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Advice on Traveling with a Catheter

  • Synopsis: Published: 2017-07-17 - If you love to travel and explore new places, a catheter will not hold you back. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Aeroflow at

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Quote: "Many patients with a long voyage while using urinary catheters will choose to opt for a different type of catheter in order to streamline this experience."

If you are new to using a catheter, the prospect of traveling (especially flying) can be an scary one. It is reasonable that you might want to just stay at home and avoid the whole ordeal. But there's no need to be fearful! If you love to travel and explore new places, a catheter will not hold you back.

With some simple preparation and planning, you can travel with a catheter.

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Keep it clean! A UTI will run any vacation. The accessibility of sterile areas to catheterize (like a clean restroom), and the general risk of bacteria in unfamiliar settings can create problems if you're unprepared.

Use hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes as the first line of defense to keep your hands as clean as possible and sterilize any surfaces you will need in order to catheterize.

Always Be Prepared

You should bring enough for two days of additional supplies and pack the supplies in your carry-on bag. Keeping catheter supplies in your carry-on bag is a good insurance in case the airline loses a bag, or you need to cath before you get to your checked luggage.

Supplies you should pack:

  • Lubricants
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra catheters
  • Antibacterial wipes

Navigating Security

Some simple preparation will have you sailing through security. Step one, call the airline 72 hours before the flight so they can be aware and give you any specific details about traveling with your catheter.

Travelers requiring special accommodations or worried about the security screening process may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance.

For more information check TSA's website: and

As you know, you must divvy liquids to 3.4oz to get through security, but medications are exempt. It will make your experience easier if you divide lubricant into a smaller bottle.

Long Flight Strategies:

Whatever you do, do not avoid drinks. You need to stay hydrated to avoid infection. If you have an indwelling catheter, empty your bag before you board the plane because airplane bathrooms are notoriously dirty. When you sit, make sure there are no kinks in the catheter line. Some avoid drinks while flying, but that might not be a good idea.

If you have an intermittent catheter, empty your bladder before you board. If you need to cath during the flight, keep everything as clean as possible.

Traveling Abroad

If you are traveling to a country with poor water quality, you can bring ready-to-use hydrophilic catheters. Simply wash your hands before and after. Are you unsure if the water is high quality? If you can safely drink the water, you can use it for your catheter.

I have an intermittent catheter, are there other options?

Many patients with a long voyage while using urinary catheters will choose to opt for a different type of catheter in order to streamline this experience. For extremely long routes, patients can inquire about an Indwelling Foley catheter so there is no need to continually catheterize during their trip.

The need to catheterize less frequently can lessen the chances of encountering less-than-ideal hygiene conditions while catheterizing, which limits the risk of infection. Some patients will even opt for a closed catheter system for travel, as this will considerably lower the risk of infection when catheterizing.

While convenient, the insurance and Medicare guidelines for this system are very stringent and patients should adequately research and discuss this option with a catheter provider.

Learn More About Urinary Catheters from Aeroflow

Aeroflow offers urinary catheters specific your needs from industry leaders like Bard, Cure, Coloplast, Hollister, Teleflex and MTG. The catheters they supply are designed with patient comfort and ease of use in mind. Whether you need a short or long term solution, Aeroflow provides top quality catheters that ship right to your door with our easy ordering service and attentive team of experts who can answer any questions that you might have. For further information visit

Related Information:

  1. Urinary Tract Infections: Signs, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment - Information regarding urinary tract infection (UTI) in females and males, includes symptoms and current treatment options - Thomas C. Weiss
  2. Urine Colors Chart: Meaning of Pee Color & Smell - The color and density, even the smell of your urine, can reveal factors regarding your state of health - Ian Langtree
  3. Ostomies: Types and Pouching Systems - Information regarding the most common specific types of ostomies and one or two-piece pouching systems - Thomas C. Weiss

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