- Press Release Distribution

Make a list, check it twice with these heart-healthy holiday travel hacks

As the busiest travel season of the year approaches, the American Heart Association has tips to ease travel worries for people living with health conditions like heart disease and stroke

( DALLAS, Nov. 16, 2023 — For people living with a health condition like heart disease or stroke, traveling away from home can pose some special challenges. The American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives for all, says with a little pre-travel prep, you can turn travel woes from “oh no” to “let’s go!”

“As we look forward to the holidays, many people will be traveling to spend treasured time with family and friends, or maybe just to enjoy some relaxation on the beach or ski slopes. For some that just means throwing a few essentials into a backpack and hitting the roads or airways,” said Gladys Velarde, M.D., FAHA, a national volunteer with the American Heart Association and a professor of medicine at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. “It’s not always that simple for people who have chronic health conditions that require multiple medications or special medical equipment. There are also considerations for how to maintain your health and not put yourself at increased risk.”

Velarde said that doesn’t mean travel is off limits if you have a chronic health condition. A little planning and preparation can take the stress out of travel and prepare you for your next big adventure.

Check in with your health care provider – Talk to your primary care physician or specialist about your travel plans and any special considerations related to your health. They can offer personalized guidance on any restrictions or precautions you need to keep in mind. It’s also a good idea to carry a copy of your key medical records and a list of phone numbers for your doctors, including emergency contact information. Manage your medications – Make sure medications are clearly labeled and that you have enough to last your entire trip. Carry a list of all medications, including dosages and pharmacy information. If you’re traveling across time zones, work with your health care provider to adjust medication schedules appropriately. Some medications may need to be refrigerated, so you’ll need to research how to pack those appropriately for airport security or other transport and ensure you’ll have a refrigerator in your hotel or other lodging. Plan for transporting medical devices and supplies – Whether you’re traveling by airplane, bus, train, cruise ship or other means, you will want to plan ahead if you have any special medical equipment. If you use a wheelchair, walker or other assistance for getting around, you may need to check in with the company you’ll be traveling with for how to transport those. That also goes for portable oxygen devices or CPAP machines. Don’t forget to pack your blood pressure or glucose monitor if you use one regularly. “Depending on where you’re traveling, you’ll also want to do some research and planning specific to the location,” Velarde said. “The local climate and elevation may impact how you feel – extreme heat or cold can affect circulation and put extra strain on your heart. In high altitudes there is less oxygen in the air, and that means less oxygen will be carried in your blood. You’ll want to familiarize yourself with the local emergency numbers and the location of nearby medical facilities and pharmacies of the area where you’re visiting.

The American Heart Association has an interactive map to find hospitals across the U.S. recognized for consistently following up-to-date, research-based treatment guidelines for heart and stroke care.

Velarde said air travel is especially busy during the holiday season, and planning ahead can make the experience easier.

Walking through busy airports can take a toll. When booking your ticket request a wheelchair or courtesy cart to get to your terminal. If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) you may need to go through a special security screening at the airport. Long plane rides, especially flights longer than 4 hours, may increase your risk for blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Consider wearing compression socks and get up and walk around the cabin when it’s safe to do so to help improve your circulation. You can also exercise your calf muscles and stretch your legs while you're sitting with some simple heel and toe lifts. Getting stuck in an airport during flight delays can be frustrating, but in many U.S. airports, you can turn that lousy layover into a lifesaving experience. Look for specially marked kiosks in some cities where you can learn the two easy steps of Hands-Only-CPR through an interactive teaching module.

Know the signs of a heart attack, stroke or cardiac arrest and if you or someone you’re with experience any symptoms, call 9-1-1. EMS can often start treatment immediately and put a hospital on alert for the type of emergency care needed.

“Maintaining your health while you’re traveling is also important. Stay well hydrated, don’t overindulge in food or drink, know your physical activity limits, pace yourself and rest as often as you need,” Velarde said. “Anticipating a big trip can be stressful for many – and stress is not good for your health. Every individual’s condition is unique, and you’ll want to tailor your travel plans to your specific needs. By taking a little time now to plan and prepare, you can enjoy your holiday or vacation can be just what the doctor ordered to help you unwind and recharge.

