It's summer vacation time, but that doesn't mean
allergies take a holiday, experts warn.
That's why those who have allergies need to take
steps to reduce their symptoms when traveling, according
to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
"Although you cannot completely allergy-proof your
vacation, there are steps you can take to minimize
your allergy symptoms. The first step is proper planning;
the last thing you want on your vacation is a trip
to the emergency department due to your symptoms getting
out of control," Dr. Leonard Bielory, a member of
the AAAAI's aerobiology committee, said in a prepared
In an effort to help people with allergies have a
safe and reaction-free vacation, the AAAAI offers
some advice for travelers.
Before you drive off on your vacation:
- For 10 minutes before you depart, turn on your
car's air conditioner in order to get rid of allergens
such as pollen, indoor molds and dust mites, which
are often found in the upholstery, carpeting and
ventilation systems of vehicles.
- Travel early in the morning or late in the evening
in order to avoid heavy traffic and the time of
day when air quality is at its worst.
- Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning
when driving in order to prevent allergens and pollen
from getting inside the vehicle.
When traveling by air, remember that the recycled
air in airplane cabins can trigger allergy symptoms.
Food allergies are another potential concern, since
it may be difficult to get information about specific
ingredients in airline food. When flying:
- Carry an EpiPen in case of severe reaction while
in flight. Make sure airline staff know about the
medication before checking in for the flight.
- A saline nasal spray will keep nasal passages
moist and help prevent aggravation of allergy symptoms
caused by the dry air in airplanes.
- Pack allergy medications in a carry-on bag. Don't
put it in checked luggage, which may not make it
to your destination.
- Remember to adjust for time zone changes when
calculating medication dosages.
- During the flight, chew gum, sip liquids and swallow
often in order to relieve sinus pressure.
At the hotel:
- Request an allergy-proof room or ask for a room
located in a dry, sunny area, away from the pool.
- Ask about the hotel's pet policy and ask for a
- Check if the hotel offers synthetic pillows. Consider
bringing your own dust-proof pillow and mattress
covers or personal bedding.
- Ask the hotel to change the air filter on the
room's air conditioner, and use the air conditioner
instead of opening the windows.
- If allergic to mold spores, don't use hotel closets
or drawers, which are great breeding grounds for
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology