Tips for Travelling with Catheters
The team at Paralogic talk to customers every day, and our customers are always sharing tips with us that can make life easier. Here we share our best tips for travelling with catheters.
Travel Tip 1 – Pack your catheters in separate bags to avoid lost luggage problems
When travelling make sure to pack catheters in several different bags, including carry on and checked luggage in case the airline loses one of your bags. It is also important to carry a sufficient supply for several days use in case your bag doesn’t make it to your destination.
Travel Tip 2 – Pre-lubricated catheters – no mess, no fuss
Pre-lubricated catheters (often referred to as hydrophilic) are fantastic for when you are out and about. Generally, these catheters are smaller and are often telescopic so are different to use - we suggest you try one at home before you pack them for a trip. They are more expensive than single use catheters but are very travel friendly and discreet.
Travel Tip – Integrated Bag Catheters – No Toilet? No Worries!
Integrated Bag Catheters are a complete solution. These catheters are pre-lubricated and “no touch” allowing for a clean insertion. The system incorporates a bag for urine to drain into which means you can void, even if you can’t make it to a bathroom. These can be useful when travelling and also in destinations without accessible bathrooms.
- Female Integrated Bag Catheters (these catheters are standard male length but are suitable for use by men and women).
- Male Integrated Bag Catheters
Travel Tip 4 - Consider an indwelling Foley catheter
As an intermittent catheter user, travel can be daunting – we all know how cramped airline toilets are, especially if you have limited mobility. Did you know that when you are travelling you can use an indwelling Foley catheter with a valve or leg bag if getting to a toilet is going to be problematic, this also allows for lighter packing as you eliminate the need to carry intermittent catheters.
RE: Long haul flights.22 January 2019The most useful things I've found as an incomplete quad doing the ~ 15 hours (plus an hour or more with being first on and last off) on a repeated basis for my work commitments is to: 1. use an indwelling catheter and a catheter valve for the flight rather than having to try to insert an intermittent catheter in the confined space of an aircraft lavatory (be sure to pack a set for the return flight if you decide to take it out while you are away). 2. space and time your lavatory visits for when the cabin crew are not getting ready for meal services, etc. 3. do not overly restrict hydration since it may precipitate a UTI. 4. consider carrying a urine bag in your carry-on in case you need it. 5. finally - just in case - consider having gloves and lubricant in your carry-on in case 'travellers tummy' hits in mid-flight (it can, and has, happened).
Emergency Kit28 October 2018I live in a high rise unit in a remote area so need to be prepared for possible evacuation in the event of cyclone or fire. I am about to pack a kit with a box of catheters, sterile wipes, hand sanitiser. I will take it as cabin luggage on plane trips within Australia as in the past Qantas and Jetstar have allowed medical supplies in addition to the normal cabin luggage. When I need to use the catheters in this kit then it will be time to put in a new order as Australia Post take about 5 business days to deliver to Darwin and even the surgical suppliers up here don't stock catheters but order them from interstate.
Need letter from doctor if carrying lubricants24 October 2018I obtained a letter from my doctor describing my need to carry lubricants in my hand luggage (I carry then in both checked in and carry on luggage). When passing through Australian customs they objected to my lubricant tubes but allowed me through when I presented my doctors letter. I also carry a reusable catheter as a back up in case I run out of catheters.. Fear of being stranded without catheters is real so it is reassuring to know that Paralogic will send them ASAP. However I now travel regularly with 3 months catheter supply and spread them in both mine and my partners luggage and in hand luggage as well . I find that it isn't a problem when travelling.
What a good idea - with Airlines restricting liquids as hand luggage on planes a letter describing the need for lube could be beneficial. Just in case we also suggest a small tube size and some lubricant in sachets so as not to be caught out.
Portable catheter kits23 October 2018Cliny catheter kits are the best thing ever - I always carry one in my handbag and have one at work. These are like a tube with a catheter inside that you fill up with Milton solution so are both portable and reusable, as well as hygienic. They come with a case to store them in so don’t take up too much space and look innocuous (no one has ever asked me what it is when I take it out of my bag). I can also fit a wipe inside the case so this saves carrying a pack of wipes to the loo too. They are more expensive but last a lot longer so are really worth it. I use mine for about a month (not sure if there are any guidelines). They save on waste too :)
Container for catheters23 October 2018I use (new) plastic pencil cases for carrying female catheters - discreet going to and from toilet. Will hold up to 10 catheters along with wipes, hand sanitizer and plastic bags for disposal. I always fold catheter in half after use and reinsert into original packaging to take up less room in rubbish.
Running out of catheters while travelling23 October 2018I ran out of catheters once. No chemist I tried had them , so I went to the nearest hospital ER, whom supplied me enough to get home.
Running out of Catheters is never ideal. Most chemists do not stock catheters - if you get stuck you can always give us a call, depending on where you are and what time and day it is, we can get you catheters as soon as tomorrow! But it's better to plan ahead and not run out in the first place.
Draining a Urine Bag on a Plane23 October 2018When I am on board planes I makes sure I have an empty soft drink bottle with me. When need I discretely empty my leg bag into the soft drink bottle. Then I place the soft drink bottle into a plastic bag and it goes straight into the rubbish. This saves me having to move from my seat to empty a urine drainage bag. I also use essential oils to wipe my hands afterwards.
Long Haul Flights with Condom Catheters23 October 2018I travelled to Japan , 10 hours each way when I had only just started to use my catheter condom and 500 ml bag .. I had problems with leakage from the top of the condom due to one or possibly a combination of factors . 1; The change in air pressure 2; My penis shrinking 3; Falling asleep and my opposite leg pushing on the bag which was full or at least partly full . 4; On one occasion, due to my inexperience and/or tossing and turning while sleeping on the four empty seats i was lucky to have , the connection from the condom to the bag came adrift without me realising it . I hope this helps someone to avoid the problems I had . I think the product is excellent . My problems were with me not trying it out sufficiently and the laws if nature as I'm sure the change in air pressure contributed to my disasters . Since then I have had prostate surgery which I hope will fix the problem . Cheers Don
Travelling with catheters23 October 2018I have travelled many time with my catheters. Please pack enough for the duration of your travels sometimes they are hard to find. I always pack them across several bags even friends luggage. For day trips I use a small pouch which can hold 5 catheters with a small bottle of sanitiser and lubricant sachets. It works well for me. It takes time to find a system that works for yourself. Cheers
Running out of catheters while travelling23 October 2018Reuse is fraught with danger of infection and although a complete flush and putting in strong salt solution will work for maybe just one reuse, it is not the best solution. In my experience, I have always been surprised that they are not generally available at chemists around the country. Maybe this can be addressed in future through the relevant Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Using an indwelling catheter, (travel tip 4), once gave me a bad infection so I cannot recommend this solution when traveling. Maybe ok for some.