Tips for Easy, Safe Traveling with Food Allergies
Written by: Amanda Bailey on April 08, 2016
Food allergies and special diets shouldn’t stop travelers from seeking out new destinations, because everyone deserves a chance to explore the world.
Still, keep in mind that some destinations will be more accommodating than others. Ask your clients about any food allergies upfront so you can do your research and plan ahead. Airlines, hotels and tour operators have made strides in terms of meal options, even if they aren’t always advertised. Sometimes, all you have to do is ask!
If you have clients traveling with food allergies, suggest these peace-of-mind precautions. They’ll enjoy their trip, stay safe, and thank you for your expertise!
1. Carry a doctor’s note.
Some national and international airports may require a doctor’s note to allow travelers with epinephrine injectors through security. Advise your clients to visit their doctor before traveling so they aren’t held up before they even leave. Before your clients travel, find out what medicines and products they can and can’t bring in their checked luggage and carry-on bags.
2. Bring translation cards.
This is especially crucial if your clients visit a country in which they don’t speak the language. Companies like Select Wisely and Allergy Translation make cards in hundreds of languages that allow travelers to communicate their allergies and special diet needs. Custom cards can even be created for less common allergies or specific situations.
3. Download this allergy-friendly restaurant app.
If traveling in the United States, Allergy Eats is a helpful website and mobile app for dining out with special diets. Users can select a location, or even a restaurant name, and their specific allergy to find restaurants that fit their needs. Reviews and rankings from other users will help guide dining decisions too.
4. Communicate with the airline.
For clients with a life-threatening food allergy, the airline needs to be made aware well in advance. Depending on the severity of the allergy, you may have to request your travelers be seated in a certain area of the plane, or that certain foods not be served during the flight. Either way, your clients will have less flexibility with meals in-flight, so be sure there’s something to sustain them until they reach their destination.
5. Book an accommodation with a kitchen.
If your client enjoys cooking, suggest reserving accommodations that allow them to prepare their own meals. That way, they know they’ll be safe. Keep in mind if purchasing food abroad they’ll need to do a little reading on nutrition labels.
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