About 10% of people worldwide suffer from some sort of allergy, and the numbers are on the rise. While it’s easy to control allergies at home on a day-to-day basis, it can be challenging when you travel. Much has been written about food allergies – and rightfully so since they can be deadly. Yet allergies to feathers, chemicals and even dust have the potential to severely impact your vacation and, in rare instances, land you in the hospital too.
As both my son and I suffer from moderate feather allergy and asthma, I always take the time to chat with housekeeping staff in the different hotels we stay in to get the skinny on how they accommodate guests with allergies. On a recent visit to Walt Disney World resort, we stayed at the Boardwalk Resort and learned firsthand from their head of housekeeping staff how Disney accommodates guests with asthma and allergies.
The good news:
- The resort can provide at no extra charge deep dry cleaning with additional shampooing of carpets, upholstery, and drapes as long as the guest notifies the staff in advance.
- Housekeeping can be asked to use only vinegar and baking soda to clean the hotel room during the guest’s stay.
- Steaming with hot water of any hard surfaces and bathroom and patio floors.
- Guest room air conditioning filters can be changed.
- Fragrance free soaps and hypoallergenic pillows are available.
- Bed linens and towels can be sent out and laundered with special hypoallergenic soaps.
Furthermore the head of housekeeping for the hotel we stayed at mentioned they try to keep a stock of specially washed linens and towels in case they run out unexpectedly. In extreme cases the hotel can remove the upholstered sofa from the room (if the guest requests it) to minimize allergens.
The not so good news:
Since the hotel doesn’t have specific vacuums and cleaning utensils that are allergy free, you can still theoretically get sick if you are suffer from severe allergies.
What you should do:
- Flag your reservation at booking and ask for a detailed cleaning of the room and hypoallergenic bedding and towels.
Call the property a few weeks in advance and remind them about what accommodations you need.
Bring your allergy and asthma medications as well as a written prescription for your meds and Epi pen in case you run out.
Consider bringing your own soaps, shampoos and bed linens if your allergies are severe.
Have you or someone you know traveled with allergies? What are the accommodations they ask for in hotel?