Happy Holidays with Eczema and Allergies: Tips for a Stress-Free Trip
By Jo Greensdale
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.
- Take your usual medication / creams in both hand and hold luggage if flying
- Pack a pure cotton pillowcase and wear light layers of comfy breathable clothing
- Tell people about any allergies – they can help you have the best holiday possible
- Stay hydrated
- Have fun!!
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.
- Organic cotton gloves and pure cotton no elastic socks are great for avoiding allergens in airports.
- 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.
- Distract yourself with music, podcasts, audiobooks and the radio
- Do some breathing exercises or practise meditation before you leave – download a meditation or breathing app on your phone!
- Mind games such as crosswords, sudoku and wordle can also be diversions as well as something all the family can enjoy
- For kids, fidget toys can be useful
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.
Allergy Free Passport – This US-based travel company offers allergy-friendly vacation packages, including accommodations and activities that are safe for people with allergies.
Food Allergy Gateaways – This American-based travel company specializes in allergy-friendly travel, offering a range of services, including custom travel planning, cruises, allergy-friendly accommodations and restaurants.
Artisans of Leisure – A luxury travel company based in the US that takes allergy concerns of their customers very seriously and works closely with tour guides, hotels and restaurants to ensure that their customers are well looked after while on holiday.
Equal Eats – A company that offers allergy translation cards to help you communicate your allergies in any language across the world. You can find a 15% discount for their products on this page.
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.
Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you found it useful and inspired you to start planning your next stress free allergy friendly trip.
You might also enjoy reading Travelling Abroad Since My Coeliac Diagnosis.