Relief for Allergies While Traveling
Try these tips for allergy relief on the road.
Allergies on the Road and in the Air continued...
“Most newer models of cars have cabin air cleaners, meaning that the air in
the passenger compartment is recirculated through some sort of filter,” says
James L. Sublett, MD, an allergist in Louisville, Ky. “These should be changed
regularly, when the oil is changed. Don’t try to save money by not doing that,
because they can really improve the air quality in the car.”
On the plane or train:
The air in planes is particularly dry, so be sure your carry-on includes
saline nasal spray. “Use it once an hour to keep nasal passages moist,”
recommends Linda Ford, MD, an allergist with the Asthma and Allergy Center in
All U.S. domestic flights, and most flights between the U.S. and
international destinations, are smoke-free, but some airlines in other
countries still allow smoking. If you’re on a flight where smoking is
permitted, ask to be seated as far as possible from the smoking section, and
adjust your air blower so that it blows from the smoking section back toward
Look for Allergy-Friendly Hotels
More and more hotels are advertising themselves as offering asthma- and
allergy-friendly rooms; ask your hotel if it offers such accommodations. These
might include pillow and mattress covers and hypoallergenic linens.
At a minimum you should seek out a hotel that is entirely smoke-free. Hotels
that permit smoking, but have “nonsmoking rooms” often do not strictly enforce
this policy, and it’s easy to tell that previous guests have smoked in the
“Even if you’re in a smoke-free room, if it’s right above a smoking floor,
you’ll end up getting exposure to the smoke that’s below you,” says Sublett. If
you are given a room that smells of smoke, ask to be moved immediately.
Other accommodation requests:
- “If you have mold allergies, ask for a sunny, dry room away from the pool,”
- Ask about the hotel’s pet policy. Hotels cannot bar service animals, but if
you have dander allergies, you probably don’t want to be staying in a hotel
that advertises itself as pet-friendly or offers cats to borrow for the
- If you’ll be staying in a rental home, inquire about how thoroughly the
location is cleaned between guests.
If you have severe allergies or asthma, take the time to visit your
allergist prior to traveling to discuss your plans. Make sure you’ve taken all
the precautions necessary to make sure your trip will be as enjoyable as