You've packed your bags and are ready to go visiting
and adventuring! While there's no substitute for vigilance and preparedness
when traveling with severe food allergies, here are some helpful tips
to ensure safe travel while exploring the world or visiting grandparents.
Always consult your allergist to help you avoid the riskiest situations
and to come up with an appropriate action plan in the case of emergency.
tips when traveling with food allergies:
- Contact the hotel in which you will
be staying. Make sure your room has a refrigerator.
- Speak with the
kitchen about meals available from room service and the restaurant.
You will have a better experience if you feel they
are willing to work with you.
- Bring safe foods (snacks and treats)
as a back-up.
- Carry a sign in the appropriate
language with an English translation indicating the food allergy and its severity to show to the restaurant staff.
- When buying packaged
goods and snacks in foreign countries, consider buying international
brands, like Nabisco® and Nestle® where
there is an English listing of ingredients and you are familiar with
- Be wary of packaged goods made from local companies,
even when there is an English translation of the ingredients. A packet
of animal crackers in China listed “natural flavoring ingredients” as
an item on the label, which happened to be peanuts.
- Consider staying
away from Americanized versions of foods in foreign countries
where the ingredients are not clear. In China, chocolate cake contained
- Pack safe snacks and take 1-2 with you when sight-seeing,
like allergen-free energy bars, to satisfy hunger in case safe food is not readily available.
in which peanuts/tree nuts are liberally used in cooking: Thailand,
South Indian food, Gujrati food in Western
- International foods with peanuts/tree nuts: Mexican
mole, Turkish delight, pesto, egg rolls, marzipan.
- Carry a letter outlining your allergies,
the need to carry the epipen, and food and drink. (Check on quarantine
at the other
end as part of your travel plans.)
- Carry at least two
EpiPens® on board when flying and any other first responder treatment
that you may have discussed with
- Wipe down the seating area of the airplane
with baby wipes.
- Fly airlines that are peanut free by checking with
the airline upon making your reservations.
- Before boarding the plane, speak
with the airline agent at the gate to ensure that they do not serve
peanuts on your
in addition to speaking with an airline host after
you board the airplane.
- If nearby passengers are eating
something with peanuts, politely
ask them to put the food away.
- Carry your own food
on the airplane.
- Children with allergies should not
be allowed to wander in the aisles.
- Take non-sedating antihistamine
for a few days prior to and during the travel period.