Last week we talked about ways you can stay safe while up in the air, but what about when you get to your destination? Traveling is one of the best experiences you can have, just because you have food allergies doesn't mean you can't explore the world.
Traveling with food allergies can be scary, many countries do not have the same protocols and labeling systems that North America has (Here, all may contain items must be listed in the ingredients) So when traveling choose your destination and your food paths carefully. Certain precautions and measures must be taken to ensure you have food to eat, a safe place to stay, and comfort while you are abroad.
The first thing you can do before you leave is to make sure you have all the proper identification for your food allergies. This includes,
- Medical Alert Bracelet with complete food allergy list (including medicine!)
- Two or more up to date Epinephrin injectors
- A list of all your food allergies, and instructions on what to do in an emergency that will always be on your person (wallet, etc)
Now that you have completed what you can from home, it is time to pick a destination. Whats the primary language? Is it different? If so, try making business cards with your food allergy and emergency instructions to hand out at restaurants and hotels to keep people informed. Try learning a few phrases for your food allergies and what they can your allergen there.
With a destination secured now you need to find a hotel or hostels there or along the way. Some things you may want to look into include,
- Locating the nearest hospital
- Safe foods store in the area
- The restaurant or dining features in various hotels
- Cooking amenities, can you make your own food?
- Places with food protocol or information on food allergies
- Try to stock up on travel easy safe foods in case you can't find a safe meal for awhile
Once you've secured a a place to stay, you're ready to go. The same precautions apply to traveling as the do for dining out in your home-town. Remember to tell someone about your food allergies, speak with confidence and authority to get the point across. If you do not feel comfortable do not take a chance. Remember cross-contamination is more prone somewhere they do not have protocol so choose your dinning options carefully.
Whether you are going around the world or a province over, traveling is the best thing you can do for your soul. It creates a sense of adventure, cures your curiosity, and brings you closer to yourself. You should never let anything hold you back, especially your food allergies.
You should however consult a doctor and maybe a travel agent if you are traveling somewhere you are unsure of. The doctor can set you up with the right shots,pills,etc. and the travel agent can tell you what the main food are, whats close to your desired spot, hospital information, dining options etc.
If you take the right steps to ensure your safety, nothing can stop you from seeing the world.