Traveling with Food Allergies is Never Easy

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As a family with a food allergic child it can often be difficult to travel to new destinations. It is a scary proposition to walk into an unfamiliar place, at times with a language barrier, and not know whether the food you’re about to feed your child is safe for consumption. We have taken many precautions when we travel but there were times the allergens appeared without warning.

Tips for Traveling With Food Allergies-Kids Are A Trip

When traveling, it is not uncommon for us to go through an agency to find an apartment to rent. This affords us many benefits because we are able to cook our own meals and our larger family has room to spread out. The drawback of staying in a local accommodation is that you don’t always know who to contact in case of a medical emergency. In the United States we have been taught to always call 911 when an emergency arises. This can be a difficult issue when you’re traveling with food allergies in a foreign country and you don’t speak the language.

Traveling with Food Allergies-Kids Are A Trip
Eating in new places is always a challenge with food allergies.

Tips for dealing with allergies in new places:

1) Whenever you travel to a new destination, be aware of the location of the nearest hospital and how to reach emergency services. This prepares you for any issues that may arise.

2) If you’re traveling out of the country and don’t speak the language, invest in food allergy translation cards. These will give you the assistance you need when dining in restaurants and shopping in grocery stores.

3) Pack some extra food in your suitcase that you know is allergy friendly for your child to eat. Find easy to pack travels snacks. Doing this will ensure you always have a meal available your child can eat.

4) Always carry your medication on your person and if you can, get a duplicate and have your spouse carry the other one. Carry a copy of the prescription if possible. This will help in case of emergency and in case your medicine is lost.

5) Research before you leave for your destination. Find out if there are alternative food options or restaurants that might be appropriate in the area where you’re traveling. It’s good to have those places in mind when you’re searching for food at your destination.

Sometimes even the best laid plans go awry, and we have dealt with allergies and allergic reactions on a couple of our trips overseas. We tried to take all of the above precautions, but sometimes due to negligence of our own doing or of others our child has unfortunately suffered an allergic reaction. As you can imagine, panic set in and we were unsure what to do or where to go, that’s where a company like American Well would have been extremely useful to us.


About American Well

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American Well doctors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are dedicated to keeping you healthy — all from the comfort of your home.

Signing up for the service is free; patients pay only when they use the services. American Well has partnered with many insurers, so your visit may be covered by insurance – you’ll need to check with your insurance provider.

Let’s face it – especially while traveling, moms don’t have time to be sick, let alone find a doctor’s office. With American Well, you can see a doctor immediately from the comfort of your hotel room. That means no more traffic, waiting rooms, or getting lost in an unfamiliar city—just you, your device (smartphone, tablet or computer), and a doctor. Better health is now in the palm of your hands – with American Well!

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Traveling With Food Allergies - Challenging But Not Impossible

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This post was sponsored by American Well


  1. Luckily my children don’t have any food allergies…yet. They are both very young, so nothing has shown up yet. I have a nephew that has a peanut allergy and it is amazing all the things that contain peanuts or peanut oil that you would never think of. I will have to look into Amwell!

  2. Logan, I hope you never find any food allergies, it can be very difficult for some children. Definitely look into Amwell, it seems like a great option!

  3. Wow that’s scary! I’ve developed some food sensitivities which reeks havoc when traveling. I like using Airbnb to rent an apartment for super cheap

  4. Wow, what excellent advice for traveling parents! I never considered allergy translation cards! It was always easier to pack a back up plan than deal with trying to explain

  5. I didn’t know that food translations cards existed! I will have to look into them!

  6. Food allergies can be scary. I keep food translation cards with me.

  7. Thanks Michelle! It can be intimidating, but we have learned a lot over the years.

  8. Danielle, I am with you. Love airbnb and all the unique properties. It’s like being a local for a few days. My favorite way to travel.

  9. Cynthia, those good translation cards are essential! They came in super handy in Finland where we didn’t understand a word!

  10. Debra, definitely worth checking out. Great for having on the road.

  11. What kind of food allergies do you have? It’s not easy, but I am glad the translation cards exist.

  12. Thanks Sue. Our first trip after the diagnosis was the scariest, but it has honestly been easier since then. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. I can’t imagine having to deal with food allergies. My kids have so many allergies, but thankfully, not food related. I have seen friends struggle with their kids and it can be pretty scary. Good tip on the food translation cards. I didn’t know about that.

  14. I feel even more lucky now that my daughter doesnt have any allergies. I didn’t even realize it could be so difficult. But you’re a momma and top of it!

  15. My daughter is severely allergic to penicillin. I always had her wear her bracelet when she was traveling without me. As parents you have to be extra prepared. I have never thought about traveling with food allergy. There is so much that one does not know when traveling to foreign areas. Good tips.

  16. I would be so nervous if I had a child with an allergy. One thing I’d be paranoid about is eating out and asking food-related questions. Sometimes, I fear that some wait staff don’t always tell the truth. I’d be the type of Mom to always carry around approved snacks in my purse, glove compartment…everywhere.

  17. Thanks. It is tough, but you just have to keep educating yourself, your child, and the schools. Well heck, more than that, but you know what I mean. Just stay on top of it, and it will be ok.

  18. Oh no! My husband is allergic to penicillin but he only found out about 10 years ago, when we were traveling of course! He was so itchy and we couldn’t figure out why. Crazy world we live in, right? Bug great idea to have a bracelet!

  19. Oh Yona, believe me, you do get used to it, kind of. I carry around a lot of snacks, but I also know what he can eat now. It was difficult in the beginning, but once we learned, it was a lot easier.

  20. These are some absolutely PHENOMENAL tips! I have some for sensitivities (nothing too serious), but it does propose an issue! I love the idea of packing extra safe food, I have a trip next week and will have to remember that!

  21. Great tips! I’m traveling to Japan and although I don’t have allergies I definitely have foods I don’t eat so I’m going to be ready with vocabulary for sure! Great post.

  22. I’m just about to have soup myself, and I allergies are terrible to have. It seems like almost everyone is this world has some sort of allergy. 🙁

  23. It’s true. It’s terrible to have any allergies Nicole. It’s crazy how things have changed and there are so many more allergies than there were 20-30 years ago.

  24. Thanks Steph! We used to travel with those bagel thins and a jar of sunbutter, just so we knew he would always have a meal to eat. It was crazy! It’s been better, but it still isn’t easy!

  25. Oh Natalia, study those words! Or have someone write them down for you before you go! I have a picky eater and I bet there would be a ton of things in Japan he wouldn’t eat! LOL

  26. That would be a challenge. I know my sister is vegan and sometimes when we get together to eat, she has to really look and make sure they get it right.

  27. Love this! We’re a military family and were both from two different states so we do quite a bit of traveling to see family so I definitely needed this!! Thanks Dear!

  28. I would imagine being vegan is equally difficult Candi. It is always hard when you aren’t preparing your own meals.

  29. You are welcome Lexie! Always happy to help!

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