6 Tips For Visiting Relatives

My kids and I all have invisible ailments. We also have invisible triggers to these invisible ailments. So, this means we have to plan ahead when we go on vacations. It means we have to be vigilant of our triggers. And, by saying we, I basically mean me. So, here are tips for traveling with your family to relatives -- especially those relatives with potential triggers (like pets).

Some tips

  1. Make Sure to take your medicine as prescribed. This one kind of goes without saying. But, if you’re normal like me, sometimes you forget to take it. You definitely don’t want to do this before visiting your aunt with that big dog. You definitely don’t want to do this before going to your family cabin. You will want to make sure your lungs are fully prepped for exposure to any potential asthma triggers.
  2. Pre-medicate yourself. For me, I know allergens are my top triggers. So, I usually start taking an antihistamine like Claritin a few days before I go places. If you do this, just make sure you do it with the approval of your doctor.
  3. Make sure to bring your medicines with you. This includes your controller medicines. These are the medicines you take every day to prevent symptoms. It also includes your rescue medicine, the medicine you take to treat symptoms. It’s never a good feeling when you feel symptoms and then you realize you forgot your inhalers or pills.
  4. Know where local pharmacies are. This is one of the nice things about large pharmacy stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid. You know that there’s one in most cities in the U.S. However, I have found that, when you need a medicine real bad, most pharmacies will call your home pharmacy to transfer your prescription over.
  5. Bring your own pillows. You are most likely to inhale asthma triggers that are closest to your airway. And, for most of us, our airway lie near our pillowcases. If you stay at a hotel you are probably fine. But, if you’re visiting relatives, you have no idea whether those pillowcases are clean or not. Did they brush up against a dog and pick up dog dander? Did they sit in a closet and pick up dust mites? You have no idea. So, best to play it safe and bring your own pillow or pillows. Preferably, it should have a freshly washed pillowcase.
  6. Cover your bedding as best you can. If you know the bed has fresh sheets, you are fine. But, if you don’t know for sure, it’s good to play it safe. This past weekend my kids and I slept on a hideaway bed. We placed a sheet over the bed. Plus, we placed a sheet over the back of the couch. Maybe this was being overly cautious. But, it makes sure that any asthma triggers on the couch material stay out of the direct line of your (and your kid’s) airway.

Share your tips for traveling with asthma

These are just some basic tips for traveling with asthma. I write these based on my own personal experience traveling. I have, at times, violated every tip here and paid the consequences thereof. I don’t want the same to happen to you. I imagine you have some tips of your own from your own personal experiences. Feel free to share them in the comments below if you want.

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