Summer vacation is a long-deserved break from school, but it also can be a worrisome time for people suffering from allergies or asthma or parents of children with the conditions. Allergies can flare up during the summer months, so preparing for camps, barbecues and traveling requires organization and preparation. Here are some valuable tips to help you and your family enjoy the summer.  

Before traveling… 

  • Get a check-up before you leave home. 
  • Update or fill your prescriptions, as needed. 
  • Include your medications and inhaler on your packing list.
  • Bring a portable nebulizer if you use one. 
  • Ask your doctor for a copy of your food allergy action plan or asthma action plan.

Traveling by car…   

  • Know that outdoor air pollution can make symptoms worse.  
  • Drive in the early morning or late evening when air quality is better.  
  • Keep the windows closed and run the air-conditioning on the “do not recirculate” mode if you have pollen or mold allergies. 

Traveling by plane…   

  • Use saline nasal spray once every hour to keep nasal membranes moist and comfortable.  
  • Swallow or yawn to reduce the pressure if you have nasal allergies. 
  • Wear earplugs to keep air from entering your eardrums. 

Staying at a hotel…

  • Ask for a “green” room, if available. Fumes from cleaning products may cause problems.
  • Read reviews about cleanliness in hotel rooms and cruise ship cabins. They can be home to bed bugs, dust mites and mold in carpeting, mattresses and upholstered furniture. 
  • Bring your own dust-proof, zippered covers if you are allergic to dust mites. 
  • Request a sunny, dry room away from areas near indoor pools if you are sensitive to mold and mildew. 
  • Ask about the hotel’s pet policy and request a room that has been pet free if you are allergic to any pets. 

Playing extreme sports… 

  • Don’t overtax your body if you have asthma. Be cautious if participating in scuba diving, running or other strenuous sports. 
  • Keep in mind that oxygen levels decrease above 5,000 feet if you are hiking in the mountains. 

Camping in the great outdoors…

  • Bring long-sleeved shirts and pants and mosquito repellant to avoid exposure to mosquitos, poison oak, poison ivy and insect stings. 
  • Bring ice packs, oral antihistamines and your inhaler to treat potential reactions. In case of a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate medical care. 
  • Keep your distance, sit upwind or wear a mask to keep smoke out of your lungs when you are enjoying fireworks and bonfires. These fun Independence Day traditions can cause asthma symptoms to flare up. 

Take time to read this valuable list of suggestions while planning your trip. The advance preparations will lead to a safe and worry-free vacation.  


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