Navigating Food Allergies While Traveling Abroad

Vacations are a time for relaxation, sightseeing, and fun in the sun. However, for those who face one or more food allergies, vacation time can also represent the necessity for extra caution.

Many families in America go on at least two or three vacations each year. For families with one or more children facing a food allergy, however, vacations may be limited. These families often choose not to travel outside America, and they may be more likely to opt for vacation spots closer to home. In addition, they may choose to steer clear of some forms of transportation where food may be served, such as on a boat or plane.

Typically, the reason these families choose to vacation close to home is not just because they fear unknowingly encountering a food allergen while on the trip. They often feel safer staying close to trusted medical care if needed.

Following are some tips for traveling with food allergies:

• Always make certain to travel with any prescribed medications. It is also a good idea to have your healthcare provider write extra prescriptions to take with you on vacation. If traveling abroad, take note of the generic and brand names of the medication in the country you visit.

• Make certain to carry your medications with you on airplanes and alert the travel host to any food allergies.

• Never assume a food doesn’t contain allergens. Anticipate possible problems and have a plan of action ready if a hidden food allergen is encountered.

• Keep emergency numbers close at hand, and familiarize yourself with medical contacts in the area.

• Prepare ahead of time. Contact the hotel or place you will be staying before you even leave on your vacation. Make sure they are aware of the allergy. Email may be the most effective means of communicating with the staff at the hotel beforehand. This ensures someone who speaks English is dealing with your request. Additionally, your request is in writing. This may help avoid your message being mistranslated or lost in the shuffle.

• Research restaurants in the area. Ask for recommendations from your doctor or others you know who have the same food allergy.

• Carry chef cards with you that are written in English and in the language of the country you are visiting. This ensures the chef and restaurant staff are made aware of the food allergy in writing so there is no confusion in the translation.

Most Common Food Allergens

While many foods can trigger allergic reactions, certain foods are more likely than others to cause an allergic response. Listed below are some foods more likely to trigger an allergy:






Tree Nuts



Travel Insurance

Travel insurance can come in handy for anyone, but for those traveling with food allergies, it can be essential. Like all other insurance plans, coverage differs according to the policy you choose. Some common plans include Travel Delay, Trip Cancellation, and Emergency Assistance and Transportation.

Choose to be safe rather than sorry. Make sure you have adequate Travel Insurance for your next vacation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *