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Healthy Traveling With Allergies

Image for allergies and traveling articleYour vacation has finally arrived! Vacations provide an opportunity to get away from it all. Unfortunately, you cannot take a vacation from your allergies.

Be aware that a vacation can actually trigger an allergy attack because it often brings a change in climate, foliage, and accommodations. While you cannot allergy-proof your vacation, you can take steps to minimize the effects that allergies may have on you.

Before You Leave

Research where and when you want to take your vacation. This way, you can select a time and place that will not make your allergies worse. Consider these tips when you are making your plans:

No matter how you travel, there are ways to minimize your exposure to allergens on your way to paradise.

Traveling by Car

Hitting the open road? Follow these simple steps can make your car allergy-friendly:

That covers the ground, now tips for the air...

Traveling by Plane

When you take to the sky, follow these guidelines to make your trip easier:

You made it this far. Find out how to make your hotel room experience more pleasant.

At the Hotel

Dust mites and molds can live in the carpet, bedding, and upholstered furniture in a hotel room. There are some things you can do to decrease your chances of having these irritants in your room.

At Your Destination

When you have arrived and checked in to your hotel, it is still important to be vigilant about controlling your allergies. Try to have a flexible schedule that can accommodate your allergies. On some days, you may have to change your plans depending on the severity of your symptoms. Make sure to keep track of the local pollen count. For days with higher allergen counts, consider an indoor activity like touring an art museum or visiting a historical building. Ask the hotel’s concierge for some fun tourist attractions that are in areas that are pollen-free and allergy friendly.

And remember to have fun—you are on vacation!

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
http://www.aaaai.org

American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
http://www.entnet.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
http://csaci.ca

Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Avoid allergy and asthma triggers and keep the "bah humbug" out of your holidays. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://acaai.org/resources/connect/patient-newsletter/issue3. Accessed October 25, 2016.

Gehring U, de Jongste JC, Kerkhof M, et al. The 8-year follow-up of the PIAMA intervention study assessing the effect of mite-impermeable mattress covers. Allergy. 2012;67(2):248-256.

Terreehorst I, Hak E, Oosting AJ, et al. Evaluation of impermeable covers for bedding in patients with allergic rhinitis. NEJM. 2003(3):349:237-246.

Travel tips for people with asthma. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www2c.cdc.gov/podcasts/media/pdf/AudioRounds_AsthmaTravel.pdf. Accessed October 25, 2016.

Traveling with allergies. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/page/traveling-with-asthma-allergies.aspx. Updated September 2015. Accessed October 25, 2016.

Last reviewed October 2016 by Michael Woods, MD  Last Updated: 10/25/2015