Wherever you may be headed to on your well-earned vacation, overseas or stateside, a big city or out in the boondocks, getting the most out of that time is important. The last thing you want to have happen is that you or someone you love suffers an allergic reaction. Allergies can cause anything from a light skin rash, which is unpleasant, to anaphylactic shock, which can be fatal. Avoid such frightening possibilities entirely by following these guidelines for dealing with allergies during summer travel.
Have a Plan and Stick to It
Discuss your travel plans with your primary care physician or expert allergist. Determine the ways in which you might avoid harmful allergens to prevent the onset of symptoms while you are away. Likely, the two of you will come up with an action plan of sorts, perhaps a checklist, of steps to take prevent exposure as well as would to do should that fail. Be certain to refill any necessary prescriptions, as well.
Bring Extra Medication and Food
Venturing out into the wider world, there is no telling what you might run into. Calling ahead to a restaurant where you are planning to dine to ask about available safe options is never a bad idea. Packing extra medication and an emergency epinephrine auto-injector, as well as your own snacks for daytrips, can ensure your continued wellbeing and safety. Choosing a hotel equipped with a mini fridge can keep all of these items at the appropriate temperature.
Consider Your Environment
Whenever possible, plan for your drives to take place in the early morning or later evening, when traffic is minimal and air quality is less debilitating. If you still have trouble, set the AC to recycle the air in your car, preventing the entry of allergens through the vents. Select a hotel room that is designated no pets and non-smoker.
In addition, try to get a room that lies both above the first floor (to avoid wafts of car exhaust) and away from the harsh chemicals used in maintaining a swimming pool. If available, ask for an allergy-free room. Never be dissuaded from switching rooms if the cleanliness of the first comes into question.
Specialized Forms of Travel
When planning to travel by plane or train, you might request special accommodations for your food allergy. Make certain your particular needs are understood both when booking the flight or train ticket and at the time of boarding. Consider bringing along a few sanitary wipes for those surfaces you will be frequently touching.
In general, it is wise to drink a lot of water, as proper hydration combats the onset of allergy symptoms by flushing the body’s systems. The dry, stale air circulating in an airplane for hours on end is particularly capable of aggravating allergy symptoms.
In the event that you would like help planning a summer vacation that is as safe as it is fun and exciting, or for more information concerning allergies in general, visit Atlanta ENT. Our allergies page contains many useful resources for the responsible traveler.