Allergies are a bummer. They can stop you and your family from being fully carefree throughout any vacations that you take. The imminent threat of allergy is always present, and it’s only right for you and the other members of your family to be constantly alert. Alertness is key to handling and preventing allergy attacks. In fact, with some alertness and bit of careful planning, you can actually make it possible for your family to enjoy going on vacation despite your many shared allergies.
First Things First: Talk to Your Family Physician
Before you go anywhere, make 100% sure that everyone who’s coming along is healthy enough to do so. If a member of your family is currently especially sensitive to different allergens and/or has a pretty bad case of asthma, it’s probably not a good idea to take them on vacation where there’s a higher possibility of their condition getting worse.
If you want to be healthy on vacation, you need to start at home. Is your home a clean and allergen-free environment? Are asthmatic and/or allergic family members getting the meds and treatment that they need? If your answers to those questions are yes, that’s a good sign; but it’s still not enough. In order to accurately determine whether everyone who’s coming along is healthy enough to go on vacation or not, you need to schedule a checkup with your family doctor.
You should also ask your doctor about allergy and asthma-prevention tips away from home. Tell them about your travel plans: where you’re planning to go, how long you’ll be away, and how you’re planning to get there. All of these factor into the different steps you can take to prevent allergy symptoms from ruining your vacation; your family physician is bound to have useful allergy and asthma-management tips for the whole family.
Ready All Treatments and Medication
Ask your doctor about advanced and emergency prescriptions with regards to how long you’ll be on vacation as well as possible allergens that your family might be exposed to. Neatly organize all your medication into tiny ziplock bags or similar forms of easily-accessible and waterproof storage.
Ideally, if your kids are old enough, you should be able to trust them to hold on to their own medication. While it’s easier for a single person to be responsible for everyone’s medication, remember that you’re going on a trip: there’s a chance that you could be separated, and when that happens, it’s better if everyone has the medication they need to mitigate asthma and allergy.
If any member of the family uses a nebulizer, there’s actually a small, portable, and battery-powered version that’s more suited for traveling. You can find one in stores that sell medical equipment. It’s a lot easier to bring than a bulky home nebulizer. Also, make sure than any and all inhalers are working and that whoever uses them has enough cartridges to last throughout the entire trip.
Record and/or Print Out Everyone’s Allergy/Asthma Action Plans
Every member of the family should have two copies of their own personal allergy/asthma action plan: a list of protocols and medication for when the person is showing symptoms of allergic reaction. One copy should be in a bag of essentials and the other copy should be on your person at all times. As an added precaution, you can list everything that the person is allergic to (including medicines) at the back of the plan.
You can also use an app to record everyone’s allergy/asthma action plan on everyone’s phones. While this is a more convenient option for everyone, it’s also less foolproof than a physical list. Phones and tablets can be lost or stolen, but there’s no reason for anyone to steal a printed-out and laminated medical action plan. It’s best to have both digital and physical copies handy for any emergency.
Book an Allergy/Asthma-Friendly Destination
A bit of planning really can make a vacation absolutely worthwhile. Book a place that’s allergen and/or asthma friendly and the entire family will have a lot less to worry about. Ask hotels about hypo-allergenic rooms and facilities. Some places like the Boston Harbor Hotel, offer allergy-friendly rooms fitted with medical grade air-purification, microfiber pillowcases, dust-fighting mattress covers, and sanitized heaters and air-conditioners. They even offer customized meals to cater to dietary restrictions – a truly allergy-friendly hotel.
Another option is to take your vacation to a climate that’s dry and have very low pollen counts, like Palm Beach in Aruba. The windy beaches and constant sun provide a breathe of fresh air to anyone who suffers from allergies. Apart from that, the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino on Palm Beach also offers hypo-allergenic facilities. They even clean their air purifiers with tea tree oil, an organic antiseptic commonly used against bedbugs. These last options may be pricey, but if you have the money, the insurance of a hypo-allergenic environment for your family is worth every cent.
If you want a hassle-free vacation for your allergic/asthmatic family, just always follow these 4 reminders.