When you’re on vacation with your family, the last thing you want to think about is allergies. Ensuring you’re properly prepared in terms of food, supplies, emergencies and, of course, air purification, can help your vacation go from a red-eyed, stuffed-up, runny-nosed hiccup, to a breath of fresh air.
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Options for the Allergy-Prone
To avoid spending more money than you originally planned on your vacation, it’s best to prepare your meals before you leave home. For those families with children who have severe food allergies or sensitivities to specific foods, having fast, easy and tasty snacks prepared for a road trip can be a convenient and useful option.
The hassle of not knowing which restaurants to go to, or what their food standards/procedures are, can be a real bother if any of the members of your traveling group suffer from a food allergy. Preparing your own delicious, nutritious food substitutes can make the difference between a grumpy, empty stomach and a content traveler.
If your child has a sensitivity to wheat or dairy products, it’s always advisable to pack a good, healthy dose of your daily recommended greens and fruits as a quick, easy snack. Packing nutritious veggies full of antioxidants, essential vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatories like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, grapes, berries, bananas, tomatoes and avocados are all great, healthy snacks that are full of vital nutrients integral to maintaining overall health.
You’ll also have the benefit of improved allergy symptoms overall, by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, so the more the merrier. Try pairing these with legumes or a side of hummus and everyone will be left feeling satisfied!
Be sure to check out your local supermarket as well, as wheat/gluten-free alternatives and milk-free products are commonplace nowadays, from gluten-free pancake mix, cereal, chips and pretzels, to lactose-free yogurt and dairy-free pizza. If your child is allergic to peanuts, eggs or another food, always exercise caution when purchasing products you’ve never tried before.
What to Pack
The car ride to your destination can be a bit of a drag if you’re bored. To keep you and your children occupied (and avoid anyone asking, “Are we there yet?”), bringing along travel games, cards, video games, mp3 players with your children’s favorite music or a portable DVD player with some movies/or shows can make a really big difference. When eating out or stopping for a quick bite to eat while on your travels, it’s always recommended to purchase some food allergy cards to make ordering at restaurants as simple as possible.
In the case of mold and seasonal allergies, it is best to purchase and pack an air ventilation system like a portable dehumidifier/air purifier for the hotel or accommodation (as well as for the trip in the car). You should also consider the severity of your child’s sensitivity to dust.
These are all important factors to consider when brainstorming what you’ll need on your trip. When keeping comfy in the car or the R.V., in the case of camping, ensuring all blankets, mattress pads or comforters/duvets are free of dust mites (due to their waste particles), can help alleviate allergies and asthma-related issues.
In Case of Emergency
The last thing you want when you’re vacationing is to be stuck not knowing what to do in the event of an allergy emergency. When or if an emergency does arise, like a severe food reaction or insect bite/sting, it’s important to consider what you need to be properly prepared. To avoid any potential issues, it’s vital to know what kind of allergies are at play and the proper methods to alleviate them.
If food allergies are the problem, ensuring you have an EpiPen/epinephrine auto-injectors at hand, allergy medication prescribed by the doctor or anti-inflammatory agents is very important. It goes without saying that a first-aid kit comes in handy as well. If there are asthma-related issues, consider bringing duplicates of inhaled medications as they frequently run out, and having a spare can be a lifesaver.
Hotels with Allergy Bedding Programs
If you or anyone in your family is stressed about finding a hotel that caters to your specific allergy needs, Pure Solutions is a company that was created for just that. The company focuses on providing allergy-friendly hotel accommodations which include hypoallergenic bedding encasements and air purification products to ensure your vacation goes as smooth as possible.
It’s as easy as plugging in the necessary variables, like your destination, desired arrival and departure dates, number of adults and children and, voilà, your search will yield a compiled list of available hotels you can choose from, all carrying their uniquely branded certified seal. It’s not just for North America, either. If you or your family are headed abroad, Pure Solutions offers accommodations all over the world.
If you have a specific hotel in mind that doesn’t appear on the site, do some research to make sure your accommodation caters to the allergy-prone. Some major hotel chains, like the Hilton, Doubletree and Wyndham in the U.S., offer rooms that are Pure certified.
Bringing the Right Portable Air Purifiers for the Car and Hotel
Air purifiers designed for small spaces and portability in mind are your best bet to avoid allergies altogether. Stuffy environments can be exasperated by being trapped in the car for long periods of time. Whether it’s because of traffic or because ‘someone’ took a wrong turn somewhere, stuffy air can be avoided through proper ventilation and air purification, even while in the car.
While some opt for ionizers (typically used in cars for ventilation), it’s best to go for an actual air purification system. The reason is that ionizers don’t actually purify the air at all. Essentially, ionizers just emit ions, which are molecules either containing a positive or negative charge.
In theory, these ionized particles are meant to trap various allergens and odors. By sticking to them, they essentially kill the smell/allergen. The result, however, is a thick film of dust and pollen that sticks to the surface of the fabrics in the vehicle and no real purification.
When considering the best option to purify the air in your car, it’s best to go for small, compact, portable air purifiers. They’re the most effective systems to combat those itchy red eyes, runny noses and constant sneezing.
When getting settled into the hotel, sometimes the air quality, depending on the accommodation, is not entirely optimal. Ensuring you bring a small, portable humidifier for the kids is a sure way to eliminate any lingering musty odors, especially if you’re heading southeast, as mold and mildew tend to permeate in more humid environments. Besides getting rid of pesky allergens, humidifiers are also good for your respiratory system, allowing you and your family to breathe easier and enjoy your vacation all the more!
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