If you have a pet allergy, you may be a little nervous about traveling this summer. An encounter with a dog, cat, or just their dander can leave you miserable and ruin your vacation. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid this issue, as the following guide will show.
Tip #1: Verify the room is pet-free
If you are staying in a hotel, call ahead of time and verify that they offer rooms that have never had pets in them. Your best option is to choose a hotel that doesn't allow pets at all, but the second best option is to select one that has dedicated pet-free rooms. It's even better if you can ensure a pet-free floor so you don't have to worry about encountering pets and possible allergens when in the hall or walking to your room.
Tip #2: Bring your own linens
Whether you are staying in a hotel or with family that has pets, you could end up with linens that have pet dander on them. Pillows are generally the biggest culprit, as they are hard to clean thoroughly and the dander is closest to your eyes, nose, and mouth, where it is often the most irritating. If you bring your own pillow or at least a pillowcase meant to seal against dust and pollen, you can cut down on some of the pet allergen exposure when you sleep.
Tip #3: Invest in an air filter
Portable air filters or air purifier devices are small enough to travel with you by car, or you can purchase one upon your arrival if traveling by plane. Choose one equipped with a HEPA filter, as these have fine enough filters to trap even the smallest of pet dander particles. You can plug these in inside your room and cut down on the amount of allergens circulating. The key is to leave the purifier running around the clock, and not just when you are in the room or sleeping. Also, check the instructions to see how often the filter needs cleaned or changed. Combining the use of the filter with keeping your room's door shut may be your best option if you will be staying with someone that owns animals that trigger your allergies.
Before leaving on vacation, check out http://www.oakbrookallergists.com for more information. Talk with your allergist about other treatment options. They may be able to offer you more tactics or prescribe medication that can help you cope with your pet allergies while on vacation.