Travel the World with Food Allergies
If you plan ahead with eyes wide open, your family can explore the world safely and in person —not just from the couch. Learn how...
"Humans like predictability, but air travel is inherently unpredictable. Airlines are consistently inconsistent."
Writer, International Speaker & Food Allergy Advocate
Food Allergy Fund Summit Panelist, NYC, 2019
When you manage severe food allergies, they can sometimes dampen your family’s enthusiasm for travel and exploration.
It doesn't have to be that way.
If you plan ahead with eyes wide open, you can explore the world safely and in person —not just from your couch.
Travel tips and information float piecemeal through Facebook and FB support groups and are scattered across websites and different publications. The Allergy Force team pulled these bits and pieces together into a detailed game plan to help you plan your family’s next travel adventure.
Our e-book — World Travel with Food Allergies — is a comprehensive guide for planning safe travels with food allergies, whether you’re headed to the beach, across the country or to parts unknown.
The e-book takes a deep dive into the travel process — from preparing for a trip, to navigating departure day, to being on the ground at your destination:
How you will communicate your food allergies when you reach your target destination—can you speak the local language? Read the local language? Rely on technology? Rely on help from a local or your hotel?
Your target destination’s general level of food allergy awareness and the availability and accessibility of emergency services.
Conversations to have with hotels and resorts as you research where to stay.
Flight strategies to implement, like a first-flight-out departure time or direct instead of connecting flights.
Possible accommodations to request when you book your flights.
Documentation to gather to ease your trek through airport security.
Carry-on essentials to pack and to keep within easy reach throughout your journey.
Departure lounge strategies to safeguard you and yours while you wait to board.
In flight strategies to safeguard you and yours throughout your flight.
Clickable resources to help you minimize food allergy stress and maximize family fun during your travels.
To stay on track planning your family travels, download this convenient Trip Planning Checklist. Think of it as a triple check to make sure you've crossed every 't' before you lock the front door and head out.
It's important to expect the unexpected when you travel with food allergies. There will always be hiccups. BUT the joys of travel, the memories you create with your family, and the connection to different people, places, and times are priceless.
Wishing you happy travels this summer!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the things you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover."
Some helpful resources
If you’re looking for inspiration here are some well-travelled authors with food allergies (or food allergic loved ones) who share their experiences with the food allergy community:
Allie Bahn (travel & lifestyle writer and educator), aka Miss Allergic Reactor, is expert in world travel with multiple, severe food allergies. Check out her extensive blog where she shares global travel insights and tips from many miles on many roads less traveled.
Kortney Kwong Hing (co-founder & editor at Zestfull and co-host of The Itch Podcast), aka Allergy Girl Eats, has traveled the world with multiple, severe food allergies since she was a baby. According to Kortney, “The party was never about the cake; it was about fun with friends.” Yet, she’s been able to find ways to ‘have her cake and eat it, too’ on the road to far far away. Check out her articles on The Zestfull.
Amanda Orlando (lifestyle blogger, cookbook author, recipe developer and food photographer) is another road warrior you should meet. At her website, everydayallergenfree.com, you’ll find posts about her travels that take a lighter look at some of the ups and downs of travel with food allergies. She’s proof that laughter can save the day, even if it can’t salvage a meal!
Lianne Mandelbaum (Founder at No Nut Traveler LLC, international speaker, freelance writer, and food allergy advocate) is expert in all aspects of air travel with severe food allergies. Beyond being a veteran traveler in her own right, Lianne's gone head-to-head with the airline industry, the US Department of Transportation, and the FAA to advocate for policies and procedures to keep food allergic travelers safe when they fly. The No Nut Traveler website includes travel stories — successes and fails — you can learn from.
For moral support…
If you’re looking for a bit of courage and encouragement and/or have burning questions you need answered, join The Allergy Travels Group on Facebook. The group is a welcoming place where members freely share information about travel experiences. The group admins have globe trotted far and wide, safely, with multiple, severe food allergies for years.
Plus good to know...
Kids with Food Allergies summarized accommodations to consider requesting when you travel by air. The time to request them and get them in writing is when you book your flights, not when you arrive at your departure gate.
Allergic Living’s Airlines and Allergy Policies Guide can also be helpful. Though last updated in 2019—and policies do change—it details 16 major airlines’ policies on food allergies, pet allergies and gf accommodations.
Food allergies are defined as a disability under The Americans with Disabilities Act. You may need to provide medical documentation at the security checkpoint confirming you are food allergic and the medication you require. A statement that you are medically fit to travel may be helpful to include in the documentation if discussions with a gate agent head south. Plan ahead.
When you have food allergies, you should consider carrying on any and all food you will consume while you transit to your destination. Here are details regarding food items you are allowed bring through airport security in the US.
About the Author: Gayle Rigione is CEO and Co-founder of Allergy Force, the food allergy app. She’s also an allergy mom. She’s lived the heart stopping moments when her son ate the wrong thing, second guessed reactions and spent the night in the ER. These experiences inspire her to create tools for people with food allergies that make life safer, easier. Whatever you do, do it with a full heart. Audentes Fortuna Iuvat
Credits: Thank you to Hanson Lu and Anders Wideskott on Unsplash for use of the images