Learn more about healthy traveling at

Additional Resources:

Multimedia is available in the right column of the release link. Spanish news release willbe added as available.  Use this medication chart to keep a copy of your prescriptions. AHA health information: Travel and Heart Disease | American Heart Association AHA News: Advance planning can lower risks of high-altitude activities for people with heart disease Follow us on X (formerly known as Twitter) @HeartNews ###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, X or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.




Two new clinical trials find first-ever safe and effective treatment to prevent multidrug-resistant TB in both children and adults: Results presented at the Union Conference in Paris

PARIS (16 November, 2023)—Two landmark clinical trials reported today at the Union meeting showed that an oral antibiotic taken for six months once-daily substantially reduced the risk of developing drug-resistant TB. The antibiotic levofloxacin safely reduced the risk of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) disease in children by 56%, researchers from the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at Stellenbosch University announced at the Union Conference in Paris today. The Unitaid-funded trial also showed that levofloxacin given once ...

AI model can help predict survival outcomes for patients with cancer

Investigators from the UCLA Health Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model based on epigenetic factors that is able to predict patient outcomes successfully across multiple cancer types. The researchers found that by examining the gene expression patterns of epigenetic factors — factors that influence how genes are turned on or off — in tumors, they could categorize them into distinct groups to predict patient outcomes across various cancer types better than traditional measures like cancer grade and stage. These findings, described in Communications Biology, also lay the groundwork ...

Wearable devices detect circadian disturbances that predict frailty risk in older adults

Brigham researchers found an association between alterations in circadian rest-activity rhythms and risk of frailty incidence in older adults Wearable devices can be used to measure a variety of signs and signals related to our health. A new study by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system, suggests that such devices may also be able to help predict older adults at risk of health complications related to frailty. The team found an association between disturbances in daily patterns of rest and activity, or circadian ...

Inequality hotspot map shows where women in agriculture are hit the hardest by the climate crisis

Inequality hotspot map shows where women in agriculture are hit the hardest by the climate crisis
Threats posed by the climate crisis disproportionally affect certain communities and social groups that are more exposed. People living in low- and middle-income (LMIC) countries are at heightened risk. Within these countries, women typically face higher climate risk than men. To show where women working in agri-food systems – systems that encompass production, but also post-harvest handling and distribution – are most threated by climate change, an international team of researchers has developed a hotspot map that identifies and ranks localities by threat level. “We show that significant ...

Reclaiming carbon fibers from discarded composite materials

Reclaiming carbon fibers from discarded composite materials
Minimizing energy consumption is a fundamental element in our journey towards sustainable societies, and advanced materials play a key role in this regard. Carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics (CFRPs) and carbon-fiber-reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTPs) are two prominent examples of composite materials that can significantly improve energy efficiency in various fields of application. These composites are made of carbon fibers embedded in a polymer matrix, such as epoxy resin. Thanks to their low weight and remarkable mechanical strength, CFRPs and CFRTPs can greatly ...

Break free from dependence on Japan by developing core electric vehicle components

Break free from dependence on Japan by developing core electric vehicle components
A research team led by Dr. Jae-woong Ko from the Department of Engineering Ceramics at the Korea Institute of Materials Science(KIMS) has succeeded in localizing silicon nitride bearing ball manufacturing technology for electric vehicle drive modules. KIMS is a government-funded research institute under the Ministry of Science and ICT. This achievement is significant because it overcomes the limitations of foreign dependence and opens up the possibility of domestic supply and demand. Silicon nitride bearing ...

Cannabis use during pregnancy is associated with adverse birth outcomes

Infants prenatally exposed to cannabis are more likely to be born preterm, have a low birth weight, and require neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) care than infants without prenatal cannabis exposure, according to a study published today in the scientific journal Addiction. However, cannabis-exposed infants are not at greater risk of birth defects or death within one year, including sudden unexpected infant death. First author Ms. Maryam Sorkhou comments, “The global increase in cannabis use among women of reproductive age also extends to pregnant women.  ...

