10 Tips for Travelers with Allergies
Summer vacations are coming soon, and for some, traveling means increased allergy symptoms. Dust mites in feather hotel bedding can trigger flare up in allergies, and pollen from outdoor trees, grasses, and weeds can put a damper on camping and hiking trips. Here are some tips for your upcoming travels to help ensure you feel your best and are able to enjoy your summer vacation:
- Shower upon arrival to your hotel. There are lots of germs, dust, and other allergens you may have encountered during your travel day so it is best to rinse them off.
- Inform your hotel in advance that you have allergies. Ask for a room without feather bedding. If you are staying in an AirB&B, avoid staying in a room/apartment that has pets.
- Bring your own pillow with a dust mite encasement in place. If you cannot travel with your pillow, purchase an extra dust mite cover just for travel. (Tip: Put a bright color ribbon on the tag or a bright colored pillow case, so you don’t forget your dust mite encasement in the room when you check out).
- Saline nasal spray can be a great addition to your carry-on bag! This nasal spray can help rinse and hydrate your nasal passages. Saline helps cleanse pollens, dust and other allergens from your nose. You may also consider Xlear nasal spray (Saline with Xylitol), which not only cleanses allergens, but it also helps keep bacteria/viruses from sticking to the epithelial cells in your nose. This can help keep you healthy during your travels. Xlear is available at Whole Foods, Amazon & other natural food stores.
- Bring a mask. Just in case the person next to you is coughing on the airplane, you’ll have the option to help safeguard against illness. If you are traveling to areas of the world with very poor air quality, it is advisable to wear a mask to minimize a flare up in asthma or allergies. You can purchase a mask at a pharmacy, or for more stylish options, try Vogmasks.
- If you are prone to sinus pressure or ear symptoms during airplane travel, consider using Afrin 12 Hr No Drip nasal spray 30 min prior to take off and landing to decongest you. This nasal spray should not be used for more than 3 consecutive days as it may be habit forming.
- If traveling by car, use “recycled air” rather than opening your windows as pollen can enter your car and worsen your allergy symptoms.
- If you have food allergies, ensure that you are wearing a medical alert bracelet, and have your Epipen or other adrenaline auto-injector device readily available. Wipe down any surfaces on the airplane, especially tray tables. And if you have nut allergy specifically, consider flying on an airline that is accommodating to nut allergic passengers. Be sure that your travel companions are aware of your food allergy and know how to use an Epinephrine Auto-injector device (such as an Epipen).
- Ensure all of your allergy and asthma medications are packed in your carry-on baggage and readily available. Albuterol should be carried with you during hikes or camping excursions as well. Also, make a note of the nearest pharmacy to your hotel in case you need medication filled during your travels.
- If you have eczema, or tend to have sensitive skin, ensure that you bring your own personal skin care products. The last thing you want on a vacation is a rash!
If you have an upcoming trip, make sure to schedule an appointment with one of our allergy specialists so we can ensure you have the allergy and asthma medications that you need, and we can adjust your medication accordingly to help keep your symptoms well controlled.