Health & Fitness

Tips for traveling with someone with food allergies

Susy WulfJanuary 30, 20225 mins read

Allie from Miss Allergic Reactor shared some great tips for traveling with life-threatening allergies–and she’s back to share all the details about traveling together with your friend with food allergy! Allie has all the details:

My favorite trips were those that I took with friends while traveling around the world. Even though I have food allergies, my friends refuse to let that stop us from having the best adventures together. People with food allergies will be your most flexible travel companions.

Over time, we’ve learned to make everything work when it is necessary. Because we always have snacks, we rarely feel hungry. We can get out of any kind of jam and are able to adapt to the challenges.

There are approximately 32 million Americans now suffering from food allergies. The number of adults with adult-onset food allergies continues to increase.

These are some tips to help you when traveling with someone who has food allergies.

We don’t want to make plans more complicated.

We don’t want to make travel planning complicated. Even though I have traveled the world for many years, there are still things that I need to know and plans that I must make. This is so that I can feel safe and free from allergic reactions. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want it to impact our plans or dictate how we travel.

Sometimes, there might be something outside my comfort zone. As long as we are friends, I will be willing to embrace the challenge and know that you are there for me. Although the likelihood of having an allergic reaction to taking precautions is low, it is still possible.

Keep dangerous snacks away from others.

We appreciate when you share our snacks with us, especially when we are sharing accommodation. We are comfortable with others eating snacks we don’t like. However, we do appreciate them being in a different place than where we are eating or cooking food. It is also a good idea to wash your hands after eating your snack.

We are grateful that you have asked us questions about the EpiPen.

Even though we hope for no emergency, it is still a blessing to have friends who want to find my medication and help me in an emergency. It’s great to have people who understand it and can help me in an emergency.

We don’t want to make you worry.

Sometimes, I notice my friends become more concerned and protective than I am. They can be so protective and want me to be safe. However, I want them to trust mine. I don’t want anyone to have to worry about what I eat. Friends, relax and enjoy. I love you, but I have this!

Sometimes, it’s okay for us to help.

One trip to Amalfi, Italy’s picturesque coast town, saw me standing in front a gelato stand, with Melissa, my friend. We were trying to order. The woman who took my order didn’t understand my Italian explanation about how to clean the scoop.

Melissa, who has been living in Italy for several years, was looking at me. I repeated my explanation, and she finally understood.

Please jump in if you are able to help us!

We don’t want to hear scary stories.

People are often well-intentioned but don’t realize how distressing it can be sharing the story of someone who has died from an allergic reaction. While we appreciate that you are able to relate to the severity of food allergy, we do not like to hear those stories, especially when they involve eating.

It can make us anxious, and it can lead to panic attacks.

Support our choices about what we eat.

Sometimes, my decisions about what to eat or not eat don’t make sense. It is my gut feeling that has saved me many times in my entire life. At this point, I can trust my gut feeling about trying a new food. Don’t try and convince us to eat something, even if you have good intentions.

I will eat when I feel satisfied, but ultimately it is up to me to decide.

Sometimes, a grocery store is just as easy as dining out.

Sometimes it is easier to find whole foods and familiar products. Traveling with food allergies can be tiring. Sometimes it gets tiring to ask about ingredients. It’s much easier to find the right product at the grocery store. However, this does not mean you don’t need to.

While we are willing to sit down with you while your meal is being prepared (and share a drink), we might just need a break after a long day of asking questions and being constantly on the move. I’m a veteran of 30+ countries and know the best places to find it. We’ll get there as fast as we can.

We’re interested in your experiences.

Many people consider eating in foreign countries a major part of travel. It can be difficult to try the cuisines of other cultures. It is important that we learn more about the culture. Tell us what you eat. Please describe it. When you share your experience, we can all live through it.

We’d love to have you as a travel buddy!

Even though I travel alone for work, it is always a pleasure to have a travel buddy. Over the years, I have been blessed with a lot of wonderful travel friends. They don’t view me as the friend with food allergies, but rather as the adventurous, fun-loving travel buddy I am.

They know that my food allergies are something I have to manage, and not something that defines me.

Susy Wulf
author

Susy Wulf is a journalist, copywriter, editor and journalist. She has a BA degree in English from Monmouth University, and a MA in Global Communications (American University of Paris).

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