Food allergies are no joke. Traveling when you have food allergies can be a real nightmare. Every meal you eat you have to scrutinize it make sure it is safe to eat. There is no fun in that, especially when you have younger children with food allergies! Is it possible? Absolutely! This is How to Travel Safely When You Have Food Allergies.
Pack Your Own Snacks
This might not be ideal, but packing your own food and snacks when traveling is essential if you have food allergies. Make sure you have a protein bar you can eat as well as cut up fruits and vegetables that are hardy and can withstand a day of travel. If you are road tripping, have a bag full of snacks and foods that are safe for you and your family to eat. The best part about road trips is that you can bring a cooler in your car and pack snacks in there. It is a little harder when you are bouncing between airports and hotels, but it is doable. Just make sure to plan ahead.
For those travelers with severe food allergies, bringing your own food or going grocery shopping when you get to your destination is essential. What is great is that a lot of places like Safeway or Whole Foods will deliver right to your hotel! So make sure to call ahead alf time and order your food to be delivered when you do.
Read the Labels!
One of the good things these days is that you can ask at most restaurants for an allergy-friendly menu. It lists out exactly what dish has the eight major food allergens – dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, corn, fish, shellfish and nuts. When you go to a place to eat and they don’t have an allergen menu, notify the server before you order of your food allergy. They should go back to speak with the chef to discuss your options.
Realize that many restaurants are not equipped to handle severe food allergies. A chef will do their best to make sure you are safe. But ultimately, it is your job to take control of your food allergy. Make sure you always carry an epi pen and Benadryl in case you have an adverse reaction. If your food allergy is severe and there is not a chef, but rather a cook, to discuss your food concerns, you might want to think about eating somewhere else.
Be safe, be prepared, and know that traveling with food allergies is tough, but it can be done. We have stayed at many hotels and although we have not flown as a family yet, I know that as long as I prepare myself and educate myself on the do’s and don’t of the airline I can keep my daughter safe.
Have you traveled with a family member who has food allergies?