12 Expert Travel Tips for People with Allergies
The benefits of vacationing are well known. But traveling can be extra-challenging for those who suffer from allergies. From travel-friendly humidifiers to easy-to-pack bedding and masks, there are plenty of great new products worth investing in for travelers struggling with allergies. Here are a few product suggestions and expert tips for making the most out of your next jet-setting adventure, so you’re not stopped by sneezing, itchiness and other stubborn allergy symptoms!
1. Invest in a Travel Humidifier – Lifelong allergy sufferers already know that there are endless ways humidifiers can help with allergies, but these machines are often too cumbersome to pack in your luggage. Luckily, there are some travel-friendly humidifiers on the market, like the Boneco 7146 Travel Humidifier, that are compact and portable enough to take with you on the go.
This type of humidifier works with a 16- to 20-ounce water bottle and sits neatly on your hotel room’s side table or desk. It also comes with a travel bag to keep it neat, compact and safe in your suitcase.
2. Consider Packing an Allergy Mask – Let’s face it, you can’t always haul your hefty air purifier or humidifier with you when you travel. One of the simplest ways to limit your exposure to dust, pollen, soot, chemical pollutants, mold, bacteria and viruses is to invest in an affordable, travel-friendly allergy mask. These masks fit comfortably over your mouth and nose and limit your intake of minute particles that can worsen your allergy symptoms.
3. Develop a Symptom Relief Plan – When you’re on the go, you’re more likely to be exposed to allergy triggers that you’re able to keep under control at home. We highly recommend picking up a weekly pill organizer for a few dollars and packing your allergy symptom relief medications so that you have enough to cover the length of your trip, even if you have to take extra doses.
Make sure to pack your allergy medications — including EpiPens, asthma inhalers and food allergy emergency injectors — in your carry-on bag, just in case. Always keep any prescription meds in their original packaging, per TSA regulations.
4. Take Note of Smoking Policies – In some areas of the world, smoking is still considered acceptable in public and indoor areas. If smoke exacerbates your allergy symptoms, you want to make sure you book non-smoking hotel rooms, train cars and other transportation so that you’re not exposed to unnecessary allergy triggers.
5. Ask About Pet Policies – When researching smoking policies, make sure to ask about your lodging and transportation services’ pet policies, as well. If you struggle with pet dander and other pet-related allergies, it’s best to book hotels that do not allow pets to ensure that your room is free of any particles that could worsen your symptoms.
6. Pack Zippered Pillow Covers – Unfortunately, not all hotels will have allergy-friendly bedding. It may be too cumbersome to pack a mattress cover, but allergy pillow covers are relatively compact and easy to fold down into your luggage.
These easy-to-zip covers will protect you from dust mites, mold, pet dander and other allergens without having to pack your own pillows. They’re also a good choice for people who require hypoallergenic down and other materials and may limit symptoms associated with such allergies.
7. Consider Food Allergies – Those who suffer from serious food allergies (nuts, shellfish, etc.) already know that traveling can be extra-complicated and risky. If you suffer from food allergies, make sure you pack your own allergy-friendly airplane snacks and make a dining plan to prevent exposure to your triggers. Food Allergy Research and Education, Inc. (FARE) has create an expansive reference guide for those traveling with food allergies.
8. Drive Smart – Airborne particles can be worsened by high-traffic periods, and you may experience worsened allergies during rush hour. Try to plan any car travel during lower traffic periods, like in the early morning or midday, and this will also help you avoid spending hours in traffic exposed to allergen-heightened air. Always try to avoid driving with the windows down to reduce allergen exposure.
9. Be Conscious About Your Room – If you’re staying in a large hotel or resort, some areas of the property may be more hospitable to allergy sufferers than others. For example, staying close to the pool may encourage more airborne moisture, which can encourage the growth of mold and mildew, or worsen any allergies associated with chemicals. Request a room in a dry, sunny area to avoid these triggers.
10. Timing is Everything – If at all possible, planning your trip around your destination’s low allergy season is a really fantastic way to make sure that your symptoms aren’t heightened while vacationing. With that being said, we know that you probably won’t always have that luxury.
Make sure you’re traveling during times of the day when outdoor air pollution is lower. You can use interactive tools, such as the National Allergy Map for reliable allergy forecasts.
11. Get a Checkup – Before a trip is as good a time as any to make sure you’re up to date on your blood tests, immunizations and flu shots. Picking up a virus or bacterial illness while you’re traveling could ruin your trip, and it could also exacerbate your allergy symptoms, further compromising your plans. If you’re on an allergy shot, you also want to make sure you see the doctor several months before you depart for your trip to make sure the medicine has fully kicked in by the time you leave.
12. Check Your Rental Car – When you get your rental car, a good rule of thumb is to check the filters in the ventilation and air conditioning systems, if the car allows it. If it appears to need replacement, have the car rental company replace it immediately before you leave. Allergy sufferers rely on clean filters, since keeping the windows down can worsen allergy symptoms and make you feel awful.
Author bio – Jordan Smith is a 30 something with two boys living with allergies. She balances the demands of motherhood with crafting, reading and wine drinking. Jordan loves the support online communities provide to families and hopes that her writing helps other families too. She blogs for AchooAllergy.com about all things Allergy!