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Allergies on Vacation

If you or your child has allergies or asthma, planning can help you keep sneezes, sniffles, wheezing, and attacks under control while you're on vacation.

Tips for travel

The following steps can help you and your family travel safely:

  • Meet with your doctor before you go. Let him or her know where you’re going and what medical care is available there. Work with your doctor to make sure you have what you need. Know what to do in case of an emergency reaction.

  • Pack your allergy medicines in your carry-on luggage. Be sure to check with your airline ahead of time to make sure this is allowed.

  • Check pollen forecasts for your vacation city. Good vacation bets are the beach or mountains any time of the year. The wind coming off the ocean usually has few if any allergens. Dust mites can't live in the mountains. You can find current pollen and mold spore levels for U.S. cities at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology website.

  • Take extra care when you travel overseas. Carry your medicines in their original containers to ease your way through customs. If you use a portable nebulizer, find out if you will need to bring an electrical adapter.

  • Ask for an allergy-proof room at your hotel. If that's not available, ask for a nonsmoking room with air conditioning. If you’re sensitive to molds, ask for a room away from an indoor pool or hot tub.

  • Be especially alert if you have food allergies. You'll probably find foods that contain tiny amounts of allergens.

Plan for emergencies

If you have a potentially dangerous food allergy, your doctor may tell you to take along an epinephrine shot for emergencies. You should have one with you at all times.

If you’re traveling by air, an epinephrine shot is permitted on board. It must have a printed label from the pharmacy or drug maker stating the name of the medicine or the maker.