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4 tips for traveling with food allergies

Boy on a plane looking out the window

Having a food allergy shouldn’t hold you or your family back from traveling! However, it does require good planning and preparation, so you can relax and have fun without unnecessary worry. Here are some quick tips you should consider before traveling!

Always travel with two epinephrine injectors and copies of your Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan.

  • If you’re traveling for an extended period of time, carry your doctor’s contact information, in case you need more epinephrine pens while you’re away.
  • If you will be traveling overseas, travel with an auto-injector prescription, in addition to two copies of your Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan. One in English and one in the host language.

If you are flying, Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) recommends putting auto-injectors in your carry-on baggage rather than checking them.

  • Travel with the auto-injector pharmacy printout. Most airlines have an allergy policy, so it’s a good idea to read it in advance.
  • Comment in your booking and/or call the airline in advance to request they inform all crew and staff of your child’s food allergy. You can remind all staff at the airport, including check-in, gate agent and flight crew.

Many airlines will offer a nut-free alternative upon request. When in doubt, travel with your own snacks!

  • You may want to bring extra if you are traveling abroad and are unsure of your options overseas.
  • If your child has a peanut allergy, don’t fly with airlines that serve peanuts as a snack
  • If you are traveling on a flight that serves snacks containing your child’s allergen, consider bringing your own sanitary wipes to wipe down the area/tray your child will be sitting in and around. Many airlines clean planes at the end of the day and not in-between flights.

Once you’ve arrived to your destination, inform all accommodations staff of your child’s food allergy.

  • If you will be staying at a resort, call ahead to inform them.
  • Just in case, learn where access to a doctor or nurse is, their contact information, and when they are available.
  • For tips on eating out, review FARE’s guide here.

For more information visit FARE and for additional international travel tip click here.

Lauren Kronisch, clinical dietitian