Managing Food Allergies While Traveling

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,310
    Living Without Magazine editor Alicia Woodward gives tips on managing a special diet while traveling.

    Alicia Woodward: Hi! I am Alicia Woodward, Editor of Living Without, the world's leading magazine for people with food allergies and sensitivities. Today I would like to share some tips for traveling safely on your special diet. Traveling can be stressful for those with food allergies and sensitivities, but these strategies can help make your trip safer and more fun. Planning is key. Map out your trip before you leave home. Research restaurants, grocery stores, and Farmers' Markets at your destinations. Know where you are staying and have a list of safe dining options. Double check your meds. Make sure your emergency medicines are up-to-date and they are a sufficient supply for your trip. If you are flying, have prescription bottles clearly labeled and carry a note from your doctor just in case you are questioned when going through security. Wear a medic alert bracelet. Make sure your traveling companion knows what to do should you have a reaction. Know the number and the location of the nearest hospital just in case. Use technology; get the most out of your travel experience by using the Internet. Many smartphone apps help travelers with dietary needs. They provide valuable information and peer reviews about how well or how poorly restaurants accommodate food allergies and sensitivities. Carry provisions; don't risk getting stuck somewhere without food, think airport delays. Pack nutritious bars and other healthy snacks. At your destination, buy an inexpensive cooler to keep in your rental car, or make sure your hotel room has a refrigerator, then stock up on wholesome foods for munching should hunger strike. Eat regularly, so hunger doesn't tempt you to eat something risky. Ask questions. Ask your hotel concierge to recommend accommodating restaurants. Ask your servers how specific meals are prepared, and ask food allergic friends where they have comfortably eaten while on the road.

    Carry a card. Bring a dining card that describes your special dietary needs. This useful tool is particularly important if you are traveling overseas and there is a language difference. Cards alert hotel personnel and restaurant management that your condition is serious. They also help ward off mistakes in the kitchen. With a little planning you will avoid worry and ensure an enjoyable and relaxing trip.