Traveling Tips for People with Food Allergies

Traveling Tips for People with Food Allergies

Last Updated on April 30, 2023

Heading out on a trip but struggling with food allergies? We will share with you our expert traveling tips for people with food allergies and travel stress-free!

OK, I will admit it.  I say “food allergies” when in reality, I mean “food intolerances”.  Food allergies are “call 9-1-1”.  Food intolerances are “I feel like Sh–”.  Okay, I am being very “layman” in my description, but you get the idea.

If you have food allergies where if you eat the wrong thing, you can die but you want to travel and take a break from staying home and playing online with your Casino Coupon codes … continue reading for other options.

Do not trust anyone with your food

If your allergies are at the level of “you will die”, do not ever trust a minimum wage employee.  They are not paid enough to care. Stick with everything in packages where you can read the labels of what exactly is in what you are eating.

Even if you are not going to die, and you will just feel like Sh–, do not trust minimum wage employees.  Who wants to spend their vacation feeling like Sh–?  I certainly don’t.

So then, how do you eat?

Renting a room with a kitchen

Spend the extra money and rent a room that has a kitchen.  If you can’t (or don’t want to) trust the pots and pans, bring your own. You do not need a full and complete kitchen. You just need the basics.

  • Magma A10-360L-IND Cookware – 10 PC Set, Nesting, Silver (Owned my set for the last 15+ years and it was worth every penny)
  • Portable Camping Kitchen Utensil Set, Stainless Steel Outdoor Cooking and Grilling Utensil Organizer Travel Set Perfect for Travel, Picnics, RVs, Camping, BBQs, Parties and More (9Pcs or 27Pcs)
  • Camping Mess Kit, 28 Pcs Camping Accessories, Stainless Steel Camping Dishes Set Dinnerware for 4 Person Utensils Tableware with Plates, Bowl, Cutlery, Gloves, Rag,for Hiking Gear Picnic
  • Plastic cups
  • Elite Gourmet EDB-302BF# Countertop Double Cast Iron Burner, 1500 Watts Electric Hot Plate, Temperature Controls, Power Indicator Lights, Easy to Clean, Black

A lot of hotel rooms come with a fridge and microwave, but you might need to ask the front desk about the microwave.

Unless you are renting an apartment (Airbnb type of thing), do not expect an oven.  Even if you are, people lie, so when you get there, things might not be as you had hoped. So have a backup plan.

When dealing with food allergies, especially the 9-1-1 type, follow the general rule of “prepare for the worst, and hope for the best”. That way, you will not be caught off guard.

Can I go to a restaurant?

Stay away from the chain restaurants where they have set recipes and do not have the option to change them.  Stick with “mom and pop” type of restaurants.

Call ahead (24 hours ahead) and talk to a manager who can talk to the chef before you arrive.  Do not arrive at a restaurant with “food allergy restrictions” and then get upset that things did not go as planned.

If you call ahead, and I am talking about calling in the morning about dinner or even the day before (when it is not the busy time of the day). You can tell the manager what your food allergies are.  You definitely need to tell them if it is “life threatening allergies” vs. “I feel like Sh– allergies”.

If either the manager or the chef does not feel comfortable meeting your allergy needs, do not push the issue. Do not get angry. Just accept it, and move on. If you called the day before, you still have time to find another restaurant.

Food allergy groups in the area you are visiting

If there is a food allergy group in the area you are visiting, you can ask which restaurants are accommodating for food allergies and which places to stay away from.

Even if the restaurant has the reputation of being accommodating, be respectful and make reservations the day before.

But again, there is a difference between being accommodating for life threatening allergies and being accommodating for “I feel like Sh–” allergies.

And definitely tip well. The chef is custom cooking something for you, so that does deserve a bonus (and a great review on social media).

My personal experience with food allergies (food intolerances)

I was born with food allergies (tummy ache type of stuff), but when I was pregnant, my allergies changed to where even a minimal amount of an allergen made me feel sick. Not 9-1-1 sick, but feeling like cr– for 24 – 48 hours sick.

I couldn’t even buy a loaf of bread in a grocery store without feeling sick.

This continued until after all of my children were beyond the nursing ages. So this was my life for 10 years.  Not to mention that while mommy is eating for two (pregnant or nursing), mommy has to deal with both mommy’s food allergies and baby’s food allergies. (Thanks daddy).

When we went on vacation, we made sure to get a hotel room which had a kitchenette.  We bought a few pots, a hot plate, etc. The hotel provided a microwave, fridge, plates, utensils, etc.  Sometimes we would go out to a restaurant, but it was rare and we were very picky about which restaurants we went to.

Even when we were at home, once a year we would go out to a restaurant. It was a specialty restaurant, medium expensive restaurant, traveled into a city center location, etc.

Food allergies are weird. It is not one of those medical conditions that you are born with and it stays that way your whole life. There is definitely a connection between food allergies and hormones. There are certain periods in a person’s life where food allergies are “changing”.

First, during the first year of life. A baby is dependent on baby formula or mommy milk. What mommy eats, baby drinks. If you have a family history of food allergies with milk, soy, and/or corn, do not wean from mommy milk until you are 100% sure your baby can handle baby formula without a problem. If you are feeding the baby mommy milk, and there are issues, then mommy needs to change her diet. If you can’t figure out what the problem is, you need to go to an allergist and get the baby tested. The testing is shots in the baby’s back. It “sucks” for the baby, but your baby being able to grow without complications is worth it.

Second, during the teen years. Even if your child was able to handle allergens before, when their hormones are “out of whack” during puberty, it will affect their food allergies.  So you may need to do a “do over” with food allergy testing, elimination diets, etc.

Third, during menopause (or the male equivalent). Again, your hormones are changing, so it will affect your baby’s reaction to food allergies.

Fourth, this is on and off, if you are sick or you have seasonal allergies, your body is dealing with that, so adding on dealing with a food allergy (intolerance) may become too much for your body to handle.

Summary

Understanding how your body works and what sets off your food allergies will help keep you healthy even when you are in your non-normal environment while traveling.

About Maria Kennedy

Maria Kennedy is the managing editor at Travel for Food Hub. Maria is on a full-tilt mission to share local food and travel inspiration. When she is not writing about food and travel, startups or social media, she is enjoying her time with her boys in sunny Spain.

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