The Best Ways to Prevent Your Allergies on Vacation

When you head out on vacation, the last thing you want to deal with is your allergies and their bothersome symptoms. At Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center, our experienced team wants to help you enjoy your next trip. 

In addition to supplying you with any allergy meds and helping you learn what triggers your symptoms, the team suggests the following strategies so you can avoid allergies ruining your time away.

Choose your destination wisely

Before planning your vacation, check the weather and pollen forecasts for your travel dates, and plan accordingly. For example, if you have sensitivities to tree pollen, avoid springtime visits to Southern states, where some trees start producing allergens as early as January. 

Or, if you’re allergic to ragweed, know that September is a common time for this allergen to be most active, especially in Midwestern and Eastern states. 

Pack properly

Make sure you’re prepared for your vacation. Pack anything that might be difficult to find at your destination, including prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. Take enough to last your entire trip. 

Pack your medications, inhaler or EpiPen® in your carry-on; don’t risk a loss of luggage ruining your vacation. Insect repellent, sunscreen, and a mask may also be important additions to your suitcase. 

If you have a food allergy, pack safe snacks for the airport and hotel. If you’re traveling abroad, translate all of the words for your allergies into the local language and carry the information with you. 

Bring copies of any emergency response plan if you’re vulnerable to anaphylaxis — make sure this plan is also translated to the local language. 

Bring cleaning wipes to clear off any food crumbs from trays and tables, so you don’t accidentally experience cross contamination. Mite-proof pillowcases are a good idea to protect you from allergy triggers found in hotel bedding.

Make an appointment 

Come see us before you take off for your vacation. Tell us about your destination and planned activities; we can alert you to any possible triggers that you’re more likely to overlook. 

For example, if you’re heading to a ski trip at an elevation above 5,000 feet, you may find breathing more difficult and have allergic asthma triggered by cold temperatures. 

Select rentals carefully

Make sure you opt for a non-smoking option in rental cars and lodging. Consider bringing a portable air cleaner with a HEPA filter to clear the space where you’ll be staying. If you have severe food allergies, look into renting a space with a kitchen so you can buy and prepare your own food. 

Know about local medical care

Before you arrive, know the nearest place to find medical care. If you’re heading to a remote location or on a cruise, investigate what care is available so you’re prepared if a severe reaction should occur. 

Prepare for travel time

If you’re driving, plan the majority of the ride to happen early in the morning or late in the evening — when air quality is better and traffic is less dense. Use the car’s air conditioner and keep your windows rolled up.

For plane travel, take an antihistamine in advance of your trip. Using nasal spray before takeoffs and landings can ease any symptoms triggered by the changes in air pressure that occur as the plane makes major elevation changes. Hydrate on the plane and avoid alcohol. 

If you struggle with allergies and are headed out on vacation this season, schedule your pre-trip appointment at Regional Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Center in Kingsport or Johnson City, Tennessee, or Abingdon, Virginia. 

Call our office today or send us a message here on our website to book an appointment. We can help you prepare so you avoid allergies from getting in the way of your fun.

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