There is nothing that can ruin a great trip more than a nasty food allergy attack. You will end up holed up in your hotel room waiting for the symptoms to subside and all the while wasting precious time watching old reruns on TV or, worse, in self-pity. To avoid this unwanted experience, you cannot be too careful in what you munch while you are out there enjoying the sights. So, here are a few tips you might want to consider to keep healthy when traveling with food allergies.
If you are going in a place that does not speak your language, you want to learn the exact translation of your food allergens in the local lingo. If articulation is a problem, write it down and just learn to speak the local term for “no” and “allergy”. When you are in a restaurant ordering your meal, just show them the word and say no because you are allergic to them. Your waiter will usually get your drift but if you think he is having trouble understanding, request to speak with someone who can understand you.
You also want to research in advance the usual ingredients that are included in a local diet. This will help you identify food allergens that may be incorporated in a dish but are deemed too insignificant to be placed in the menu or to be mentioned by your waiter. If you know in beforehand, you can easily advise your server to leave it out of your plate.
It is also best to map out your restaurant options ahead of time and give them a call before you get there. This will give you an idea on what to expect and whether or not they are capable of catering for you.
Sometimes, it is difficult to do this while you are out and about. At most, your choices are limited to snack bars near the tourist attractions you are visiting. If this is the case, you certainly have to bring your own snacks with you. This makes going to a local market a must when you are traveling. The market is a mandatory stop over so that you can buy farm fresh fruits and greens. You can easily pack fruits and bring them with you so that you can just nibble on them when you get hungry along the way.
Also, make sure to have your medications on your person at all times. Epipens are also handy and can save your life if ever you get an unexpected attack. Speak with your doctor before you leave for your trip so that you will be guided well on what to bring with you and what to do in cases of emergency.
Finally, a card containing your medical condition – with a local translation, if possible – is also recommended to bring with you at all times. This will alert the local doctors on your medical history and can save them time in administering the proper medication to you. This is not something you want to think about but it is still best to come prepared especially in serious cases like this. Remember allergies do not always stay in your home country – they almost certainly travel with you!
Do you have food allergies? What do you do while traveling? Please answer in the comments below.