Travelling with allergies and asthma checklist

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Allergies and asthma may present challenges especially when travelling.

When planning travel, it is important to be prepared!

Doctors

  • Travel vaccinations
  • Repeat prescriptions for medications you may need during the trip. Take enough in case there are delays, lose it or need an alternative dose (eg asthma medications). Ensure medications are in date.
  • a doctor’s letter outlining what medications you need to take
  • if required, a medical report for your travel insurance policy
  • For those with anaphylaxis, download the travel plan for anaphylaxis and have it completed by the doctor

Insurance

  • Choose the appropriate travel insurance
  • Make sure that the policy covers your medical condition.
  • Check if there are any special conditions such as doctor’s report or additional fee to cover anaphylaxis treatment

Accomodation

  • Consider residing in an accomodation where a kitchen is included. This will give you options to prepare your own food.
  • When booking, enquire about relevent risks of allergens (eg pets).

Hospital and other medical facilities

  • Familiarise yourself with the nearest clinics in case of emergency. Note down their contact information and ensure you have access to a phone.

When boarding

  • Inform ship/ airline attendants when you board about your allergies and location of ASCIA action plan and adrenaline autoinjector if required. You may wish to notify passengers around you as well.
  • If a reaction occurs while travelling, follow ASCIA action plan notify attendants so they can assist you if required.
  • Consider taking own supply of food but bear in mind food and drink restrictions in international flights.
  • Ensure that adrenaline auto injector is within grasp, do not put in the overhead locker or anywhere where you cannot reach in an instant.
  • If you have  strong allergic reaction, you may consider to wipe down armrests, tables, seats to remove remaining food allergens.

Other tips:

  • Keep medications in their original packaging. This minimises problems with Customs in the airports.
  • Remember to carry essential medications in hand luggage such as autoinjectors
  • Consider getting an flu injection if asthmatic. Flu can worsen asthma and there is higher risks of flu infection when travelling.
  • When travelling to non- English speaking countries, bring language travel cards that can warn about your allergy to show to the service staff.

Reference: Australasian Soceity of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Inc Travelling with allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis checklist