There are one or two extra things to think about when you go on holiday as an allergy sufferer. Here are six tips to make sure your trip is the happy and relaxing break you have been hoping for.
Living with an allergy isn’t always easy. While others can go through life without having to worry about whether a particular allergen is in their meal or if those are cat hairs on their clothes, some aren’t so lucky. Like anything however you learn to live with it and - with holidays - being prepared is key. Here are six tips for travelling with allergies.
Tip #1: Bring your medication
Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s important to really think through your medicinal requirements long before you leave. Ask yourself, how much will I need? Is my medicine in date? Do I have documentation in case airport security asks me to present it? Get your meds sorted long before you go so you don’t have to worry.
When taking medicine on planes, liquid, aerosol or gel medicines in containers under 100ml should either be placed inside a transparent plastic bag or carried separately with documentary proof. For medicines over 100ml, they should be carried separately, together with supporting documentary proof of authenticity such as a prescription or a letter from your doctor.
Tip #2: Check pollen levels
If warm days leave you feeling bunged up and sneezy it’s a good idea to consider pollen levels when choosing destinations. Predicting and tracking pollen is easier said than done, of course. Coastal areas can be a great sanctuary, as the coastal winds often blow pollen inland. You can check pollen levels for yourself on the Met Office website.
Tip #3: Bring allergy cards
Though English is the most widely spoken second language in the world, sometimes you’ll be in a country where it’s not the lingua franca. If you’ve got a food allergy you can’t take chances like this when dining out. Allergy UK supplies Allergy Cards to help you out. They cover 70 different allergens and are available in 36 languages. Coming in sets of three and featuring an allergy alert message, an emergency message and a message for use in restaurants - stating what must be excluded from your food - they’re an elegant solution to a potentially dangerous problem and are available here.
Tip #4: Check your accommodation
In the era of non-conventional accommodation like Airbnb, it’s important to make your allergies clear before booking to ensure no upsets on arrival. If you’re allergic to cats or dogs, ask beforehand whether the place is pet-free. If you’re staying in a hotel, have you asked if they provide for your food allergies? If you have a dust mite allergy, it may be a good idea to bring a mattress topper or your own bed sheets.
Tip 5: Check your airline’s policy
Each airline will have a slightly different policy for allergy management. Make sure you’re up to speed with this before you book and ensure you’ve alerted them about your needs in advance of the trip. A survey by Allergy UK revealed that 30% of respondents had been accidently served food containing harmful allergens on a flight. More than 17% had a reaction on a flight. Make sure you’re satisfied that your airline knows about your allergies before gobbling up the complimentary in-flight food.
Tip #6: Take out reliable travel insurance
It’s vital for anyone going on holiday to get insured. But this is especially true if you’re travelling with allergies. If you have a reaction while you’re on holiday that requires medical intervention, it could cost you thousands of pounds in medical bills. World First are experts in medical travel insurance and believe in providing travellers with comprehensive policies at a price that’s fair. Try us! Get an instant quote online or call 0345 90 80 161.