How to Enjoy Exciting Adventure Travel with PI

Living and Traveling with Primary Immunodeficiency

dog cute boy travel adventure

Okay, just because you’re living with Primary Immunodeficiency (PI), doesn’t mean that you’ve got to be a little wall flower or confine yourself to living in a bubble. First, congratulations that you’ve reached this point in your life—where you can even consider traveling. Yahooooo!

And now that you HAVE reached this point as a young adult, let’s explore some of the best ways to make your experiences safer and more enjoyable. I felt inspired for my PI friends after reading about these tips on the Primary website that I’d like to share:

immune deficiency foundation logo
The Immune Deficiency Foundation has an AWESOME website:

First Things First

First, before you start comparing ticket prices and racing out to buy four pairs of flip flops, STOP RIGHT NOW! You’ve got to talk to your doctor/healthcare team about your traveling. If you don’t get their permission and advice, you may be putting yourself at risk. NOBODY wants to be sick, but NOBODY wants to be sick and hospitalized out of state—or out of country. So by working with your doctor and doing some planning, you can set your sights almost anywhere you choose—within reason of course! I wouldn’t recommend a Third World country just yet.

style travel
If you’re smart about it, you can travel any way you choose! Source:

IMPORTANT: Ask your immunologist for their recommendation of which hospital and or immunologist you should visit if you get sick, once you get to your destination. There’s truth to the saying: Begin with the end in mind. So while you don’t want to think about getting sick, if you make a plan with your doctor in advance to have a backup plan in place, you’ll be setting yourself up to stay healthier, longer!

Make List and Check It Twice – Medications and Supplies:

  • Absolutely make a list of all of your meds and keep a copy on you as well as copy in your suitcase. Include dosage and indication as well as a letter from your prescribing doctor (detailing what the meds and supplies are and why you’ve got a prescription, etc.) that also includes his/her contact information and phone number. It’s a good idea to also include the address of the pharmacy and phone number, too.
  • Make sure you are securing your meds and supplies and that you have your immunologist’s recommendation and advice as to whether you should include meds like antibiotics, should you become ill.
  • ALWAYS pack your meds and supplies (in the specific containers they came in from the pharmacy) and store on your person or in bag you carry with you—preferably in a clear plastic bag—so they can easily be seen by airline personnel and TSA agents (Transportation and Safety Agents) as they check you through security.
  • And…never…ever…lose sight of your meds and supplies. Heck, if/when you’re flying and you’ve got to visit the toilet, take ‘em with you.
  • To learn more about requirements from the TSA, you can visit their website:
Just don’t be like this… please! Source: SNL/

There are so many, many things to consider—especially things like nutrition and holiday lifestyle:

  • So rest whenever you can, just say, “No” to late-night conga lines! But one during the early evening might be work—if you’re doctor gives you the okay. Seriously, PLEASE get your rest!
  • Wash your hands a lot.
  • Veggies are your friend, but only if they’re cooked—peeling them, too might be the best bet; be cautious with fresh fruits… eat only if they’ve been washed and peeled.
  • Never, EVER eat raw meat, seafood, fish, etc. Don’t ask for trouble.


Investigate buying trip insurance from a reputable company like American Express.

Always bring your personal health and property insurance card with you—carry it on your person and make a copy to keep in your carry-on or suitcase. Also, call your insurance company and ask them about coverage and what your plan will cover should you become ill while traveling.

Consider buying additional health/travel insurance if needed.

To learn more, visit and talk to your immunologist! And bon voyage! Have a great time! Travel safely and be safe!

vintage summer commercial fantasy vacation
Oh…. the good ol’ days of travel! Be safe out there! Source:

Question: Have you traveled with PI? And if so, do you have any tips to share? Did you get sick abroad? What happened? We’d love to hear from you!

Alisha Stone

Alisha Stone

Alisha Stone has a BA in psychology and is dedicated to improving the lives of others living with chronic illnesses.

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