Multigenerational Black family posing for a family portrait in the garden.

Many who have been living in cold and snow for the last few months may be planning a spring break trip to a warm weather getaway…Trips like these can be a breeze if you just take a few precautions to protect your health.

With any long distance travel, it’s important to speak with your doctor and update your Asthma Action Plan or allergy treatment plan before you leave. Be sure your medications are up to date and pack double the amount you will need for the length of time you’ll be away.

Here are a few additional tips to help you prepare for spring travel.

  1. Expect the unexpected. It’s very difficult to predict how your asthma or allergies will react to an unfamiliar environment such as a beach or tropical resort. Start from a position of strength by keeping symptoms under control before you travel.
  1. Plan for a different climate. Warmer parts of the world may already be in the midst of spring allergy season, even if it’s still weeks away at home. Check the weather and allergen forecasts to get a sense of the conditions you’ll encounter. Ask your physician about starting allergy meds before you go.
  1. Research accommodations before booking. Don’t just look at hotel or resort photos online. Inquire about smoking and pet policies if those are among your symptom triggers and read as many online reviews about the hotel as you can. A knowledgeable travel agent may be able to help with specific questions about asthma- and allergy-friendly hotels.
  1. Check your insurance coverage, especially if you will be traveling out of the country. You’ll want to know that you can receive medical treatment should you need it. If your plan doesn’t meet your needs, consider special travel insurance.
  1. Locate a pharmacy, clinic and local hospital near your lodgings. Write down their phone numbers and business hours. Load this information on your phone or mobile device, then keep it with your important travel papers, along with a list of your medication brand names, generic names and dosages.
  1. Invest in a portable nebulizer if you use one at home. Check that the device is fully charged or purchase extra batteries if it requires them.
  1. Gradually adjust the timing of your medication to coincide with the time zone at your destination, using it a little earlier or later every few days. These changes are easier to make when you’re at home.
  1. Carry your medications with you on the plane. You’ll have access to them if necessary during the flight and won’t miss them if the airline loses your luggage. Extreme temperature changes in the baggage compartment can also render asthma and allergy medications ineffective.
  1. At your destination, store your medications in a cool, dry place. Humidity and heat in the tropics may exceed the conditions required for safe storage. Ask your doctor about the best way to handle your medications.
  1. Drink plenty of water during your flight and after you’ve arrived at your destination. Dehydration can aggravate asthma and allergy symptoms, especially in a hot and humid climate.