A Checklist for Traveling with Allergies
Allergies can hold people back from traveling — but it doesn’t have to. Whether you’re jetting off on vacation, a work trip, or even an extended stay, it’s important to arm yourself with information to make your time away from home pleasant and free of allergy disruption.
Before traveling, check pollen levels and weather forecasts for your destination so you can plan accordingly, and don’t forget to refer to this checklist before you take off.
What to Bring, Do, and Request:
- Don’t Forget Your Personal Allergy Kit: Make sure to have all the essentials in your carry-on, be it OTC or prescribed allergy and/or asthma medications (i.e. inhaler, eye drops, OTC and prescribed topical creams), facial tissues, allergy and/or gluten free -safe snacks, and a doctor’s note to bring epinephrine auto-injectors through airport security, if you need them.
- Pack Sunglasses and a Large Hat: If you’re headed to an area with a high pollen forecast, you’ll want to protect your eyes and skin from any potential irritants, and windborne pollen from entering your eyes or landing in your hair.
- Bring an Allergen-Impermeable Pillow Casing: Research suggests that the use of pillow and/or mattress encasings, may help reduce the amount of indoor allergens, such as house dust mites, as well as pet dander, one of the most prevalent causes of indoor allergy.
- Reserve a Non-Smoking Hotel Room: Cigarette smoke can cause flare-ups in people who suffer from allergy. While you’re booking your room, ask if there are “allergy-friendly” rooms available. While less common, you can typically find rooms with wood, tile, or vinyl floors, as opposed to carpet.
- Exercise Indoors: Pay close attention to your weather as well as local, regional pollen and mold counts to help plan ahead and know when to start your allergy medications before peak symptoms kick into high gear.
- Consider pet policies: If you’re staying in an Airbnb (or even some hotels) be sure to check the pet policies if you’re very sensitive to pet dander.
- Download AllergyEats: For those with food allergies, traveling can be a difficult task. For example, if you or a family member has a peanut or nut allergy, confirm which airlines are peanut/nut free or still serve these snacks onboard. There are several apps that can help make things a little easier, allowing you to find allergy-friendly eateries on the go.
- Keep a list: Use a medical alert bracelet/necklace or wallet card that lists your allergies as well as a list of your current medications and conditions.
- Know Your Allergies: The New Allergy Solution can help you get to the bottom of your symptoms, and shares a whole-body approach to identify and to try and avoid key triggers, modify your home surroundings, and get a real, actionable plan to understand and treat your allergy, once and for all.
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