Sneeze-cation: Traveling with Allergies
Step one complete: your home is protected and your family has a safe-zone from allergies. However the summer season came to an end and the holiday traveling season looms in the near future, it is time to start thinking about the necessary precautions to dust mite proofing your vacation. Amid your dreams of relaxation and family fun, don’t let memories be tainted by frustrating allergic reactions and trips to the drug store.
If you are traveling by car, make sure to plan ahead and treat it first before you hit the road. Carpets, upholstery, and ventilation systems are hot-beds for dust mites and mold spores. It is recommended to use a mold-killing solution, such as Vital-Oxide, and a denaturing agent, such as Allersearch ADMS, before the trip to render the environment ‘I Spy’ friendly for your family.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends closing windows and turning on the air conditioning to the ‘do not re-circulate’ mode to lessen your exposure to outdoor pollution. If you are extremely sensitive, try to do the bulk of your driving in the early morning or evening time when air quality is better and heavy traffic is less likely.
If you are traveling by plane, there is not a wide variety of options available for controlling the environment of a highly regulated aircraft. Do make sure that you pack any required allergy medications in your carry-on in the case of lost luggage.
The Allergy & Asthma Foundation of America recommends that you take a detailed list of medications showing refills numbers, prescribing physician, and dosage amounts. Make sure no pill bottles are unlabeled - you don’t want security hassling more than usual.
Another tip, for longer flights, bring your own travel pillow. Instead of paying for one from the airline, bring your own that has been encased with an allergen-impermeable cover to reduce dust mite exposure. The Allergy Store carries these unique encasing sizes.
Staying in Hotels
A good number of vacationers will reside in hotels or similar accommodations and it may seem disgusting, but these places are prime dust mite breeding grounds. The mattresses and pillows are not encased, so millions of the irritating creatures reside deep inside, just waiting to make your morning miserable with itchy eyes and a runny nose. In extreme cases the linens are not changed or washed in proper conditions.
Now days, in the tougher economy, hotels are opting for fewer sheet changes during your stay to and ask you to reuse the towels save some money. More importantly, they often neglect to wash sheets in the 130°F or hotter water needed to effectively kill the mites and remove the offending protein (USA Today)
Insider reports from those working in the hospitality industry have claimed that hotels are known to only wash the comforter once every year at best an the decorative pillow cases every few months.
The most effective way to combat these less than clean conditions is to plan ahead and bring your own encasings for pillows and mattresses. The Allergy Store offers easy to use fitted sheet-type dust mite covers that provide protection from dust mites and other allergens. Since the sides and top are covered, you will not be exposed to the protein they produce.
You can also bring along your own bottle of allergen denaturing spray (Allersearch ADS or ADMS) to treat the carpet, bed, and window covers. Double check that you comply with airline regulations if you’re flying and safely stow it in your checked baggage or transfer to 3 fl oz spray bottle.
To further protect yourself, ask for a non-smoking, pet-free room and get the bed sizes so you’ll have the correct cover. AAAI recommends that if you are sensitive to mold, ask for rooms away from indoor pools - the closest rooms have more moisture in their walls and vents.
Wishing you the best of health
The Allergy Store