Does your fear of allergies keep you from travelling on business or planning a road trip with the family? Don’t let outdoor allergens prevent you from travelling and living life to the fullest. While travelling with allergies can be unnerving you can take several steps to controlit.
Tips on Travelling With Allergies
1. Medication – If you are allergic to pollen, pet dander, and dust (the most commonly occurring allergens in the external environment), carry more than the usual supply of your allergy medications. Seek advice from your doctor on additional symptom-control medications that you need to take before going on the trip.
When travelling internationally, it’s a good idea to carry a letter from your doctor which mentions your allergies and the prescribed medications.
2. Precautions during transportation
- Check with your airline for availability of allergy-free meals and snacks.
- To reduce exposure to allergens on the flight, carry your own pillow and blankets.
- Request for buffer in seating from other passengers.
- If you need to take medicines at frequent intervals, set reminder alarms on your mobile.
- Carry a moisturising saline spray to ease nasal irritation caused by dryness of nasal passage during long flights.
- If you are going on a road trip, carry the vacuum to clean the car regularly. Also, keep the car air vents closed to prevent external pollutants and allergens from entering the car.
3. Staying at the hotel
- Request for a non-smoking and animal-free hotel room.
- Use your own hypoallergenic pillows.
- Carry dust mite-proof allergy covers for pillows and mattresses.
- Pack some allergy-free food supplies.
- If possible, close the hotel room air conditioner vent.
- Choose a hotel that is willing to accommodate your food allergies in their meal preparations.
4. Your holiday destination
- If you suffer from hay fever, plan a beach-side holiday or a cruise to minimise exposure.
- Check pollen counts at your destination and ask your doctor for specific suggestions based on your travel destination.
- Identify allergy clinics in the surrounding areas, so you can get medical help if needed.
5. Eating out
- A safe rule to follow during travelling is ‘When in doubt, don’t eat it’.
- Read labels on foods and drinks carefully, before consuming any product.
- When eating out, use wipes to clean the surfaces (table and cutlery).
- Ask the restaurant server for detailed information on dish ingredients.
6. Other tips
- Don’t skip your exercise routine during travel. Staying fit will help in maintaining your existing immunity levels.
- When travelling to a non-English speaking country, learn a few help phrases or write them out on index cards.
- Early morning flights are better as the presence of pollutants is minimal at that time of the day.
- Similarly, plan the outdoor family activities early in the day to reduce exposure to air pollutants.
- Share information on your allergies with everyone, including your travel planner, the airline hotel and hotel staff and the car rental company.
Travelling with allergies is possible provided you plan your trip and take a few precautions while exploring. Enjoy your next trip.