Surviving Food Allergies while Traveling: Tips and Tricks
For those who struggle with food allergies, traveling can be a daunting experience. From navigating foreign menus to finding a safe place to eat, it can seem like an impossible task. However, with a little bit of preparation and knowledge, you can enjoy your travels to the fullest while staying safe.
Research, Research, Research
The first step to surviving food allergies while traveling is to do your research. This means researching your destination’s food culture and any potential allergens that you may come across. Remember that certain cuisines may use ingredients that are common allergens in other parts of the world. Take note of any specific dishes or foods that you should avoid to prevent an allergic reaction. Don’t forget to research local dishes that are free from your allergens.
Communicate Your Allergies
Always communicate your allergies to your server or chef when eating at a restaurant. Don’t assume that every dish is free from your allergens. If language barriers are a concern, consider printing out a card in the local language that lists your allergens to show to your server or chef. You can even use an allergy translation app to make communication easier.
Prepare Your Own Food
If you’re worried about finding safe food options, consider preparing your meals. Pack non-perishable snacks that are free from your allergens, such as nuts or fruit, for on-the-go snacking. If you’re staying in a hotel or Airbnb, consider using their kitchen facilities to prepare your own meals with safe ingredients.
Carry Your Own Emergency Medication
Always carry your own emergency medication with you. This includes an EpiPen or any other prescribed medication. Pack them in your carry-on luggage so that you have easy access to them at all times. Make sure that your travel companions know how to use your emergency medication in case of an allergic reaction.
Avoid Risky Situations
Finally, avoid risky situations altogether. This may mean avoiding street food markets, where cross-contamination is more likely to occur. Be wary of buffets or potlucks where you may come into contact with allergens. Moreover, avoid consuming alcohol, as it can lower your inhibitions and cause you to eat foods containing your allergens, which you should not be eating.
Traveling with food allergies can be challenging, but with a little preparation and careful planning, it’s possible to enjoy your travels without worrying about allergic reactions. Follow the above tips and tricks to stay safe while exploring new destinations.