Your vacation has finally arrived! Vacations provide an opportunity to get away from it all. Unfortunately, you cannot take a vacation from your allergies.
Be aware that a vacation can actually trigger an allergy attack because it often brings a change in climate, foliage, and accommodations. While you cannot allergy-proof your vacation, you can take steps to minimize the effects that allergies may have on you.
Before you leave
Research where and when you want to take your vacation. This way, you can select a time and place that will not make your allergies worse.
Traveling by car
Hitting the open road? Follow these simple steps can make your car allergy-friendly:
- Turn on the air conditioner 10 minutes before you get in the car, preferably with the windows open. This will help remove dust and molds from the air conditioning system.
- Keep the windows of your car closed while you are driving. This will prevent pollen and other irritants from entering the car. Use the air conditioner instead.
- Begin your travel early in the morning or later in the evening. This will keep you off the roads during times of heavy traffic and when the air quality is poorest.
- If you are renting a car for your trip, ask for one that has not had people who smoke in it. Some cars also come with high efficiency particulate filters as part of their air conditioning systems.
Traveling by plane
When you take to the sky, follow these guidelines to make your trip easier:
- Pack your allergy medication in your carry-on luggage, just in case your luggage does not make it to your destination or you need it while on the plane.
- Bring a saline nasal spray with you. Using the spray often will help keep your nasal membranes moist. Be sure that your spray is saline (salt water) only; medicated nasal sprays containing decongestants should be used only as directed.
- If you are traveling to different time zones, be sure to account for the time change when calculating medication dosages.
At the hotel
Dust mites and molds can live in the carpet, bedding, and upholstered furniture in a hotel room. There are some things you can do to decrease your chances of having these irritants in your room.
- When making your reservation, ask if the hotel offers allergy-proof rooms.
- Request a room away from the indoor pool. Rooms close to indoor pools may have higher mold counts.
- If you are allergic to animals, ask about the hotel’s pet policy. If pets are allowed at the hotel, ask for a pet-free room.
- Ask for a non-smoking room.
- Ask the hotel if the air conditioner filter in your room has been changed recently.
- Call in advance to make sure the hotel offers synthetic pillows. If they do not, bring your own.
- Avoid using the hotel closet or drawers if you are allergic to mold spores. These dark and sometimes damp areas can be great breeding grounds for mold spores.
At your destination
When you have arrived and checked in to your hotel, it is still important to be vigilant about controlling your allergies. Try to have a flexible schedule that can accommodate your allergies. On some days, you may have to change your plans depending on the severity of your symptoms. Make sure to keep track of the local pollen count. For days with higher allergen counts, consider an indoor activity like touring an art museum or visiting a historical building.
And remember to have fun – you are on vacation!