For someone who has severe food allergies, traveling can be daunting. You’re never sure if what you’re eating is free of the food that makes you ill, and if there is any sort of language barrier, things are complicated further because it’s harder to ensure that the food you’re about to eat is safe for you. We know how hard it is, that’s why we’re here to help. Here are a few tips for traveling with allergies.
Know where emergency services are located.
As someone who could fall into anaphylaxis from a seemingly harmful dish of rice and mushrooms, it’s important that you always know where the nearest hospital is. As careful as you are, there is always a chance that you will ingest something you don’t agree with. Knowing where the hospital is will help to ensure that you get medical attention quickly and without delay. You should also know the number for the local emergency services.
Bring your own food.
Whenever possible, bring your own food on your trip- even if this means lugging around a backpack full of healthy energy bars and gluten-free bread. By the end of the day when you get to your final location you might have a sore shoulder, but at least you won’t have spent the whole day at the hospital fighting to get air into your lungs because you accidentally ate a piece of bread with gluten in it.
Cook for yourself.
Even better than being up to date on what goes into your food, is cooking your food yourself. By taking some extra time to prepare your own meals, you know exactly what is going into your dinner and can make sure that it’s allergy friendly. Keep your hotel room or rental suite stocked with healthy, allergy-friendly ingredients, and opt to go out an hour later in order to make yourself a meal before you leave.
When boarding an airline with a potentially hazardous allergy in toe, it’s important to speak up to protect yourself. Phone your airline or railway ahead of time and inform them of your allergy, how severe it is, and what you need in order to be safe. Some companies have been known to remove potential allergens from food carts, while other, in order to accommodate a severe anaphylactic reaction, will allow the allergic passenger to board early in order to sanitize his or her area before being seated. Don’t be afraid to ask the service works or hostess to wash their hands before serving you, either- they should be more than happy to do so if it means that you will be safe and satisfied.
Use common sense.
If you know you’re deathly allergic to fish, avoid restaurants that serve primarily fish and seafood. It will be no fun for you t pick through the menu when next to nothing is safe for you to eat, and your servers won’t appreciate having to accommodate your request when it could have been avoided in the first place by choosing a different place to eat.