Traveling with Allergies: The Secret World of Allergy-Friendly Hotels
Traveling can be fun and relaxing, but if you have allergies or chemical sensitivities, it can also be stressful. Luckily, hotels are increasingly offering “allergy-friendly” room options, and some hotels are entirely allergy-friendly.
According to a 2010 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, in fact, 38 percent of hotels offer allergy-friendly rooms.
What do these promises mean, however? Can you count on hotels that claim to be allergy-friendly to really be so?
Allergy-friendly offerings can vary greatly from hotel to hotel, so as a traveler, it’s up to you to find out exactly what a hotel will offer before you book a room and stay there. Doing your research upfront will help save you headaches down the road.
One of the easiest ways to find an allergy-friendly hotel is to look for those listed by PURE Solutions, which has a searchable directory of hotels that meet this organization’s standards for allergy-friendliness. PURE-approved hotels, including properties owned by chains such as Wyndham, Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton, and Hyatt, follow a seven-step purification system, including air purification, deep cleaning of carpet and upholstery, and allergy-friendly bedding.
Even if a hotel is not PURE-certified, it might have its own similar standards. It’s always worth asking when making reservations if it offers allergy-friendly rooms, and how it defines “allergy-friendly.”
Here are some questions to ask before you reserve a hotel’s allergy-friendly room:
- What kind of bedding do you have? For many allergy sufferers, feather pillows and down comforters can cause problems, so look for other natural or synthetic fibers, as well as hypoallergenic coverings.
- How are the rooms cleaned? Look for hotels that use deep steam cleaning methods or Green Seal certified cleaning products, as well as HEPA vacuum cleaners.
- Are pets allowed? Pets in the room can leave behind dander and odors that can cause problems for allergic guests.
- Is there any smoking in the hotel? Even if you get a non-smoking room, smoke from other rooms gets into the air system and can affect the air in non-smoking rooms. Look for smoke-free hotels.
- Are air purifiers used? Air purifiers in individual rooms or in the hotel’s entire air system will help remove dust, mold, bacteria, and other potential allergens.
If you ask these questions and also take into account your own particular sensitivities, you should be ready to travel allergy-free.
Have you stayed in an allergy-friendly room or hotel that you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments section! For more tips about allergy-free vacations, take a look at our post, “Traveling with Allergies,” and as always, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for ongoing air treatment information and advice.