Now that you have a handle on your allergies at home you are faced with a new situation: traveling. This will undoubtedly cause a little fear and trembling. Maybe you have not already figured out how to handle food allergies at home and have not braved a few restaurants, so heading out of town, state or the country could be really scary.
Here are a few tips to help you:
- Kitchen in a suitcase: everyone makes fun of me about this one, but that’s okay. When we travel by air we have quite a bit of luggage. It’s a very sad state to find oneself in, especially when you are typically one of those people that can travel for a week-10 days with only a carry-on. What’s in all this extra luggage? Well, with children you know there is already an extra suitcase for all the things they need. When you have food allergies and are going some where that doesn’t have a specialty food easily available you need a suitcase for food. When traveling with Little Miss we get two carry-ons; one is filled with food and the other has our camera and all her medications, nebulizer and other medical supplies! It is part of traveling.
We typically head to see family that live in a small community where we don’t have a lot of allergy-free food options. What makes it a bit worse is when her cousins are around too, because I need to be ready to come up with something similar to what they are eating sometimes at a moment’s notice. Since I can’t just pick up allergy-free pizzas, I need to bring all the flours and baking supplies to make the pizza. Cookies and snacks? Again, I need to have some with us that she can eat. Oh, and on that note, depending upon where and how long you are going: it could be a good idea to bring a few utensils and at least pot to cook with.
- If you will be staying in a hotel try and find one with a kitchenette. If you can not do that at least ask for a refrigerator.
- Check a list of local restaurants and call ahead before going, asking the same questions you would ask ahead in your own local restaurant.
- If you are headed overseas to a foreign country try to figure out language for your allergy needs before you go. Even better still would be to ask someone fluent in the language to translate a restaurant card for you to take. Keep in mind that if you will be traveling in areas where few people read, it would be a good idea to have a picture on your card of the allergy with a slash through it. Ie. peanut with slash.
- Traveling by air? It is best to plan on bringing your own snack, but it is possible to call ahead and figure out a snack or meal.
These are just a few tips that I hope will help you. The more you plan ahead for traveling the easier it will be when the time comes.
Bringing your own food is easy and generally a good idea no matter when you are away from home. It isn’t hard to put snack-packs together and stuff them in suitcases to take overseas either, just in case you might have to miss a meal or two while out and about.
Until next time,