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Relief for Allergies While Traveling

Try these tips for allergy relief on the road.
By
WebMD Feature

Living with allergies at home is hard enough. But traveling with allergies raises a whole new set of challenges in getting relief for allergies. Whether you travel every week for business or just once a year to visit the grandparents, it’s important to head out prepared. Traveling with allergies doesn’t have to be torture!

Allergy Sufferers: Plan Ahead for Travel

Getting relief from your allergies while you’re on the road starts before you take a step out the door. First, think about your destination. What allergens and irritants are common where you’re going right now?

Check the pollen counts at your destination. (Worldwide counts are available from the Allergy Nursing web site at http://www.allergynursing.com/climate/pollen.html/.)

Plan your packing with allergies in mind.

  • Pack all the medications you’ll need in your purse or carry-on bag -- something you’ll have at hand in the car, in your train seat, or on the flight. Bring a day’s worth of extra doses just in case you’re delayed. 
  • Keep medications in their original packaging to avoid running afoul of the Transportation Security Administration if you’re flying. You should be allowed to check all types of medication through the security checkpoint. If it’s in three-ounce or smaller quantities, you can put it in a clear quart-sized bag as you do with shampoo and perfume -- but give the meds their own bag, separate from cosmetics and other liquids. If your liquid or gel medications are in larger quantities, put them in a separate bag and declare them separately to the screener. 
  • If you use dust-proof, zippered pillow covers at home, pack one for the pillow at your destination. It takes up little to no space in your suitcase. If you’re really expecting to encounter some dust mite problems while away, you can even fold up and pack your mattress cover, but that will take up more space. 
  • If you have food allergies, pack acceptable snacks in your carry-on so you won’t have to take a chance on airline food or the options available in train stations, rest stops and airports.

Allergies on the Road and in the Air

No matter what form of transportation you take to get to your destination, it’s impossible to avoid allergens. But a few easy steps can keep your exposure to a minimum.

In the car:

Travel during low-traffic periods, like early morning and late evening. Not only will you avoid the higher levels of air pollution caused by idling vehicles as traffic slows to a crawl, you’ll spend less time on the road!

Avoid driving with the windows down; use the air conditioner instead. Be sure to use the “recirculation” setting rather than the outdoor vent setting, and try turning on the A/C for about 10 minutes before you set out. That can help remove dust mites and mold from the upholstery.

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