Whether it’s Brighton or Budapest, as a hayfever sufferer you must consider more than just the destination when planning your next holiday.
When mixed with pollution hayfever symptoms can become more intense as pollution creates smog which traps pollen and stops it from escaping into the upper atmosphere. With nowhere to go, pollen lingers longer than would normally be the case and so you may experience particularly bad hayfever, or you may experience it out-with the usual period of pollination.
Also, it’s been said that pollution can make ‘super pollen’ whereby pollen becomes thicker and stickier so clings more easily to the nose, throat and skin thus making symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and a runny nose more severe.
So, this means that during the summer, city breaks can be particularly problematic for hayfever sufferers so it’s important to bear that in mind before you go making any bookings.
In contrast, pollen counts tend to be lower nearer the sea so this is good news if you want to plan a holiday with sun, sea and relaxation this summer!
Before booking a destination take time to check what the pollen forecast usually is around the time of your planned arrival date. As I’ve mentioned in many of my blogs, knowing the pollen count is often the first step you can take in order to deal with hayfever. Also, in the days before you leave ensure you check the pollen count of your holiday destination. For trips in the UK you can use our local pollen forecast which includes a five day pollen forecast for over 30,000 destinations in the UK.
When it comes to accommodation, it’s really important that you get a non-smoking room. This shouldn’t be a problem in the UK but occasionally the smoking laws are less strict abroad so it’s worth enquiring about it before you book. After all, the remnants of smoke can intensify the already problematic symptoms of hayfever such as coughing and itchy eyes.
With the planning done and the bookings made, next up on the holiday to-do list is packing! However, as a hayfever sufferer, what’s essential on your packing list?
It’s usually recommended that hayfever sufferers stay indoors when pollen counts are high but on holiday this isn’t possible - there’s simply too much to see and do! This means it’s really important that you’ve got any necessary hayfever medications with you when you go away.
I’d recommend that you take enough treatments to last longer than the time you are away so that you don’t run out. Also, if you are flying make sure that your (non-liquid) medications are in your hand luggage so that if your luggage should get mislaid on the journey, you won’t be without anything. Just be sure to keep your medications in their original packaging so that airport staff know what it is if they need to check your bag.
As I’ve discussed in previous blogs, when the immune system detects an allergen it releases histamine in an attempt to get rid of it. However, this increases blood flow to the affected areas and as a result, makes them more sensitive. This means that during a flare up of hayfever, your essential holiday toiletries such as sun cream, insect repellent and after sun could irritate your skin.
So, when packing your suitcase be sure to consider taking a few natural, allergy friendly toiletries with you. Our Neem Shampoo for example, contains extracts of neem leaf to nourish hair and soothe the scalp. We also have a Neem Insect Repellent for fending of those annoying mosquitos and midges which are so common in the summer months. Plus, if you spend a little too much time in the sun and end up with sun burn, there’s also our Neem Cream. This is also really soothing if hayfever brings you out in red, itchy rashes.
These are essential for most summer holidays, but especially if you are a hayfever sufferer. That’s because they protect your eyes from the niggling effects of pollen as you go about your sight-seeing or outdoor activities.
Pollen can attach to your clothes when you are out and about so I’d recommend taking some extra outfits to allow you to change when you return to your accommodation at night. This will prevent the pollen spreading indoors and should, in turn, lessen the effects of hayfever.
I also often recommend that when pollen counts are high, you should wash your hair before going to bed. This stops pollen from reaching your pillow where it can bring on severe symptoms.
Our Luffa Complex is a great option if you are suffering from the effects of hayfever. This contains seven tropical herbs to help ease symptoms like itchy skin and a blocked nose. This is a tincture rather than a tablet so is easily absorbed by the body meaning you’ll get the benefits of it swiftly.
Travelling by car
Before and during a road trip there are a few steps you can take to reduce the effects of pollen.
First off, give the interior of your car a little clean as this will get rid of any pollen that may be lurking there.
Both pollen and pollution levels tend to be lower early in the morning and late at night so if possible, it’s best to set off for your journey around this time. You may have to get out of bed earlier than you’d like but on the plus side, there should be less traffic at this time!
When driving it’s best to keep your windows shut to prevent allergens from getting inside your vehicle. You can use the air con to cool down if it gets a little warm! Plus remember to circulate air inside the car rather than using the outdoor vent setting as again, this will prevent allergens like pollen from getting in the car.
What you eat and drink can play a big part in how bad your hayfever symptoms are. The likes of alcohol, caffeine and food with artificial colourings are all high in histamine for example, which could make the condition worse. So, if you’re packing any car snacks fresh is definitely best for hayfever sufferers. I’d recommend mixing up a fresh fruit smoothie before you go as there are so many recipes to choose from. Our hayfever-blasting smoothie is particularly tasty and has lots of beneficial vitamin C and antioxidants.
Finally, if you are jetting off somewhere exciting this summer, here are a few things to remember when it comes to your hayfever.
The air on planes can be dry which can worsen a runny nose and congestion. Therefore, it can be handy to keep a nasal spray in your hand luggage should you need help in relieving any of these problems. I’d recommend the Pollinosan Nasal Spray as this cleanses and soothes the nose to make it feel more comfortable.
Water is incredibly important if you suffer from hayfever because drinking lots of it soothes the throat to ease any discomfort there. However, it also loosens mucus, allowing it to flow more easily from the nose. This reduces the problem of a blocked nose, one of the most common hayfever symptoms.
You’ve planned, packed, travelled and now you’ve reached your destination so what’s next? Well, the main thing is relax! With all these handy tips in place you should be in the best position to enjoy a hayfever-free holiday.