Landmark blood test to detect silent, lethal cancer

Landmark blood test to detect silent, lethal cancer
Research that could lead to the first early detection blood test for pancreatic cancer has received critical funding from PanKind, The Australian Pancreatic Cancer Foundation. Pancreatic cancer is one of Australia’s biggest killers, with poor survival rates marred by a lack of distinct symptoms and screening tools needed to detect the disease in its initial stages.  It’s hoped the test will, for the first time, accurately identify patients with early stages of pancreatic cancer – a crucial step towards improving survival ...

A better way to study Parkinson’s disease in the lab could lead to earlier diagnosis

A better way to study Parkinson’s disease in the lab could lead to earlier diagnosis
A recent study published in Progress in Neurobiology and led by researchers at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson has developed an improved method to study Parkinson’s disease in the lab. Along the way, researchers also uncovered clues that may help scientists figure out how to detect Parkinson’s earlier and point the way toward better treatments. Around a million Americans are living with Parkinson’s disease, a neurological disorder that causes difficulty in movement, balance and cognition. Symptoms worsen until tasks like ...

Night-time radiative warming using the atmosphere

Night-time radiative warming using the atmosphere
Warming has played a crucial role in various industrial and agricultural processes throughout history. Night-time warming, however, presents a distinct challenge due to the absence of solar radiation. During the night, direct radiative heat loss to outer space through the atmospheric transparent window (8-14 μm) can cause temperature to drop below freezing, posing significant threats to agriculture (crops), transportation (outdoor cables), and more.   Traditionally, achieving night-time warming ...


Tracing how the infant brain responds to touch with near-infrared spectroscopy

These are the world's most effective charities

When is an aurora not an aurora?

Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for US government investments in particle physics research

Doctors discover many patients at UNC’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic screen positive for malnutrition

BNL: Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for U.S. government investments in particle physics research

International collaboration uses faculty member’s research on ancient Roman migration, seeks to understand Balkan genomic history

USF Health Heart Institute doctors are upbeat about cardiac regeneration

AI-driven breakthroughs in cells study: SFU-UBC collaboration introduces "MCS-detect" for advancements in super-resolution microscopy

Advisory panel issues field-defining recommendations for investments in particle physics research

$3.8 million NIH grant to fund Southwest Center on Resilience for Climate Change and Health

What happens when the brain loses a hub? 

Study reveals Zika’s shape-shifting machinery—and a possible vulnerability

RIT leading STEM co-mentoring network

Genetic mutations that promote reproduction tend to shorten human lifespan, study shows

CAMH develops potential new drug treatment for multiple sclerosis

Polyethylene waste could be a thing of the past

A dynamic picture of how we respond to high or low oxygen levels

University of Toronto researchers discover new lipid nanoparticle that shows muscle-specific mRNA delivery, reduces off-target effects.

Evolving insights in blood-based liquid biopsies for prostate cancer interrogation

Finding the most heat-resistant substances ever made

Time-tested magnesium oxide: Unveiling CO2 absorption dynamics

Engaging heterosexual men more effectively could slash HIV infections in Uganda

A fork in the rhod: Janelia researchers unveil comprehensive collection of rhodamine-based fluorescent dyes

The Gerontological Society of America congratulates new 2023 awardees

Texas A&M Institute part of national effort to harness nuclear laser fusion for limitless energy

How health system hesitancies contributed to COVID risks

Stand Up to Cancer names Julian Adams, Ph.D., President and CEO

Immersive VR goggles for mice unlock new potential for brain science

Racial and ethnic differences in hospice use among Medicaid-only and dual-eligible decedents

[] Make a list, check it twice with these heart-healthy holiday travel hacks
As the busiest travel season of the year approaches, the American Heart Association has tips to ease travel worries for people living with health conditions like heart disease and stroke