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  • glossectomygirl

Travel tips + tricks

Traveling as a lary/glossy definitely is a different experience. I am a travel light kinda gal and it has increased the load, but I've been whittling down further and got a bit of a system in place now. To preface, all my air travel has been domestic USA, so rules/regulations only pertain in so far as that. Two aspects for me are (1) lary supplies, at one point i was needing liquid medications so this exceeded limits as well as (2) liquid nutrition equipment and supplies.


Medical Bag


The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and Department of Transportation and TSA have done a fair job in protecting our rights to carry medically necessary equipment/supplies, and nutrition in ADDITION to regularly allowed carry on bags. HOWEVER, you should CHECK WITH THE AIRLINE you are flying on any restrictions they have with carry on limits in general. I highly recommend going through the process to get TSA PreCheck. It will speed your security process along, give you less things to juggle, and basically give you more benefit of doubt with the agents. They will still want to hand inspect your medical equipment bag, but i just think it gives them less to suspect. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck .



You will need to locate all your equipment/supplies in ONE dedicated bag. Inside that bag i use clear ziploc bags to sort items and i label each bag. For example, medications, laryngectomy supplies, PPE, oral care, communication electronics, nutrition, liquid nutrition. Do remember that this bag still needs to comply with general carry on requirements (if you are carrying it on) in terms of size and weight. I have just recently added a tag to my dedicated bag and it seems to reassure agents at the gate as well. Hey, whatever makes them happy.


If you are going to be carrying liquid nutrition such as formula or protein drinks, they will need to take them ALL out of the bag and swipe each one and your hands for any 'explosive' materials. So make it easy for them to do this in the way you organize and pack your bag.


Aside from medical necessities, do be in compliance with all other TSA regulations!










Med Bag Summary:


  • check the airline you are flying for policy on carry on bags

  • sign up for TSA PRE




  • carry letter from doctor - sample of the wording i use:

med travel letter
.docx
Download DOCX • 14KB

  • carry a copy of copy of DOT/TSA/ADA regulations (in case anyone gives you a hard time!)

508_Airline_Passengers_with_Disabilities_Bill_of_Rights_07132022_ADA
.pdf
Download PDF • 356KB

TSA Cares - Disabilities and Medical Conditions _ Transportation Security Administration
.p
Download P • 76KB

Traveling with Liquid Nutrition _ Transportation Security Administration
.pdf
Download PDF • 72KB

disability_notification_card_508
.pdf
Download PDF • 24KB

  • order a medical equipment tag for your dedicated medical bag






  • use clear ziploc bags inside your medical bag to sort and label items.

keep liquids easy to reach, pack and unpack

  • get the airport early, you can expect to need extra time at TSA for hand inspection of bag


LIQUID NUTRITION


I am on liquid/puree only diet so that presents some challenges. Some people in this situation do bring blending equipment to restaurants and blend items from menu. As i am a whole food plant based vegan and i have some taste aversions to garlic and onion, it just isnt something that works well for me. If i am in a group in a restaurant or having dinner at a friends house, i will just bring a protein drink (i am partial to OWYN as a clean one). As it takes me time to be typing to talk this works out the best for me anyhow. I also scout out smoothie shops ahead of time so i can get some diversity in my food and not have to cart around too many drinks if we will be out and about walking for a period of time.


We are all familiar with the limitations on liquids by the TSA. Good on them, but our disability thankfully allows us (domestic usa, unfamiliar with international policy) to exceed the 3-1-1 3.14oz rules. You are allowed to bring as much liquid as needed for the duration of your trip. Depending on availability of where i am going i will sometimes pack enough protein drinks for the duration (as pictured below), sometimes just enough for the trip itself and one day backup. In addition to formula/protein drinks you can also bring on puree's such as baby food. I would NOT recommend trying to bring homemade drinks and purees, as these will only serve to raise suspicion and thus hassle with TSA.


I always book a room that has a mini-fridge. Rooms with microwaves seem more of a challenge to find (especially in urban settings). My work around is bringing my own small hot plate (shhh.....don't tell the hotels!), my immersion blender, and a small stanley camping pot that comes with two nice

stacking cups inside. I can always find a spoon somewhere to stir, so i don't bother

bringing one.










WFPB liquid nutrion


On the go, i do a variation of my normal whole food plant based diet. I 'cook' two to three meals a day in room. I just heat up on the hot plate and use immersion blender to blend. I know many others with a liquid/puree diet will bring their blender to restaurants and blend at the table! I tend to just bring a nutrition drink if dining out. My hands are occupied by type to talk anyhow!


Oatmeal bowl : 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1 tbsp oat milk powder, 1 fruit baby food packet, water.

Grain bowl : 1/2 packet pre made grains (barley, quinoa, lentils etc readily available at whole foods, natural grocers etc), 1/2 packet or box of beans, 1 tbsp oat milk powder, water

Soup : dried soup mix!


I use my protein drinks to supplement calories. Shown in photo above is Kate Farms formula and OWYN. However, i've since stopped using Kate's because too much junk in it for my liking. Drinks are also convenient as i can throw them in a backpack while we are on the go. In addition, i like to hunt down smoothie shops wherever we are to add in some 'fresh' fruits. Also, a big part of my traveling used to be tasting food along the way so this helps give that illusion :).


Depending on where we are headed and how easy it is for me to obtain my food at destination, i will pack quantities accordingly. Remember, you are entitled to bring as much liquid nutrition as you need for the duration of the trip. DO however, adhere to baggage weight limits and watch your back when lifting!


MOST IMPORTANT

No matter where or why you are traveling, stop and enjoy a moment, no matter how small! Bon Voyage!





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