Travel Tips: Traveling for those living with MCAS

Hotel stays, vacation rentals, don’t worry I’ve go a list of what to bring. I promise you this will be short & sweet. Depends on how limited you are, I recommend booking a hotel with a kitchenette. If it doesn’t have one, you can select another at least a microwave and a fridge.

Grocery Delivery Service

With apps like Door Dash, Instacart & Uber, you can get groceries delivered to any location. I’ve found Instacart to be very reliable. I can have my groceries delivered straight to my door. Getting fresh meats is essential to keeping histamine levels low, so being able to have groceries delivered is extremely helpful. Planning ahead for grocery meals is essential to decrease the chances of an anaphylactic event.

I have to stick to the same brands to avoid any reactions. For example, I am able to tolerate Ms Meyers Lemon Verbena dish liquid soap but I can’t use any of their dish soap with other fragrances. I learned that the hard way when I traveled from NC to NJ. I thought it would be a nice change to try the Ms Meyers Honeysuckle dish soap. It didn’t go as I planned. I had an anaphylactic reaction to it. So lesson learned.  Don’t assume a store will carry the same products when you cross state lines. I find that after I cross Virginia going up north to New Jersey, the stores do not carry the same products within a brand. So it’s advisable to bring those things along if your mast cells are very reactive & sensitive. Plan ahead and look up local grocery store or call to check if the carry you favorite foods or items.


Recommended Hotels with Microwaves:

Hampton Inn

Embassy Suite

Holiday Inn

We travel with our Instant Pot Duo. I love it for baking, air frying and pressure cooking. Knowing you can make anything you want, lessens the temptation to eat out. I found a way to make gluten free, dairy free & nut free brownies. ( I will share the recipe later). We also bring our rice cooker along with us, it works great in the car to make ramen noodles for the kids & heat up food. Or just make rice.

Having an AC inverter for the car is very important as well. You can purchase one at any auto parts store. I have a portable oxygen concentrator; the adapter makes it possible to use the oxygen in the car. Traveling takes a tremendous toll on my body so having portable oxygen in tow negates some of the negative effects of poor air quality around me. I find having a foot rest in the car helpful as well. I am short and my feet barely reaches the floor of the car comfortably. In order to avoid blood pooling, I bring a foot rest.

Be prepared for the adverse effects of traveling. Again, traveling out of your comfort zone is going to wake up those mast cells. That’s what I’ve found in my case. My biggest problem is exhaust fumes from other vehicles. I personally do not fly because you can not convince me a plane will land quickly enough if I have a medical emergency. Also, I feel so much is out of my control. Perfumes are a massive trigger for anaphylaxis for me and I can not control who will board that plane. That’s why I avoid flying all together.

Limit Driving Time

We do not drive for more than 4 hours at a time. Most of my long travel over a few days is for medical purposes only. If we are vacationing, 4 hours drive is our max to reach our destination. Vacation rental home is my preferred lodging for vacations. I like the one on one communication with the homeowner. They are more likely to accommodate my needs such as avoiding are fresheners, airing out the property before I arrive, etc.

There is it is. Add anything else you have found helpful while traveling. I will update this post as more ideas come to mind. Bon Voyage!

Top 10 Necessities For MCAS Vacationers:

Rice Cooker

AC Inverter

Instant Pot Duo

Cooking Utensils

Dish Liquid


Foot rest

Air purifier


Cleaning supplies

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