Although food allergies are common and easily manageable with some precautions in daily routine, but while traveling, people with allergies need to be a little more alert to ensure a safe and happy trip. I realized this in last October when I was on a trip to Lebanon with my friends. After boarding the flight, we were having a fun time, munching the cookies and gossiping about our old school days, when suddenly one of my friends started coughing and complaining of throat tightening and chest pain. We could not understand what was happening to him when a gentleman on the plane came up to us and offered his help. After a minute of close observation, he gave some medicine to him and asked him not to eat the flight food anymore.
Later, on a conversation with the man, he told us that he is also allergic to wheat thus he was able to diagnose the symptoms and gave antihistamines. He further showed my friend his kit of the precautionary items and medicines he carries on all his travels to avoid such unpleasant situations. He also suggested him not to travel without medicines like antihistamines and epi-pens.
After coming back from the trip, I researched about traveling with allergies and here I am, jotting down some ways to protect you from food allergies while traveling. Take a look to travel safely.
Before You Take Off
Prevention is better than cure! So before you take off or even before you plan the entire trip, it’s advisable that you visit your doctor and get a checklist of all medications prepared in case you have a food allergy. Check with the staff of the flight you book and the hotels you’re going to stay and inform them about your allergies to be safe while traveling.
✓ Don’t forget to ask your doctor for an additional prescription list
✓ Make sure all your medicines are refilled before you take the flight off
✓ Remember, antihistamines, injectable epinephrine or other allergy relief tablets can come very handy in case of emergencies
✓ Always travel safer with a travel insurance
During the Flight
While boarding the flight, make sure that you have informed the flight attendants about your food allergies and what all is to be exempted. A prior check on the menu that the flight provides can protect you from food allergies to a large extent. Still, that’s not enough; you should talk about the list of ingredients for whatever you are being offered. You can also pack some snacks by yourself to munch on if you don’t get the required non-allergic food. In case you get a reaction, even a mild one, don’t forget to tell the flight crew about it so that they can offer their help in any situation.
Stay Safe in the New Place
Choose the hotel where you plan to spend your days with the utmost care. It should not be isolated away from all the local amenities like a local grocery market, medical help, and other things.
✓ Research about the hotel and its menu. Let the staff know beforehand about your allergies.
✓ It is highly recommended that you choose a hotel that has an inclusive kitchen so you still have an option to prepare your own meal if you don’t find the right food.
✓ A hotel that is near a grocery market would not only help you choose your own non-allergic food items but also provide you a tour of the local market.
✓ Every restaurant you visit, every food you taste, check the list of ingredients to be sure that it does not carry the items that may cause even a mild reaction.
✓ Whether it is about talking to the staff of the place personally or wearing a medical ID alert bracelet, your prevention is in your hands.
Some Common Allergies and How to Avoid Them
➢ Peanut Allergy: People with peanut allergies may experience food-induced anaphylaxis which may be life-threatening.
# Tip: If you are allergic to peanuts, you should avoid eating cookies, cakes, and pies without reading the ingredients.
➢ Milk Allergy: While you can find a number of restaurants and flights that serve milk-free food, it is always advisable to double check all the products with the staff or managers to avoid any emergency situation.
# Tip: Try salads with no dressing, chicken, fruits and other products to be on the safer side.
➢ Egg Allergy: Eggs are one of the most commonly hidden ingredients in most of the food that we eat.
# Tip: Reading all the ingredients beforehand and letting the staff know about it is the best way to protect yourself from allergies while traveling.
➢ Wheat Allergy: Try avoiding any outside food if you even hint a slight use of wheat or its products.
# Tip: Keep your antihistamines and corticosteroids with you to control any symptom of the wheat allergy. Eat only gluten-free products throughout your travel.
➢ Fish Allergy: Fish allergy is very common but if not taken care of properly, it can lead to serious repercussions.
# Tip: Avoid eating any type of fish while traveling even if you are allergic to a specific fish as it may be contaminated or carry allergens from that fish.
In the end, all I would like to say is enjoy your life, go on trips with your friends and family; having food allergy would never hamper your travel plans if you take these additional steps and keep medical aid handy. Just follow all the necessary precautions that I’ve listed above and stay safe throughout your travel.
About the Author
Ankit Gupta is the owner and manager of ExportersIndia.com, Which is one of the largest online b2b portals in India. At this platform, you can find tours and travels service providers from all over the India. Ankit is a travel enthusiast and loves exploring new places with his family and friends. jotting down his travel experiences is another thing that Ankit is passionate about.