Travelling with Allergies

Updated at: Jan 30, 2013
Travelling with Allergies
Editorial Team
Travel HealthWritten by: Editorial TeamPublished at: Jul 28, 2011

Dealing with allergies while at home is in itself an ordeal. And having to travel with that kind of baggage - whether for business or pleasure, can be quite intimidating. However, regardless of whether one suffers from mold allergy or dust allergy, being out of the house and on the road is possible, when stringent measures are taken.


Packing, traveling and staying at the hotel – each process has to be planned carefully to ensure that traveling with allergies is not a torture. Here are some pointers for allergic people on how to go about planning a trip –

  • Your purse or carry-on bag must contain all the medications that you will need. This is something that should stay by your side whether you’re in the car, in your train seat or on a flight. In case you’re delayed, bring along an extra day’s worth of doses.
  • Keep medications in their original packaging to avoid running afoul of the Transportation Security Administration if you’re flying. You should be allowed to check all types of medication through the security checkpoint.
  • Pack a dust-proof, zippered pillow cover for the pillow at your destination – not like it will take up a lot of space in your suitcase. If you are okay with the space issue, you might as well take your mattress cover too – in case you expecting some serious dust mite encounters.
  • If you have food allergies, pack acceptable snacks in your carry-on so you won’t have to take a chance on airline food or the options available in train stations, rest stops and airports.
  • Low traffic periods like early morning and late evening are optimally suited for travel. You’ll not only spend less time on the road, you will also avoid the high levels of air pollution caused by the number of vehicles idling on the road as the traffic crawls slowly.
  • Avoid driving with the windows down; use the air conditioner instead. Be sure to use the “recirculation” setting rather than the outdoor vent setting, and try turning on the A/C for about 10 minutes before you set out. That can help remove dust mites and mold from the upholstery.
  • Make sure your carry-on includes saline nasal spray, as the air in planes is particularly dry. Use it once an hour to help keep your nasal passages moist.
  • If you’re on a flight where smoking is permitted, ask to be seated as far as possible from the smoking section, and adjust your air blower so that it blows from the smoking section back toward it.
  • Hotels today are advertising themselves as offering asthma- and allergy-friendly rooms. Find out if your hotel is one such. These hotels usually come with hypoallergic pillows, mattresses and linens.
  • Try to find a hotel that is smoke-free. Hotels that allow smoking, though have nonsmoking rooms as well, do not quite enforce this policy strictly enough. And it is easy to tell if previous guests have been smoking in the room.
  • If you have mold allergies, ask for a sunny, dry room away from the pool.
  • Ask about the hotel’s pet policy. Hotels cannot bar service animals, however if you have dander allergies, you probably don’t want to be staying in a hotel that advertises itself as pet-friendly!
  • If you’ll be staying in a rental home, inquire about how thoroughly the location is cleaned between guests.
  • Visit your allergist before travelling, if you have severe allergies or asthma, to discuss if you have taken all the precautions important to make sure your trip will be fully enjoyable.

Such precautions having been taken, any trip is a fun trip. Even if there occurs any case of mild allergy, there are some simple remedies besides your anti-allergy medications. Caffeine gives quick relief to mild allergy attacks. Many people have even attested to averting even an asthma attack by drinking a caffeinated soft drink.<...


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