again', or the raised eyebrows. Knowing them I realised this would happen. It would have ruined the holiday for me so don't regret my decision even though I haven't been abroad for 9 years and would have loved a holiday. x

  • What a shame Bev but l do know what you mean. Xxx

  • My last hols was a few days in London in 2014 which was great coz both me and my friend have copd and bad backs! It worked out very well :) Mind you we took ages to get anywhere... x

  • Oh well Bev you managed to get away. No rush though with a like minded person. Take care xxxxxx😘

  • Oh Bev

    What a shame you missed out...

    Did you not think of hiring a mobility scooter wherever you were staying....You could have kept up with them then on their Pub crawls 😂

    After a day, they would all want one !😂


  • Oh no velvet I am a long way off needing a mob scooter thank goodness. I just get a bit slower when I am tired and find hills difficult. I sit down quite a lot coz of my bad back. Cute idea though :D x

  • Hi Bev

    I don't need one yet, but if l had the chance for a girly holiday, and was worried l couldn't keep up with them, l would hire one in a flash...

    Go for it next time Gal, and let your hair down and grab some fun 😂😂😂


  • I started to reply to you and then hit a wrong key and it disappeared, so if two posts come up on here, that's why!

    I completely understand what you mean, @coughalot2.

    We have good friends who try to be supportive but they clearly haven't got it as they have invited us to join them on a coach holiday to Scotland - we live on the south coast in Sussex.

    It would be a very long journey, I would cough most of the morning, I get vertigo so could be sick on the coach and getting on and off could be a real challenge if I have an exacerbation.

    Add to this the fact that they do everything at 90 miles an hour and I think it has the potential to be a very stressful experience.

    Like you, I would like to go, but just don't think my friends realise what the issues are. If you go on holiday together with others, you don't want them to be waiting for you all the time even if they are willing, but I think the willingness would wear off after a day or two. If it didn't, I don't think I could bear the thought of being 'looked after'.

    All I want to do is have a holiday at my own pace without causing bother to anyone else, and I'm sure you want the same.

    All the best,


  • Exactly Moy though I am fine on long journeys - it's just doing a lot of walking which gets me. When they returned they told me they had walked for miles and I gave an inward shudder and was very glad I didn't go!

    I think some of us should go away together :) x

  • You made the right decision for you by the sound of it!

    Our friends also go walking miles every week and can't sit still for two minutes. They always have to be on the go. It would drive them nuts to spend a whole week with me. I've never been a great walker but now it's even worse - I can do a reasonable distance on the flat - slowly - but give me a hill and I'm useless!

    Maybe we should set up a tour company! We could call it 'Breathless.com' although that might get the wrong sort of attention! Lol!

  • Ha ha Moy it certainly would! A couple of times I have been to visit a friend in Cheltenham in March and we go to the races. Fine except her brother and his wife along with their grown up children go and they stride out at the speed of light. Me and my friend have long given up trying to keep up with them.

    We spend a lot of time in the beer and music hall sitting down and watching the races on the big screen instead. Both of us have mild/moderate copd and bad backs so we just take things at our own pace.

    I look at her family and think - one day hey? x

  • If anyone would like to take me on holiday feel free :)

  • Hi Mandy

    What a nice thought but unfortunately I have had to lend my daughter fifty quid and my breathing has not been too good, however thanks for the offer and hope you enjoy yourself ..............Dream on rock chick lol

    Hope you are ok keep smiling


  • Dose it talk of british isles and oxygen use loans returns as few members have been told lies when it comes to british isles and nhs agreements

  • I'm always a bit nervous before I go on holiday for fear of picking up a cold or flu but I always take my emergency pack with me and I go out of season less kids about

  • Thanks for this, Ben. I will do some downloading My daughter has moved to Vancouver so suspect this will be my next visit. I am sure I will find all your information very useful. Thank you again.

  • Thanks for info Ben. I have copd, asthma and use a bi-pap but still go abroad when i can. I have to admit to getting quite anxious the weeks before, as i'm so nervous about getting an exacerbation, plus there's so much to organise. I contact the airline passenger assistance to book wheelchair in the airport and also oxygen on board. There are several forms to complete for their medical services team to authorise, i also get them signed by my Consultant as my GP charges for this! I have an altitude test at the hospital to make sure my lungs can cope with the flight and lastly organise all of my medications, making sure i pack a couple of days extra 'just in case'. Oh yes, also have to give airlines info on serial numbers on nebuliser and bi-pap, plus which type of battery i have. Lastly i make sure battery for nebuliser is charged up in case i need to use it on the flight. There are a lot of hoops to jump through and you really have to want to go, and have to be very determined! I managed to get away to Barbados for my 50th birthday 2 years ago with my husband and daughter and had a lovely time, even though we had to go it very slowly as the high humidity affected my breathing quite badly. We also went to a friend's wedding in South Africa 3 years ago, as my husband was best man and it was an 11.5 hr long flight! It did take me a few days to get over it, but as we went for 3 weeks it wasn't so much of an issue. I'm sure there'll come a time when i can't do this any more and we certainly take less flights than we used to, but i intend to carry on as long as i can, as much for my husband as for myself.

  • Hi my name is Annie live in cairns far north Queensland Australia. My oxygen levels are always high but when u flt i get very distressed and breathless have severe emphysema Why is this and any suggestions on what i can do .? Thankyou

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