Individuals with allergies often take special precautions to keep them from flaring up on a daily basis; however, most people know their allergy triggers, and when they’re at home, they can do a fairly good job of avoiding them.
While on vacation or when out of town on business, most people don’t have as much control over their environment and things that could make their allergies flare up. That’s why it’s important to always follow a few basic precautions when traveling if you’re allergy prone.
When people travel, they have a tendency to want try whatever is in sight. This is especially true for people traveling abroad, where food customs are different, and different foods make up the daily diet than in the United States.
However, if you have food allergies, you need to be diligent about checking ingredients, especially if your allergies are severe. It might sound annoying to start asking about what’s in every dish, but it’s a lot better than spending a portion of your trip in your hotel room bed, instead of seeing the sights or conducting business as planned.
If you’re planning a trip to a foreign country, where there could be a language barrier, having your allergies printed on a small card beforehand that you can present to the chef or staff can be incredibly helpful.
Planning ahead of time by calling the restaurant to let them know about your allergies, especially if you’re going with a group and need reservations, can make presenting allergy information less of a circus once you sit down at the table.
If you have severe food allergies, keeping an epinephrine autoinjector (more commonly known as an “epi pen”) with you is always important to prevent anaphylaxis.
People with allergies to pets should avoid being around the animals that cause problems whenever possible while traveling. You can save yourself a lot of trouble by making sure that the hotel you’re staying doesn’t allow pets on the premises.
If you’re staying in private residence and you know there are going to be pets around, keeping a supply of effective medicines, including antihistamines, decongestants and nasal steroids. These medications will likely be more effective if you do not have severe pet allergies, but if you do, consider a hotel room, even if friends or family offer you a free place to stay.
Pollen and Dust Allergies
There’s not much you can do about pollen counts in the air while you’re traveling or dust you might encounter in a certain place; however, you can do a few things to help keep pollen and dust from irritating you and making your trip a nightmare.
When traveling, always pack a wide-brimmed hat and a hooded sweatshirt, which can help keep pollen out of your eyes and hair if it’s blowing around in the air. Keeping a mask that can help filter out some of the dust is also a good idea – just in case you have to spend time in a dusty space you can’t immediately get out of.
You’ll also want to make sure to pack antihistamines, decongestants and any other nose sprays or eye drops that might work for you, just in case you can’t keep pollen or dust away. Pseudoephedrine allergy medications are often beneficial for pollen and dust allergies as well and they can work quickly.
Consider Getting Tested
If you think you may have allergies, whether they may be food allergies or allergies to pet dander, taking the time to get tested for allergies can be very beneficial. After all, if you don’t know what you are allergic to, your doctor will not be able to accurately recommend ways to help you control your symptoms.
The results of allergy tests can take some time to get back, so try to schedule your allergy test a few weeks before your trip. That way, you have a chance to get the results and find a solution for the problem before you leave town.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer, world traveler and mother of three in California. She works with VapeWorld to educate others about the importance of air quality and their allergies. When traveling to different countries with her family, she always makes sure to be prepared with the proper allergy medications for her children. Follow her on Twitter today!