How to Enjoy a Non-Toxic, Allergy-Free Summer Vacation
The summer vacation season is officially here, but your travel plans may have been clouded by recent viral reports of unexplained illnesses by tourists. These stories serve as an important reminder regarding potential toxin exposure for vacationers, regardless of where you travel. While locals can build a tolerance, newcomers can prove more sensitive to everyday environmental agents, from the pollen of indiginous plants, to chemicals in cleaners or pesticides not used in the U.S. With this in mind, we’ve gathered some simple tips to reduce your toxic exposure this summer.
Research your Hotel:
When choosing a hotel, location and room size may be on the top of your priority list. In addition, you should also consider your hotel’s use of chemicals. Ask your hotel what pesticides they use on their grounds. Also consider searching for hotels that have adopted a green-cleaning program, avoiding harsh substances that may cause adverse reactions. The market has dramatically expanded in eco-friendly options, from luxury boutique properties to popular hotel chains like the Hyatt and Fairmont brands.
Prepare for Pollen:
Travel provides wonderful opportunities to explore nature. However, this also means more exposure to new plants. The new pollen may aggravate your respiratory conditions. When scheduling your trip, find out what time of year the pollen count is at its lowest. If you have serious allergies or asthma, consider choosing low-risk destinations. Beaches are always a safe bet due to their low vegetation. Be sure to bring your own allergy medication with you, as finding appropriate alternatives may prove difficult abroad.
Manage your exposure to new environmental agents by reducing contact. After a day outdoors, be sure to shower and change your clothes to remove any pollen or other environmental substances you encountered. If you have a particular skin sensitivity, request new bedsheets daily for your room, and consider bringing your own pillow to avoid potential irritation.