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Most people love to travel and people with MCS are no exception. However, when you're sensitive, travel can be quite frightening. Most of us consider our homes as a safe haven, free from the pollutants of the world. However,
Safe Travel Directory
MCS Safe Hotels
Hotels Receptive to MCS Needs
SAFE TRAVEL DIRECTORY
Green Lodging Directory for the Health Conscious and Chemically
The 2007-2008 edition of the Safer Travel Directory has 658 listings, 314 of which are new:
MCS SAFE HOTELS
August 2007 - USA Today article on hotels creating "green" rooms for "sensitive" people.
Pride & Joy Environmental Resort - Melbourne Beach
SeaShell Suites - Melbourne
The Natural Place - Deerfield Beach
New Life Retreat, Center for Renewal and Healing
El Santuario De Ensenada Blanca - Baja California Sur
"Green" Hotels are properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste--while saving money--to help protect the earth. These hotels may not be safe for people with MCS, but they are a lot better than a standard hotel.
Evergreen Rooms by Hartford - American hotel chain offering "environmentally friendly" rooms containing air and water filters and less-toxic cleaning.
Green Hotels Association - Member hotels offer "green" rooms.
The Safer Travel Directory - Directory of Green Lodging in the USA & around the world.
Environmentally Safer Accommodations Directory - Mainly Canadian, but some USA listings.
Organic Places to Stay - Places to Stay with Organic Produce, some with Green lodging.
Maho Bay - St. John, US Virgin Islands - Eco friendly Suites & Tents.
HOTELS RECEPTIVE TO MCS NEEDS
These hotels responded to requests for accommodations from HEAL members:
Courtyard by Marriott - Ocala, FL
Radisson Plaza Hotel Orlando - Orlando, FL
Doubletree Hotel Lake Buena Vista - Lake Buena Vista, FL
Hilton Garden Inn - Fort Myers, FL
Wingate Inn - Atlanta, GA - 2 "safe" rooms with hardwood floors
1. Stay with the larger chains. They are better equipped to deal with special needs and don't use scented laundry detergents.. Try to communicate these needs, either verbally or in a letter. Call back at a later date to make sure that housekeeping got your message. Don't try to explain MCS, just tell them what you need or don't need e.g.: no air fresheners, windows that open or no new renovations.
2. Take your own pillow and your own sheets, if you have space. Also take 2 emergency blankets (mylar), to cover the matress, sofa, etc. Mylar is available from sporting goods stores and is excellent at covering up odors.
3. Take a portable, air purifier, ionizer or ozonator.
4. Try to get a room with windows that open to the outside. Rooms with balconies or patios are great. This will help remove any airborne chemicals.
5. Upon check in, open the window and run the fan for a few hours.
6. Request no room service during your stay.
7. Many chains now have window guards that prevent the windows from opening more than a couple of inches. It is often possible to remove these guards by using a screwdriver.
8. Choose a motel or hotel that will guarantee a non-smoking room.
9. Inquire about pesticide use on the hotel property and try to get a room that has not been recently treated.
10.Inquire as to recent room renovations and avoid these rooms.
11.Try to travel in the off-season, so that if you cannot tolerate your room, there are more rooms available at that hotel or other hotels.
Sample Hotel Letter requesting accommodations:
I always fax the letter two or three days before I arrive or when I am about to leave on a trip. If they don't call me I call them to be sure they will be able to clean as a I asked. I have found if I don't call or hear from them, they have not gotten the word to the right person to clean as I asked.
Hilton Garden Inn
12600 University Drive
Fort Meyers, FL 33907
REF: Reservation for Joe Soap, confirmation No. 3175356 for two nights, Oct. 7 and 8, 2003 for 1 king, no-smoking bedroom for two adults at the rate of $79, plus tax, guaranteed by Visa
ATTN: Housekeeping Dept. or Executive Housekeeper
I have multiple chemical allergies and I would appreciate it if you would clean the room in the following way so that we may get a good night’s rest without too much exposure to chemicals.
1. Use an ozone machine for an hour in the room the night before if possible to clean the room of excess chemicals. Open the windows to get out the excess ozone. If windows do not open, use a fan to blow the excess ozone in the hall and turn the air conditioning on high speed.
2. Wash the bathroom with baking soda and water.
3. Clean bathroom fixtures with a non-chlorine cleanser and water. If a disinfectant is
needed, use borax and hot water.
4. Wipe room furnishings including telephone and mirrors with a clean damp cloth.
5. Remove all complimentary personal hygiene products including soap.
In summary, no Pledge, Tilex, Windex, Comet, Lestoil, Lysol, Glade, Pinesol, or similar products and no aerosol sprays including air fresheners or perfumed cleaning products.
If there are questions you may reach me at 770-555-5555 by October 1, 2003. I would appreciate your calling me to let me know you can clean the room as I asked. Thank you very much.