Navigating food allergies while traveling

Great start to school year+soccer games= monster milkshake

Great start to school year+soccer games= monster milkshake

I survived my kids first week of school and all the activities!  While the season seems very busy, I try to soak in all the goodness it brings.  A new school year can bring about a whole new set of fears but I am working hard to release the fear and trust it will be ok.  

As a travel advisor I am pretty fearless when it comes to traveling.  I love to fly, see new places, travel with my kids, figure out how to navigate a location, etc.  The one thing that causes me a little stress is finding gluten free options while I’m traveling. While I am not allergic, I can tell you with just a little gluten can really put a damper on the vacation.  It can be scary leaving the familiar and going to the unknown when your health is involved.  

I have been gluten-free for 6 years and I do feel the combination of awareness and available options are making it easier to travel with allergies.  If you are new to an allergy or have let fear get in the way of travel here are a few tips to help you on the journey. Please know I am not a medical doctor or expert but someone who suffers with my own food sensitivities.

 

Tips to help navigate food allergies while traveling


BEFORE LEAVING

  • Ask your doctor to write extra prescriptions that you can carry with you. Learn their generic and brand names in the countries you’ll be visiting.

  • Check where the hospital is in relation to accomodations.

  • Locate a local market or grocery store before traveling

  • Purchase travel insurance 

  • Pack food for emergency situations

  • Make sure your travel advisors are aware so they can contact resorts or companies ahead of time

FLYING

  • Allow extra time during security to have any medicines checked. Epinephrine injector’s are considered legally necessary. Airplanes carry at least one epinephrine injector in the onboard medical kit as well, and flight attendants are trained in their use.

  • Pack extras snacks, even more than you think you will need. You don’t want to be stranded on an airplane without anything to eat.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

  • Try going to an English speaking country first.

  • Have a translation of your allergies? Create a chef cardthat outlines foods you must avoid.

  • Don’t assume that the same products manufactured in other countries will contain the exact same ingredients.

FOOD ALLERGY FRIENDLY RESORTS/DESTINATIONS

  • Opt for one of these resorts. Disney, Four Seasons, Hilton, Great Wolf Lodge and Palladium Resorts rank as the top allergy friendly resorts. Read more here

  • National Parks- Have a variety of different options on the menu to help with allergies.

  • Select accommodations with a kitchen or a personal chef.

HELPFUL APPS

  • Find me gluten free

  • Happy cow

  • Allergy eats

These pictures are the result of maximizing Kyle’s vacation time…every.single.day.matters! USE THEM!

I found delicious gluten free options on our last vacation. I was pleasantly surprised by all the options in the National Parks, small towns and even the food trucks!