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Have you ever lost your luggage on a vacation? It’s very inconvenient. You have no clothes and no personal items, until your bags are found and eventually delivered to your hotel. For allergy sufferers, this can be even more tragic because traveling with allergies requires even more planning ahead. Without medication, allergy sufferers can be walking into a vacation filled with runny noses and itchy, watery eyes.
Sure, entering another state, country or even continent can often feel like walking into someone else’s territory. But there are some things you can do when you travel if you don’t want allergies to have an advantage upon your arrival.
Depending on your travel plans, you have a few options for managing your environment along the way. If you travel by car, mold or dust mites can be hiding in the car’s upholstery and ventilation. But don’t be too quick to roll down the windows. Use the air conditioning, most newer cars have good filters, and make sure it’s not re-circulating old air.
For those traveling by airplane, there are a few ways to control allergy symptoms. If you are suffering from sinus pressure due to your allergies, the pressure changes during takeoff and landing can be unbearable. Aside from medication, the only way to avoid this is to delay your travel until your symptoms are relieved. While on board, you can get more air from the fan overhead, but remember that air in planes is very dry. Saline nasal sprays are great to keep the membranes of your nose moist.
If your destination is a friend’s house, carry your own pillow cover. Guest bedrooms are often used very infrequently and can be dusty. If the home you are staying at is unlike your own home, it may have different heating or air conditioning systems. Depending on how they are functioning, they may trigger your allergy symptoms. Ask your friends if they have a room air filter you can use during your stay. And take precautions with any pets that your host family may have. Meeting new pets can mean a new set of allergens.
Hotel rooms often have dust mites and molds in the carpeting, beds and upholstery. Also, they use many cleaning products to prepare the rooms between visitors. Ask for a “green” room if possible. Otherwise request a sunny, dry room away from the pool. While every room may appear exactly the same, when it comes to allergies there are important differences.
Wherever you’re traveling, look forward to savoring the sights, sounds and smells of a vacation. Plan ahead so you can defend against your allergies if they attack, and more importantly manage them when you’re venturing into unfamiliar territory.
When traveling, it’s important to plan ahead. If you are traveling by air, train or boat, you may need to go through security. Keep medications in their original packaging and make sure to pack your medications in your personal carry-on.