Tips for Traveling with EGIDs
For the family that has a member with EGID, traveling can be challenging. Here, we suggest some tips that can ease some of the travel burden and pave the way for a smooth trip.
- If you are flying, review the policies and procedures of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), particularly the “Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions” and the “Permitted and Prohibited Items” pages. All medications, formula, etc., above the allowed travel size must be disclosed to TSA.
- Pack all your medical supplies in one carry-on bag. This includes prescriptions and formula. It’s also a good idea to pack enough “safe” food that can be eaten for at least 24 hours on the plane, in the event of an unforeseen delay.
- Ask your doctor for a letter confirming the medical necessity of any pump, formula, and medications. Be sure to include the actual travel dates in the letter.
- If you will be staying in a hotel, call ahead and request a microwave, refrigerator, clean plates, and utensils.
- If the hotel offers food options, speak to the head chef to see if they can accommodate your dietary restrictions.
- If you have allergies to down, pets or latex, let the hotel know ahead of time so they can plan accordingly.
- Call stores in the area you will be staying to see if they carry “safe” foods you may need. Some stores will even hold the food for you. Also, contact area restaurants to see if they can accommodate your needs.
- If you are traveling outside your home country, make sure to see if you can find “safe” food while away. Countries have different rules and regulations on what ingredients need to be listed on food packaging. Your “safe” crackers in your home country may not be safe for you in the country you are visiting.
- Ship formula to your destination so that it will be there when you arrive (if you are staying in a hotel, contact them beforehand to make the necessary arrangements).
- If you will be on the road, cook food ahead of time and keep it in a cooler with ice or dry ice.
- Carry medical information in a folder in case of an emergency, and wear medical identification jewelry. You might also consider sewing a patch to the seatbelt of the patient that directs emergency personnel to the medical information folder.
Keep in mind that nowadays allergies are much more common. Many resorts, hotels and restaurants are educated in allergies and are accommodating. Just make sure you do your homework ahead of time, and your trip will be much more enjoyable!
Travel Assistance for Medical Care and Flight Sources
National Patient Air Transport HELPLINE 1-800-296-1217
Angel Flights 1-800-296-1217
Angel Flight America 1-800-446-1231
Air LifeLine 1-877-AIRLIFE
Air Care Alliance 1-918-745-0384
Corporate Angel Network 1-800-328-4226
Hope Air (CANADA) 1-877-346-4673
Mercy Medical Airlift 1-800-296-1191
Miracle Flights for Kids 1-702-261-0494
Continental Care Force 1-281-261-6626 (Bob Jack)
Delta SkyWish 1-877-327-8211
American Airlines Miles For Kids in Need 1-817-963-8118
Southwest Airlines (Civic and Charitable Contributions Dept)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car 5% discount for APFED members use ID#: 17C6848 PIN: PCV
Ronald McDonald House
Ronald McDonald Houses provide temporary housing for families traveling with children for pediatric medical care. RMH are near many major medical centers. For more information, or to find a RMH, visit the Ronald McDonald House Charity website
National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses (NAHHH)
Office: 828-253-1188 Toll-Free: 1-800-542-9730
This is a corporate housing company. All of the accommodations are fully furnished 1, 2
or 3 bedroom apartments and are not necessarily near a hospital. However, if ground transportation is available, for the long-term stay, they are excellent. Bridgestreet has some contracts with various hospitals around the country for discounts to traveling families. Please inquire as to whether they have availability at your required destination.