Pet Allergies and Hotels
Travel and the Four-Legged Friend
When a person is an allergy sufferer, sleeping in a hotel room can become a worrisome experience. Due to the sheer number of people that sleep in an average hotel room a year, there are a wide variety of airborne allergens that can linger in a room, ranging from tobacco smoke, to air fresheners, to laundry detergent used for cleaning bedding, and finally, pet dander (skin flakes). Each of these elements can cause an allergic reaction, so allergy sufferers must prepare for any potential cause of allergens.
Pets and Hotel Rooms
A common misconception about pet allergies is that the pet's fur can cause an allergic reaction. This is a myth. It is not the fur that causes the allergic reaction; it is the allergen that clings to the fur. Pet dander (or skin flakes) are microscopic and float through the air, clinging to fur, carpeting, and furniture. These microscopic flakes can linger in the air after a pet has left the area. Other pet allergens can be found in the animal's saliva or urine. While a housekeeper may clean any affected areas, there may still be a lingering trace that can cause problems.
Pet Friendly Hotels
Hotels are often eager to attract pet owners, as they normally have a higher average income and are usually willing to pay deposit fees. Nearly half the hotels in the United States accept pets, and, according to the 2006 annual survey of the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the number of accepting hotels rose thirty percent in the last ten years. For this reason, people with pet allergens are concerned about staying in a room where a pet once slept or worry about coming into contact with a dog or cat. Therefore, it's important to do some research before staying at a hotel.
Plan Ahead of Time
The most obvious answer for a person suffering from pet-related allergies, is to simply never book a room at these types of hotels. However, this option may not always be available based on location. If this is the case, a person should research what a hotel's pet policies are, see if they have any non-pet-friendly sections, or request a room that has at least been pet-free for thirty days or longer. When booking a reservation for a hotel, make sure to let the reservations supervisor know of any special needs required for the duration of the stay, and, if a room does not meet an individual's needs, make sure to speak to the hotel manager for a potential room replacement.
The Right Steps to Cleaner Air
While allergy sufferers have to be watchful to avoid potential allergen problems, simple planning and research can circumvent most potential issues. Smart planning can prevent an overnight stay from a stranger's pet from ruining an allergy sufferer's travel experience.
Photo Credit: mambo1935