Living with allergies at home is already hard, however, traveling with allergies sets up the bar of difficulty a whole notch higher. So whether you travel each week for work purposes or just once or twice a year for a much needed vacay, the most important thing is to go out prepared. Remember that with the right kind of planning, travelling with allergies need not be a torture to yourself and the people around you.
Planning Ahead for Travel
To prevent an allergy attack whilst you’re on the road, you need to be prepared before you take that first step out of your door. Think first of your destination and what kinds of possible irritants and/or allergens could be present or common there at this time or at the time of your visit. You may want to check the pollen counts at your chosen destination.
When you pack, pack with your allergies mind. Here’s how to do that:
1. Gather your allergy meds and place it on your carry-on bag or purse—something you can have easy access to and can just lug around your car, the train seat, or the plane seat.
2. In case of your medications, make sure that you keep them in their original packaging to avoid any questioning and further hassles with the Transportation Security Administration, especially if you’re flying.
3. If you’re using dust-proof, zippered pillowcases at home, it would be best to pack at least one for the pillows you’ll use at your destination.
4. If you have allergies with food, you may want to pack a few acceptable snacks in your carry-on bag so you won’t necessarily need to take a chance with airline foods or those that can be bought in airports, rest stops or train stations.
How to Keep Your Exposure to Allergens to a Minimum When Travelling
Travelling via Car:
If you’re travelling in a car, opt to travel during low-traffic periods like early in the morning or late in the evening. By doing this, you’ll not only spend lesser time on the road but also avoid the much higher levels of air pollution brought forth by a lot of idling vehicles as traffic comes down to a crawl.
Do not drive with your windows open, instead, use the air conditioning system on a “recirculation” setting rather than the outdoor ventilation setting. Turn your car AC on around 10 minutes before you set out, as this move can
help eliminate dust mites and molds from your car’s upholstery.
Traveling via train or plane:
The air in planes tends to be particularly dry, so ensure that you’ll travel with a nasal saline spray handy. Using this once each hour can help keep your nasal passages free from clogging. All domestic flights within the US and most US to international flight destinations prohibit smoking in the airlines; however, there are still some airlines in other countries that allow it. So if ever you’re ona flight that allows smoking, you should maybe ask to be seated as far away as possible from the smoking section.
Scout for Allergy-friendly Hotels and Accommodations
A lot of hotels and accommodations right now are advertising themselves as asthma and allergy-friendly rooms. If you’re prone to allergies, you’re better off asking your preferred hotel if they have this offering. These might include hypoallergenic pillows, linens and even mattress covers. You should look for a hotel that’s smoke-free at the very least.
Other accommodation requests that you may make:
1. If you have allergies from molds, ask for a room that’s sunny and dry, away from the pools.
2. You may ask about the hotel’s pet policy. Hotels do not bar service animals, but if you happen to be allergic to dander, then you better not stay at one that advertises itself as pet-friendly.
3. If you are considering a rental home, don’t be shy about asking how often the place is cleaned in-between guests.
One last helpful tip: If you have severe allergies or asthma, consider checking with your doctor first to discuss your travel plans. Make sure you’ve taken all the precautions deem possible to ensure yourself of a hassle-free
and memorable trip.