Spring break is on the horizon! Can you smell the fresh air already? Are you mentally packing your bags? (I am!)
Here are a few tips when traveling with food allergies:
- Call your airline and inquire about their food allergy policy in advance. Ask specifically about early boarding and in-flight announcements.
- Most airlines will allow passengers to board the plane early in order to wipe down surfaces (this includes seat backs, seat belts, tray tables and knobs, armrests). Be sure to bring enough baby wipes or antibacterial wipes (such as Wet Ones) to cover all the legs of your travel. Again, ask about pre-boarding at the gate.
- Carry your epinephrine auto-injectors and antihistamines ON BOARD. Do not pack these away in your luggage. [*ALLERGY SHMALLERGY TIP*: Zyrtec makes dissolvable tablets which eliminate the worry over bringing liquids through security as well as anything spilling in your bags.]
- If you’re traveling to a warm weather destination, you’ll need to remember to keep your epinephrine auto-injectors at room temperature – even while enjoying the beach or pool. Pack a cool pack (like this one) and an insulated bag (like this cute lunch bag). Store the cool packs in your hotel’s mini-fridge (who needs a $15 bag of M&Ms anyway!?) or plan on ordering a to-go cup of ice to keep the medicine cool poolside.
- A hotel or resort’s food services manager can usually help you navigate menus. On our last vacation, the food services manager had food allergies himself and was invaluable in hunting down ingredients and safe alternatives for our family. Befriend this fantastic person!
- If you’re planning on visiting an amusement park, taking a hike or being similarly active, consider packing a backpack into your luggage (or use one as your carry-on!). You’ll need to bring your epinephrine auto-injectors wherever you go – especially on vacation when you’re away from home cooking, familiar restaurants and local knowledge of hospitals and doctors. Backpacks can make carrying it easier depending on the activity – simply slip the insulated bag into your backpack and go!
Two more notes:
- Airline travelers should bring their own snacks/meals on board flights to ensure their safety.
- Refrain from using airplane blankets and pillows as allergen residue may reside there.
- Bring a baby or antibacterial wipe to the bathroom to wipe down door and knob handles.