How To Protect Yourself From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning While Traveling

There are several potential risks that you plan for when traveling. While relatively uncommon, carbon monoxide poisoning can be easy to overlook when planning your trip and enjoying your stay. Here are some of the signs to look for and ways to avoid the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO).

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The recent death of two American tourists at a Sandals resort in the Bahamas is a sober reminder to be alert to the silent threat of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide comes from burning fossil fuels such as gasoline, natural gas, charcoal or propane. It’s a colorless and odorless gas that’s virtually undetectable with the naked eye until you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Mayo Clinic states that common CO poisoning signs include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Sadly, severe carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.

It can be easy to confuse these symptoms with other illnesses that may seem more common when traveling. If you suspect you’re experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, seek fresh air immediately and receive medical attention.

Stay In Well-Ventilated Rooms

Excessive carbon monoxide is more likely in gas-heated hotel rooms or vacation homes. If you have a gas oven in your vacation home, don’t use it to heat the house.

Look for reviews from previous guests to find any potential red flags about faulty heating or kitchen systems.

Know Where The Fire Exits Are

Getting outside and breathing fresh air as soon as possible is the best remedy. Know where the nearest fire exit or exterior door is.

Your hotel room should have an emergency evacuation map displaying the exits in relation to your quarters.

Bring A Carbon Monoxide Detector

Portable carbon monoxide alarms easily fit in your travel luggage and have a long battery life. They are affordable for less than $30 each, so you may bring several to place in your sleeping and cooking areas.

If renting a vacation home, see if the host installed carbon monoxide detectors.


Carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to suspect as it’s an invisible threat. Thankfully, there are several easy ways to avoid getting sick.

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