Allergy and Travel – How to Survive Dustmites in Hotels

Allergy and Travel - How to Survive Dustmites in Hotels

If you have a dust allergy and travel, then I don’t need to tell you about the discomfort of hotel beds and the plague of dustmites. At home, you can protect yourself with hypoallergenic bedding, with removing dust regularly and minimising surfaces dust and the nasty mites (and their poop) can collect on. But you have no such control in your travel accommodation. But don’t stress out about it because travel should be fun! To avoid feeling tired and itchy from resting your head in foreign beds, here are my tips on surviving your dustmite allergy during travel.

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Credit: Photo by Alexandra Gorn and Nik Lanús on Unsplash
Allergy and Travel - How to Survive Dustmites in Hotels

Avoid the Mite Hitchhike

In fact, dust mites travel the world just like we do. As we speak you could give millions of the tiny creatures a lift. They are on your clothes, in your bag, in your car and on the airplane. We can’t fool ourselves, they will never just go away, no matter how much you scrub or sanitise. But you can reduce their numbers. Only put washed clothes in your wardrobe. The same goes for your travel bag. Keep a separate bag for used and dirty clothing.

Bring Your Own Bed

Ok, that’s unreasonable but you don’t have to travel with mattress and mattress cover to ward yourself off from the mites. Mattresses and pillows in hotels are generally not encased (or washed adequately). You can, however, buy products that fit in your luggage and make you sleep better. Depending on how much space you have available, you can bring your own products. These could be a hypoallergenic pillow or a pillow cover. This you can use on the airplane and for replacing the hotel pillows (which are never that comfortable to begin with). To sleep between mostly dust mite free sheets, bring your own light, hypoallergenic sheets or snuggle up in a hypoallergenic sleeping bag liner.

Be Extra Sure

If you bring your own sheets or liner, then you might as well also bring your own hypoallergenic towels and sleeping mask along to combat dust allergy in hotels. Also, stay away from the comforter and decorative pillows as they are not washed as often as you would like. For extra measure, spray the room and bed with an allergen denaturing spray but put it in your checked luggage or it will be confiscated. Alternatively, you could fill it into a smaller spray bottle for travel purposes.

Get the Right Room

Before you book a room, make sure it is non-smoking and pet free. We all know how dust mites love to be carried around and live in furs. Furry pets means more hair shedding, more hair means higher chance of there still being some lying around, which is a perfect food hotspot for mites. If you are also allergic to mold, take rooms away from the pool and sea area. Also, I know there are hypoallergenic hotel rooms out there, so you might want to actively search for them.

Get a Dust Mite Allergy Treatment

For over a decade I have been undergoing hyposensibilization. I had to swallow tiny concentrated droplets and endured many a needle (and you can still see where) to get myself immunised. And though it helped a lot – as a kid I remember spending my summers peeking through extremely puffy eyes – it hasn’t cured it. It rarely does but I hated both methods anyway. How annoying is it to visit the doctor every few weeks for years on end? That sure isn’t working for travellers. So I signed up for a new hyposensibilization project, where I can medicate myself with some soluble tablets. That is actually brilliant and allows me to keep travelling. You should ask your doctor about it.


Let’s face it, we will probably never be rid of dust mite allergy and travelling with allergies can hardly be all-round pleasant. But that does not mean we have to give up the fight and sacrifice our health. Invest in some helpful and light gear to squeeze in your travel bags, take a few antihistamines with you (the not-so-sleepy kind) to be on the safe side and stay as much outside as possible. That’s what you came for, after all.

Be Prepared Take Along Your Allergy and Travel Essentials

Read next:

Travelling With Allergies – Tips and Tricks for a Stressfree Trip
How Travel Helped With My Depression – A Letter to the Hopeless
Flying & Health – 6 Powerful Ways to Stay on Top
Healthy Eating Habits for Your Travels You Haven’t Thought About

Credit: Photo by Alexandra Gorn and Nik Lanús on Unsplash
Allergy and Travel - How to Survive Dustmites in Hotels

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It had to happen, after ditching the 9-5 for a prolonged break, Annemarie's wokaholic tendencies led her to start a daily blog about her adventures. Realising how much travel has helped rebuild her confidence and and general #GirlBoss-iness, Travel on the Brain released a book about her adventures in Down Under and New Zealand and creates quirky video series focusing on story telling in destinations around the globe.
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  1. Pingback: The Inspira: A Must-Visit Sustainable Hotel in Lisbon // Review

    • Sam
    • 06/06/2017

    Hey im traveling to Cuba with my girlfriend who is allergic to dust the same way you are. i was thinking of buying her a sleeping bag liner (silk or a hot weather one) but wanted to know if you thought it would make any difference for sleeping? she’ll have her own little travel pillow too

    TIA for your response :)

    1. Reply

      Hi Sam, that is great travel news! I have heard so many good things about Cuba. Personally, I have never tried sleeping bag liners but my doctor did recommend them to me. It’s good that she will be bringing a special pillow along as I find that often pillows have feathers inside (breeding ground for mites) and I get swollen eyes. Also, I have tried the hyposensibilisation tablets against dust mites for a while now and found they actually help. Maybe she wants to look into that as well. It’s called Acarizax. I wish you an amazing trip!

  2. Reply

    Thanks Annemarie for your tips. I have allergies problem. As I don’t like hotel pillows. Great post.

    1. Reply

      Hi William, having allergies sucks. I know and yes, hotel pillows aren’t the best. Especially with a dust mite allergy, they are downright inconvenient. I am glad I could help you a little.

    • Anna Thompson
    • 07/12/2017

    Sleeping liners really come in handy, it prevents your bag from stinking from sweat and regular use. I found Brave Era liner on Amazon. I am using it every time I travel, this is the most comfortable liner I have.

    1. Reply

      Hi Anna, sleeping liners are a good idea. I will add your suggestion to the post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sharon
    • 08/04/2018

    I just returned from vacation and had a terrible allergy attack while traveling. I ended up with bright red rings around my swollen itchy tearing eyes as well as red itchy splotches on my face. I believe it was from the heating system (forced air). We actually covered the vents the second night. Luckily they were on the floor. Was wondering if there was a way to cover up my face for future travel.

    1. Reply

      Hi Sharon, that sounds terrible” I’m sorry you had that experience. I have not thought about covering your face to prevent allergy attacks like this. Do you think it was just a skin reaction you had from inhaling allergens? Have you tried an allergy mask? The Japanese, for instance, use them all the time, though I am not sure if there are any for nightly use. I would consult your doctor.

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