Some people are allergic to gluten. Others must steer clear of peanuts for fear of going into anaphylactic shock.
I'm lucky. My allergies are tame compared to others, and they won't kill me (I hope).
Yet, they are debilitating in their own way, and they affect how I travel.
Years ago, after having problems breathing, I went to see an immunologist.
He declared me to be allergic to dust, pollen, and grass. All three of these things are, as you can imagine, basically inescapable in life.
How does this affect how I travel?
Depending on where I am (and interestingly enough, it's at its worse in my native country of Australia), I get sneezy, my throat swells, my glands ache, and I'm rendered utterly exhausted.
Some days I'm so severely affected by these symptoms that I can barely muster the energy to do anything.
It's frustrating – I hate wasting days on the road.
I've had operations on my sinus and have tried every conventional medicine under the sun.
Nothing worked, and I was told it was just something I would have to live with.
To hell with that, I say!
Over the years, I have trialed some less-conventional methods to keep my sinuses as clear as possible so that I can take full advantage of my time spent traveling.
I'm no health expert by any means.
However, these are some of the methods I use when traveling, and they may go a little way in helping you too.
1.Indulge in Hot Drinks (With an Added Extra)
There are reportedly many health benefits to the drinking of Apple Cider Vinegar.
A spoonful of ACV in a cup of hot water consumed morning and night can help to reduce symptoms of hay fever and allergies.
Of course, lugging around a glass bottle of AVC could prove to be a huge pain when traveling.
Take a smaller bottle or consider an alternative option.
If you're a tea-drinker, you might be interested in nettle tea.
Nettle Leaf is an all-round winner as far as antihistamines are concerned, and a cup a day may go some way towards taming seasonal allergies.
2. Use a Neti Pot
I've personally used varying versions of Neti Pots for years.
You boil water, fill the pot, and add a saline solution such as Himalayan or sea salt.
This is then used for flushing out your sinuses, which clears the passages of dirt, toxins, and excess mucus.
Although it sounds disgusting, I've rarely caught colds, and I've not had the flu since I started using a Neti Pot.
There too, is a noticeable difference to the strength of my allergies.
A word of advice – don't do any yoga straight after nasal cleansing – stick to activities that will keep you sitting/standing upright.
3. Essential Oils – As Essential as the Name Suggests
It's easy enough to carry around a small container of essential oil when traveling, which will help soothe allergic symptoms when they strike you.
Lavender Essential Oil is a natural antihistamine. At home, a couple of drops in a bath can do wonders for sinus headaches or to induce sleep.
On the road, rub a few drops between your hands and inhale deeply through your nostrils.
As Lavender is a mild EO, you should be able to use it topically (meaning apply it to your skin).
Rubbing a dab onto your chest or head can be useful in providing allergy relief.
Peppermint is another go-to EO that can help treat allergic reactions.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to help improve breathing. One drop to the base of your neck or a drop of diluted oil around your nostrils can help soothe inflammation.
Don't forget to patch test oils and creams on a small area of skin 24 hours before applying, especially if yours is particularly sensitive.
Another option is to dilute the EO's with a carrier oil such as coconut or jojoba oil.
4. Don't Waste Tissues, Carry a Handkerchief
No matter what you do, you're probably going to find that there are days when your nose won't stop streaming, or you'll suffer continually from surprise sneeze attacks.
I find tissues to be hugely wasteful and disgusting to carry around. I deal with this by having a hanky (handkerchief) on me, wherever I go.
My favorites are those designed and made by Canadian company TSHU.
Traveling with allergies can be utterly debilitating – trust me, I understand.
However, these methods will hopefully go a little way towards easing your symptoms while you're on the road.
LC is an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia. Follow her adventures at home and abroad via her blog Birdgehls, where she writes about travel, expat life, gushes on about various animals and bemoans her often futile attempts to go completely green. Or, you can look her up on Facebook.
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- World Nomads for travel insurance.
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