Going on holiday is exciting, but it can also pose challenges especially for those who suffer from eczema and allergies. Changes in weather, diet, and exposure to new environments can trigger eczema and allergy flare-ups, making it important to plan ahead to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.
1. Plan ahead
Before you decide where to go consider the type of climate and environment that suits you best. Eczema can be exacerbated by dry or cold climates and if you have allergies, you may want to avoid destinations with high pollen counts or air pollution. Research your destination thoroughly before you book your trip and consider speaking with specialist companies (see end of blog for ideas on this). Find out in advance where the nearest chemist or hospital is to where you are staying, just in case you need it.
2. Pack smart
Packing the right items can make all the difference when travelling with eczema or allergies.
- Take a set of your usual creams and medications (e.g. anti-histamine) in both your hand luggage and your hold luggage, in case one goes missing.
- If you have food allergies, pack safe snacks and meals for the journey, and research a few local restaurants before you arrive. If travelling in the UK, take a look at https://www.allergycompanions.com/ a fantastic allergy friendly food review site.
- Wear and pack comfortable, breathable clothing that will protect and won't irritate your skin. Natural fabric like organic cotton is comfy, allows your skin to breathe and washes well. Thin layers are good for travelling so you can easily take on and off depending on the temperature.
- Take your own familiar toiletries and a couple of pure cotton pillowcases to protect sensitive facial skin from cushions or synthetic bedding fabric washed in harsh biological washing liquids. Consider taking a small amount of non-bio laundry liquid or powder in case you need to do any washing.
3. Avoid triggers
Travelling can expose you to a wide range of potential triggers, from new foods to different climates. Take steps to avoid these triggers, such as researching local food before you arrive or packing your own safe snacks. If you're flying, airplane air can be very dry, which can lead to eczema flare-ups so take extra moisturiser with you. If you have a pet allergy, consider choosing a pet-free hotel, or packing allergy medication just in case. Eczema tends to respond badly to stress, and delays, queues, and uncertainty only exacerbate it. Keep these tips up your sleeve for when a stressful situation arises.
4. Tell people – about any allergies or sensitivities
Communication is key. Let anyone you’re travelling with, airlines or hotels know in advance so they can be prepared and ensure you have the best holiday possible. If going to a country where you don’t speak the language, use the fantastic translation cards available from Allergy UK (https://www.allergyuk.org/our-services/translation-cards/) and if you're travelling with kids, consider using a medical alert bracelet or necklace to help identify their condition in case of emergency.
5. Stay hydrated
Travelling can be dehydrating, which can lead to dry skin and eczema flare-ups. Make sure to drink plenty of water and consider taking a refillable water bottle.
Travelling with eczema or allergies can be challenging, but with these tips, you can minimize your risk of flare-ups and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
Just remember to plan ahead, pack smart and above all, have fun!
We’ve found a few travel companies that specialize in providing safe and comfortable travel experiences for people with allergies. We haven’t vetted these and would be really interested to know if you have any experience with them.
1. Allergy Travels - This UK-based travel company specializes in allergy-friendly vacations, including accommodations that are free from common allergens, such as pets and dust mites.
2. Allergy Free Passport - This US-based travel company offers allergy-friendly vacation packages, including accommodations and activities that are safe for people with allergies.
3. FreedomeE - This global travel company specializes in allergy-friendly travel, offering a range of services, including custom travel planning, allergy-friendly accommodations, and on-site assistance for travellers with allergies.
4. Allergy Cosmos - This UK-based travel company offers a range of allergy-friendly accommodations and travel services, including flights, car rentals, and travel insurance.
If you're planning a trip and have severe allergies, it may be worth considering one of these companies to ensure that your travel experience is safe and comfortable.
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