While this is primarily a quick guide for those new to traveling with food allergies, maybe it will be a good refresher for those of you who do it all the time!
Winter is almost over, and thoughts keep turning to one thing...vacation! Whether you are planning spring break, or summer trips, if you or a family member have allergies, it takes a little more planning that usual.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you get ready to get going!
1. Do a little research
Just like we talk here about getting a plan before you go, getting an idea of the restaurants that will be on the way, and also at your destination. If possible, check for allergy friendly places, or stick with chains that you are familiar with. Bring snacks just in case, and always, always check with staff before you order!
You might even consider printing some Chef's cards, and handing them to the waitstaff. There are some great free ones from F.A.R.E, jut click the underlined link here!
2. Don't forget the phone numbers!
Bring along the number to the doctor or allergist, just in case you do have a reaction, or a question.
3.Pack the Epipens, and a few extras, too!
You probably are in the great habit of always bringing your Epipens, but if you were to need them on a trip, it is better to have a few extras with you, not just because you may need more than one, or one may malfunction, but because after you have been treated, you are going to need to replace the ones you've used. With the current Epipen shortage, it might be harder to find a pen, especially in an unfamiliar town.
4. Keep your extra medicines where you can get them, and at the right temperature!
Those extra Epipens aren't going to do you any good if they are packed in a suitcase, in the bottom of a massive stack. They also might be subject to too much heat, or cold, which can reduce the effectiveness of the medicine. Always keep your Epipens with you, and never in a hot car.
You can find insulated, or even evaporation cooling bags online, those will help a lot when you are out in the hot sun!
5. Travel with Apps
If you have a smart phone, there are several great apps for you, or access to helpful websites. remember to ALWAYS verify the information on there yourself, but these are great for getting you started, or getting reviews from others. Here are two that we really like. You can click on any of these to learn more.
Spokin (sadly, not available yet for android they are working on it, just iphone but the website is still amazing)
Traveling with an allergy is a little more difficult, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Food allergies make life more difficult, but they don't have to take away the fun of traveling! Just like anything else, plan a little in advance, pack your epipens, and always check before you eat!