Finding Lodging When You Have Severe Allergies: What to Ask for

When you suffer from extreme allergies, traveling can be a nightmare. You have your own home all set up with special filters in your HVAC system, freshly vacuumed or swept floors, sealed windows, and even hypo-allergenic bedding, but you wonder if hotels go to the same measures to keep their guests comfortable. If just thinking about staying in a hotel where other people (and possibly their pets) have ever stayed in your room makes your eyes water and your nose itch, then you need to learn how to ask for the best room for your needs. Here's how to do just that no matter where you are trying to find lodging.

Ask for the room closest to the front desk

The room closest to the front desk may be a great choice for you and your sensitive allergies for good reason: guests are less likely to cause mischief or try to sneak in kids or pets into rooms that are very close to the main staff and human traffic areas. This means if your room is listed as a non-pet, no-smoking room, it probably hasn't been abused that way. After all, previous guests who broke the rules of their room would not want to choose quarters so close to where they could get caught.

Ask for the room to be serviced as you check in

Make sure you check in during mid-day or early evening when housekeeping staff are still largely available, and politely ask the front desk staff if they would have housekeeping service your room before you get there. This way, you are more likely to have very fresh linen and towels in your room rather than the same materials that were placed in your room right after the last guest left (which could have been days or even weeks ago).

Inquire about hypoallergenic cleaning supplies

You may feel embarrassed to call the hotel and ask about hypoallergenic cleaning agents prior to checking in, but don't. Hotel staff have heard every guest inquiry and complaint there is, and they want to meet your needs as best they can. If you call the hotel and find out they don't use hypoallergenic chemicals in their rooms or they use bleach or other agents you are sensitive to, you can politely request that your room be prepared using gentle agents instead. Any hotel who wants to have your repeat business will be happy to accommodate you, especially where your health is involved.

As a guest in any hotel, you are the one ultimately in charge of your own comfort. Don't be afraid to speak up about your needs regarding your allergies, and you can be happy no matter where you stay.