Traveling with Food Allergies
Written on July 22, 2021
Food allergies and special diets shouldn’t stop travelers from seeking out new destinations, because everyone deserves a chance to explore the world.
Still, keep in mind that some destinations will be more accommodating than others. Tell your travel advisor about any food allergies upfront so we can help you plan ahead. Airlines, resorts, cruise lines, and tour operators have made strides in terms of meal options, even if they aren’t always advertised. We are here to help you!
If you will be traveling with food allergies, consider these peace-of-mind precautions.
1. CARRY A DOCTOR’S NOTE.
Some national and international airports may require a doctor’s note to allow travelers with epinephrine injectors through security. Visit your doctor before traveling so you aren’t held up before you even leave the airport. Before travel, find out what medicines and products you can and can’t bring in your checked luggage and carry-on bags, and keep medications in their original containers/packaging.
2. BRING TRANSLATION CARDS.
Translation cards are especially crucial if you will visit a country in which you don’t speak the language. Companies like Select Wisely and Allergy Translation make cards in hundreds of languages that allow travelers to communicate their allergies and special diet needs. Custom cards can even be created for less common allergies or specific situations.
3. DOWNLOAD THIS ALLERGY-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT APP.
If traveling in the United States, Allergy Eats is a helpful website and mobile app for dining out with special diets. Users can select a location, or even a restaurant name, and their specific allergy to find restaurants that fit their needs. Reviews and rankings from other users will help guide dining decisions too.
4. COMMUNICATE WITH THE AIRLINE.
For travelers with a life-threatening food allergy, the airline needs to be made aware well in advance. Depending on the severity of the allergy, we may have to request our travelers be seated in a certain area of the plane, or that certain foods not be served during the flight. Either way, you will have less flexibility with meals in-flight, so be sure there’s something to sustain you until you reach your destination.
5. BOOK AN ACCOMMODATION WITH A KITCHEN.
Reserving accommodations that allow you to cook your own meals might be a nice option. That way, you know you’ll be safe with your food preparation. Keep in mind if purchasing food abroad you’ll need to do a little reading of the nutrition labels.
If you have concerns about traveling with food allergies, talk with our team so we can help you plan an accommodating vacation!