Photo of a plan in a beautiful bright blue sky

By Kevin Arnold
When traveling,  chances are you’re going to spend at least 10 hours a day in your hotel room – if only to sleep. The quality of your trip may very well depend on the quality of your hotel room.

Many hotels now offer hypoallergenic rooms, which are your best bet for a safe and healthy stay away from home. Here are a few additional hotel tips to ensure that your family vacation, weekend getaway or business trip are as comfortable as possible.

• Call ahead. Hotel industry staff are accustomed to handling allergy needs and should be happy to help make your stay more comfortable. Ask if the hotel offers allergy-friendly rooms.

• Choose a hotel that is smoke-free and pet-free. If you can’t find one, ask for a nonsmoking or a no-pet room.

• Don’t get a room on the first floor near a parking lot. Car fumes present problems.

• Inquire if the hotel staff uses cleaning products and laundry detergent that may irritate your allergies or cause a reaction.

• Traveling to areas near an ocean or lake? Call ahead and ask if certain rooms tend to be mustier than others due to proximity to the water. Ask to be placed in a room that is away from the water.

• Choose a room that is not near a hotel pool to avoid the harsh chemicals used in pool cleaning.

If your room has an air cleaner, make sure it’s a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) unit and does not emit ozone.

Ask for a de-feathered room without down bedding or pillows.

BYOB. Bedding, that is. If you use special pillowcases or dust-mite-proof bedding at home, bring them with you when you travel.

Upon arrival, inspect your room for signs of dust, pet hair, mold and other allergens. Don’t be afraid to ask to be moved to a cleaner room.