Coping, Triggers

Travel Lodgings with Fewer Odors and Chemicals

If odors or chemicals trigger your headaches, traveling can be miserable. The moment of opening the hotel door and having a scented room spray rush out fills me with dread because I know that I may spend much of the trip in that very hotel room with my head pounding.

Nancy Westrom, who has multiple chemical sensitivity, has created a guide to vacation lodgings with reduced toxicity (and often odor). A few of the options are listed online and you can buy a printed directory for $17. The directory, which was updated this year, lists 285 different “safe” US vacation lodgings and 30 international locations. It also includes 51 campgrounds, most of which are in the US.

If you need to stay somewhere not on the list, she recommends reserving lodging as far in advance as possible and e-mailing to ask for your needs to be met, following up to make sure this has been done and leaving a generous tip for housekeepers. For herself, she asks for rooms far away from renovations and with lots of windows. I’d also make sure the windows open to rid the room of residual perfumes.

The Safer Travel Directory is a brilliant idea with lots of information to make travel a little easier for us. Now we need to come up with a guide on dealing with the environmetal triggers of headache found in cars, planes, trains and buses. Any ideas?

(For more information online about lodging for odor- and chemical-sensitive travels, Google green hotels.)

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