Allergies Affecting Your Vacation Plans?

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: May 27, 2010 11:08 AM
By Shawn Hayward

A few extra steps can help you leave your comfort zone for that exotic vacation you'd only been dreaming of.

Some airlines carry epinephrine in flight, but take whatever medications you may need anyway, just in case. Check with the airline beforehand for up-to-date rules on medication in carry-on baggage. During flight, keep the medication within reaching distance, not in the overhead compartment.

Meals may or may not be peanut free, so check with the airline. If you have an allergy to milk or eggs, book a flight after breakfast to avoid the greatest likelihood of those foods being served.

Handwipes are a great way to wash when there is no soap and running water available. Use them to keep your hands free of pollen and mould that might end up in your nose or eyes.

If you have an allergy to perfumes or anything else that can be inhaled, ask the flight attendant to make an announcement at the start of the flight asking passengers not to use these products.

Rice contains no gluten, so people with Celiac's disease may want to visit Asia, where rice is a much more common food ingredient than wheat-based products.

Your usual brand of medications may not be available in another country, even in the U.S. Pack more supplies than you think you'll need so you won't have to rely on local pharmacies.

When in a foreign-speaking country, it's going to be hard telling restaurant staff about your allergy if you don't know the language. Make cards ahead of time describing your allergies in the native language and hand them to your waiter. Make sure it's properly translated. One website,, will translate for you.

Nebulizers will probably need an electrical converter because most countries run on different currents than the 120-volt North American standard.

If you're allergic to mould, ask for a hotel room with lots of windows. Mould grows in warm, moist, dark places, so make sure the room is far from the indoor pool.

To read about ragweed free vacations in Newfoundland and Labrador, check out the Explore section in the June issue of Downhome, on stands now!