Allergy Shmallergy

Simplifying life for families with food allergies.

International Travel and Food Allergies: Tip for Vacations Abroad January 10, 2011

 

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photo taken by Unsplash via Pixabay

Traveling to a foreign country is a thrill for most people.   But if you live with food allergies, it can feel downright daunting.  It’s hard enough to eat safely in English, nevermind in, say, Tagalog.  Well, never fear: with a little advanced preparation international travel can be fun again and not so frightening.

 

Printing a card which lists your or a family member’s food allergies in the language of the country you plan to visit is a great place to start.   First, creating an allergy card not only allows you to show it at restaurants, but ensures that your allergy won’t be missed at medical facilities of the country you’re visiting.  Secondly, because there are always worries about cross-contamination, an allergy cards can easily be passed from an English-speaking waiter to a non-English speaking chef to further ensure your safety if necessary.

 

There are several ways to obtain these cards.  Two places of note are:

  • AllerGlobal  (http://www.allerglobal.com/) – a free web app that allows a user to check off his/her allergies, choose the language of the country they plan to visit, and either print the information or download it as a PDF file; or
  • You can also purchase laminated cards from Select Wisely (http://www.selectwisely.com/) and other companies in a wide variety of languages.  In addition to allergy cards, they also offer cards advising of lactose intolerance, celiac disease, vegetarians and other sensitivities.  An individual can choose from 37 of the most common food sensitivities and from 12 unique languages to create a translation card specific to your needs.
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A few other tips, especially for traveling with food allergic kids:
  • Pack a supply of snacks that you can rely on as being safe for you or your child.  For us, breakfast and snacks can be particularly hard.  So, I packed an entire suitcase of cereal, PopTarts (not the healthiest, but convenient), and safe snack bags when we traveled abroad for a week.  **Bonus: I had an empty bag to fill with souvenirs on the way home!**
  • Consider carrying anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces that may come in contact with the allergic individual.  Think tray tables and seat dividers.  You’ll never regret carrying them.

 

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For other useful information regarding traveling with food allergies, read:  http://www.frommers.com/articles/4838.html#ixzz1AgjKAAsI
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