If you use a catheter, you may feel restricted when it comes to getting out of the house. Fortunately, there are options for you that can help make travel much less tasking! Here are some methods, tips, and pieces of advice that you can apply to your outings.
Every trip involves some preparation. For catheter users, thinking in advance is a must. Some users consider purchasing closed-catheter systems for their ease of use while traveling. If these systems are not paid for by insurance, and are too pricey for everyday use, it could be useful for rare occasions.
Don’t forget to bring antibacterial wipes! Sanitizing your catheter and hands before insertion can decrease the possibility of infection.
Be sure you pack enough supplies by counting how many times you catheterize each day, then multiply it by the number of days you’ll be gone. It’s better to have extras than not enough!
For short-term travels like daily errands, weekend getaways, or other brief journeys, keep your supplies together in a small backpack or shoulder bag. Many catheter users have developed common methods of relief during small excursions with friends and family:
- Leave with an emptied or newly changed bag
- Extra-long tubing means no restroom is a challenge
- Use a large leg bag or night time bag to avoid frequent stops
- Empty your bag in a private area if it gets full while out and away from restrooms
- If you don’t have bags with openings, carry extras to avoid emergencies
If you’re wheelchair-bound, be sure to ask where the nearest handicap accessible restrooms are.
Long-term travels lasting several days or longer can be simplified by shipping your bulk supplies to your destination ahead of time.
When traveling by plane, call your airline for quicker security clearance. Look into the TSA policies for handicap or disability ordinances in terms of how to properly meet your needs in-flight.
Here are a few of the basic airport requirements you should know:
- All liquid items should measure to no more than 3.4floz – this includes lubricants and water packets
- Keep liquid items together in a clear, resealable bag (a 1qt bag should do)
- Keep what you will need during the duration of the flight, and store your extras in the checked baggage
Options and support systems can be found in many places. If you have questions, start by speaking to your doctor or healthcare provider! Remember that although going out seems challenging, it should not keep you from doing what you love. Catheters are meant to make your life and health more positive and should not deter you from traveling.