Passport to Allergy Prevention

Health

There is something to be said about being prepared; traveling with allergies means you need to be. If you are covering all the health bases beforehand, then there is less chance that any sickness will impair your vacation, and all you are left with are fond memories.

Flying

When planning your trip, it is always a good idea to let your travel agent know of any allergies, so if needed, your agent can alert the airlines/cruises and make sure that the proper meals are ordered for you in advance. Some airlines do serve nuts in flight as a snack; at check-in, let them know that there is a food allergy, and again upon boarding let the flight crew know of food allergies before taking your seat. Your travel agent should also let you know if the carrier will make accommodations for some allergies. (Some airlines will ask other passengers around you not to have nut containing snacks, and create a buffer area for you.)

Try flying early in the morning—this is when the planes are their cleanest, and always take a lot of disinfectant wipes for easy cleanup wherever you are. You can even carry a seat liner to reduce any further risk of coming in contact with allergens.

Take along a few snacks to hold you over in case there are long delays or cancellations. Make sure that they are also free of any other allergens you may not be sensitive to, in case others passengers around you are allergic to them.

Medications

If you have any special medication that needs to be taken while away, make sure that you have enough to carry you and/or your child through the entire stay. You may not have access to the same type of medicine, and trying to get a prescription written or filled may be difficult depending on where you are. Take extra EpiPens or inhalers, and some antihistamines along as well. I travel with three EpiPens, just for an extra piece of mind. Remember, the EpiPens and other medications should be clearly labeled with a prescription label. If needed, make sure you are wearing an allergy {medic alert} ID bracelet or necklace. It also doesn’t hurt to carry a doctor’s note; it makes going through security less of a hassle.

It is also a good idea to call ahead to the hotels where you will be staying—some hotels do offer allergy-free floors that are smoke/allergen free to make your stay more comfortable. Asking for a room with a kitchenette can also be helpful so that you can prepare some meals yourself.

Dining out

When visiting restaurants, let them know before you are seated that you have food allergies, making sure to include the type and severity. Most restaurants are happy to accommodate but they need to be made aware of the need for strict adherence so no cross-contamination occurs, whether it be nuts, dairy, gluten, eggs, etc. You will also have to speak to the waiter so they understand completely; when traveling internationally, it can be difficult get your point across if there is a language barrier. Avoid buffets as much as possible; these are notorious for cross-contamination and you never know how long the food has been sitting.

There are several sites that offer food allergy translation cards in different languages so it makes it easy to do this, such as SelectWisely.com.

There are also some great apps available to help out when traveling with allergies: Purdue University, iTunes, Gluten-Free Passport, and I can eat on the go.

The Allergy Eats website is also a great resource when finding allergy-friendly restaurants anywhere, and you can download their app as well, they also have a special Disney World page.

Allergy-friendly travel

The increase in travelers who suffer from allergies has also led to an increase in specialized travel services. These companies offer travel specifically geared to passengers with allergies and build itineraries around your enjoyment without the need to worry about any issues. This site offers a list of travel companies that offer gluten-free travel tours.

Disney World makes an incredible effort to accommodate all food allergies in their parks and on their cruises, and they are one of the best places for families to vacation and have fun.

Remember, no matter where you are going; plan ahead, do some research and be prepared. Then have fun!

Do you or someone in your family have allergies? If so, what preventative measures do you take when you travel?



One Response to “Passport to Allergy Prevention”

  1. Great tips – we know so many people (kids included) who have allergies and it can be stressful to travel. These tips are useful for them and I’ll pass them on!

    Bicultural Mama
    Reply

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