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Traveling with allergies takes planning
Allergy symptoms shouldn’t stop you from embarking on a vacation adventure if you do some planning before setting off to explore the world. One of the best times to take your vacation may be when your allergies flare up the worst at home.
The trick is to make sure the area you are visiting is more pollen-free. In tropical, cold climates, there will be mold, pollen and mites. While in a cold, damp area, you will experience more indoor molds and mites. The Weather Channel is a good resource for pollen count and air quality forecasts.
Ask your doctor to provide you with the name and phone number of an allergist in the area you will be visiting. You will probably never need the contact but it will give you peace of mind, especially if you have severe allergies.
Here are some additional tips to help you enjoy your trip.
Traveling by car
Reaching your destination may mean traveling by car. Before you get started, turn on your car’s air conditioner and open the windows for 10 minutes to force out allergens lurking in the carpeting, upholstery and ventilation system.
An air-conditioned car can make your travel more enjoyable and lessen your exposure to pollen and other irritants. I used to dread traveling by car in the summer prior to owning an air-conditioned vehicle. With wide-open windows, I knew I would be breathing in lots of allergens. If possible, travel by car in the early morning or later evening to avoid heavy traffic and poorer air quality. Regardless of your mode of travel, pack along an “allergy bag” with a supply of your allergy medications, including portable injectable epinephrine.
Travel by air
For airline travel, your biggest worry is more likely to be food allergies as opposed to environmental allergies. Be cautious when eating airline food or pack your own allergen-free snacks. Notify airline staff if you have food allergies that produce severe reactions and make sure epinephrine is available. Label your allergy medications properly to lessen security check problems. Carry along some saline nasal spray as the air in planes tends to be on the dry side.
Request a smoke and allergy-free room when booking a hotel reservation. Those allergic to molds should request a room away from an indoor pool. For long-distance travel by car, try to estimate where you will be each night to obtain suitable accommodations. You don’t want to be stuck in situation where the only motel vacancies are rundown or smoking rooms.
Being in the great outdoors will increase your exposure to stinging insects and pollen. Plan your camping trips during low pollen seasons and carry along epinephrine if needed.
Once you’re reached your vacation spot, stick to your normal routine as much as possible, take your allergy medication regularly, and you’ll have a great time.
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