Traveling with Food Allergies

So let’s be real, the world isn’t pre-designed for people with restrictions such as food allergies. As a food allergy sufferer and a travel extraordinaire, I have come to realize this the hard way. I have also come to realize that if I am proactive about managing my dietary restrictions, most places are more than willing to work with me and often have options for me!  This sure makes a gal feel special!

The first line of travel is usually transportation. I don’t think many modes of transportation still provide a meal or snack other than a plane.  Almost every major airline provides special meals or snacks to fit your needs.  If you have a dietary restriction, it’s a smart idea to contact the airline ahead of time.

Another smart thing to do when you travel is to carry a card listing your dietary restriction. You will inevitably eat a meal or two out while away from home and will want to communicate your restrictions to the chef as necessary.  Many chefs actually appreciate you providing a list of any allergies or health conditions so that they can modify a dinner before preparing it.

If you are traveling outside the U.S., particularly to a country where they speak another language, it’s important that you have someone that fluently speaks the language with you or that you at least memorize the words or phrases for the dietary restrictions that you have.  If you are not sure about a food or a dressing, sauce, batter, etc., and you can’t get a clear explanation of it, do not eat it.  It’s not worth getting sick. I feel that more places are accommodating to dietary restrictions from conditions like heart disease and diabetes than food allergies, but take caution and be proactive. Happy Travels!

Guest Author: Darcie Sosa.
Darcis is part of the Everyday Health nutrition team, servicing their online audience.

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