Allergy/Asthma Information Association

Traveling with Allergies

by Robin Bayley

Those of you with allergies to food and airborne allergens may have given up on travel due to the risks, obstacles and discomfort frequently associated with it. However, if you start small with short vacations to places where they speak your own language and take some precautions, you may soon gain the confidence to become a world traveler.

Some of the challenges allergic people face regarding overnight accommodation are:

Some of the challenges relating to air travel include:

Inclusive package deals and even day activities can discriminate in that services cannot be disaggregated (i.e., meals included), and the allergic individual subsidizes the others.

Overcoming these challenges and barriers takes effort. Planning and advance preparation are key. However, enjoying the benefits of travel are usually worth it. In addition, once you have prepared for one trip, future trips take less work.

The tips below apply to both business and personal travel. They have been compiled by a highly allergic individual who travels a good deal. They may not address all the requirements of every allergic individual. They assume that the allergic individual will not eat in restaurants, or that information from other sources on how to deal with allergies in restaurants will apply whether the restaurant is at home or abroad.

The purpose of the tips for traveling with allergies is to suggest to allergic individuals how they can experience the world of travel without experiencing asthma problems or allergic reactions, while being prepared to survive them, should they arise.

Tip #1 - Self-cater

Tip #2 - Help your travel services providers help you.

Tip # 3 - Consider non-traditional accommodation

Tip #4 - When booking, ask questions and ask for written confirmation

Tip #5 - Be prepared for things to go wrong

Tip #6 - Prepare to be exposed to allergens during air travel

Travel widens people's horizons and offers a break from the stresses of everyday life. For those with allergies and asthma, travel can present challenges and stresses. However, the rewards of travel and the opportunity to experience what others consider the normal, pleasant experiences of life make the work and pre-planning worth the effort.

from Allergy & Asthma News, Issue 3 2005

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