Car travel provides greater control over your environment than other types of transportation. It also gives you freedom to modify your itinerary based on weather conditions and your health. Follow these tips for safe travel.
Prior to your trip, schedule a checkup with your primary care physician or board-certified allergist and discuss your travel plans. Review your Asthma or Anaphylaxis Action Plan, talk about the allergens, irritants or activities that tend to set off your symptoms and what steps you can take while traveling to stay healthy. Request prescription refills, if necessary.
Then, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Have your car inspected by a professional who can make any necessary repairs before you set out. Ask your mechanic to replace the cabin air filters in addition to the engine filters as this will help improve the quality of the air inside your car. Next, have the vehicle thoroughly cleaned and detailed to remove any dust, mold or dander that may cling to carpets and upholstery. If you’re going to spend concentrated hours in this closed environment, you want to make it as healthy as possible.
Make a rough itinerary for your trip and identify hotel options to avoid any surprises when it’s time to stop for the night. Check out the availability of allergy-friendly hotel rooms along your route through www.pureroom.com and reserve in advance for a comfortable and relaxing night’s sleep. Making hotel reservations early will also give you ample time to make any allergy-friendly requests to the hotel staff in the event that you are not able to find a PURE Room nearby. If someone in your group is allergic to dust mites, bring along your own pillows or pillow encasings – and consider a travel dust-mite-proof mattress cover.
Once it’s time to load up the car and hit the road, remember to pack all of your medical necessities. One of the benefits of car travel is being able to bring everything you need without airline or train restrictions. Stow your emergency medications, your Asthma or Anaphylaxis Action Plan, insurance card and ID where you can get to them easily, not in the trunk or packed away in a suitcase. Check with your pharmacist about temperature and humidity storage guidelines for your different medications and whether they should (or should not!) be refrigerated in a cooler. Never leave medications in a hot trunk or glovebox; it’s often best to carry them with you.
Fill up the gas tank, check the tires, pack a supply of healthy and nutritious snacks and you’re ready to go! Road trips are a great way to enjoy the scenery from the security of an allergy-friendly environment. When you stop for lunch or to stretch your legs, be sure to keep the car doors and lift gate closed as much as possible. This will help reduce the level of allergens inside the car during your trip.
While you’re on the road, monitor weather conditions and the air quality forecast. There are several great apps you can download that will provide you with up-to-the-minute pollution, pollen and mold counts in the area. Keep the windows rolled up and the air circulating inside the vehicle if counts are high, and be aware that these conditions can change as you’re driving. If possible, plan your stops, sightseeing expeditions and other outdoor activities when the allergy forecast is favorable.
Whether going to Grandma’s or the Grand Canyon, enjoy your trip knowing that your careful planning and preparation will help keep everyone healthy.