Studies show people with food allergies take fewer vacations. Sure I find traveling to an unfamiliar place daunting, but with some planning there ‘s no reason to let your food allergy hold you back from exploring the world. Here are some top tips gained from experience that you can use on your next adventure.
>> Bring Your Own Food — This is especially important if you are flying since most airports and airlines don’t offer food allergy safe food. Never check your food – always carry it on board with you and always carry more than you think you will need. You never know when you will be stuck in an airport on a long delay.
>> Pre-Board — Always pre-board when flying so you have enough time to wipe down tray tables, armrests, sea belts, surrounding areas. It’s wise to alert airline staff you have a food allergy in case of an emergency.
>> Fly In The AM – If possible, book the first flight of the day. As the day goes on airplanes are not the cleanest places in the world. Avoid coming into contact with crumbs, pet hair/dander, and sticky food residue left on armrests and trays by taking the first flight of the day.
>> Bring Your Meds-– If flying, be sure you carry meds in your carry on bag. Never check medications. If driving, don’t leave meds and Epi in hot cars for long periods of time.
>> Speak the Local Lingo – If you’re traveling overseas it’s important to know how to say a few key words or sentences in that language to describe your allergy. Google Translate is a helpful tool. For example, in Italian, “Sono allergico al latte”means I am allergic to milk. Taking translation cards is another excellent way to avoid confusion and eat safely when traveling overseas. Check outSelect Wisely for its extensive selection of translation cards for food allergies , pet and seasonal allergies, and other medical conditions such as diabetes.
(Note: I am affiliate with Select Wisely and earn a small commission on all products bought with link. My cats need to eat )
>> Book a Kitchen — Look for hotel rooms that have kitchens or mini cooking facilities right in the room. This will be especially helpful if your’re in an area where accommodating food allergies is sparse. Be sure to clean/sanitize microwaves, stoves counter tops before using. If you are able, bring your own cutting board, utensils and a pot to cook in.
>> Travel with Your Doctor — Chances are your allergist is not coming on vacation with you, so carry your doctor’s name and phone number in case an emergency room needs to contact your physician. And always know where the local, closest ER is in the area of travel in case of emergency. Carrying a doctor’s note stating you have food allergies and need to travel with food can also be helpful for getting through airport security lines.
>> Create a Checklist – I am notorious for always forgetting something when I travel. I’ve learned that a checklist is essential for getting me out the door and not forgetting anything. This is especially helpful if you have a food allergy and have to travel with extras. Check out this checklist from out friends at FAACT
These are just a few, quick tips to help you plan your next vacation. No one wants to go on vacation and be sick or hungry but by planning ahead and doing your research you can have an enjoyable and memorable time.
What tips do you have traveling with a food allergy? Share in our comments section.