Healthy Traveling With Allergies

Image for allergies and traveling article Your 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:
  • Know the pollen forecast or the weather for your destination..
  • Beach or mountain vacations are great options for allergy sufferers. Allergens are not found in sea breezes, dust mites are not prevalent over 2,500 feet, and snow kills mold spores.
  • Ask your doctor for any travel tips that might help you handle your allergies while on vacation. Also ask if you will need additional medication if traveling abroad.
  • Obtain the name of an allergist practicing at your destination, especially if you are traveling out of the country. Your doctor might be able to give you some suggestions.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether you should begin taking allergy medication before your trip. Some medications take time before they are effective.
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:
  • Turn on the air conditioner 10 minutes before you get in the car, preferably with the windows open. This will help remove dust and molds from the air conditioning system.
  • Keep the windows of your car closed while you are driving. This will prevent pollen and other irritants from entering the car. Use the air conditioner instead.
  • If your trip is short (less than 1-2 hours) consider setting the air conditioner to recirculated air. While some cars may mix enough fresh air with stale recirculated air, do not assume that it is healthy to breath recirculated air for long periods of time. Periodically open the vents or windows for a few moments to replenish oxygen.
  • Begin your travel early in the morning or later in the evening. This will keep you off the roads during times of heavy traffic and when the air quality is poorest.
  • If you are renting a car for your trip, ask for one that has not had people who smoke in it. Some cars also come with high efficiency particulate filters as part of their air conditioning systems. If you do careful pre-trip research, you might better be able to choose the best brand of car to rent.
That covers the ground, now tips for the air...

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