Traveling with Food Allergies
09/27/2015 07:30PM ● Published by Hood Magazine
My son has a severe allergy to peanuts and treenuts, so being in unfamiliar territory when we travel does make me uneasy, but it can be done. I have been fortunate enough to travel to some unbelievable places this year with my job, and I have to say it has really opened my eyes to know that food allergies are really being taken seriously, not only in the U.S., but all over the world. For instance, did you know, that, in Disney, when a person with a food allergy goes into a restaurant, the chef MUST meet with that individual before he even orders their meal to ensure their meal will be safe for their particular allergy? Every meal was like that for us! We met with every chef in each restaurant we were in. I thought that was magnificent!
I was also at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean and my co-worker was highly allergic to onions. The chef also came out to speak with us, decided it wasn't safe enough to prepare her meal in the kitchen, and went to an entirely separate kitchen in the property to prepare a meal just for her. I was astounded and pleasantly surprised that these resorts take such great precautions for those of us with loved ones with an allergy to just about anything.
It makes my heart happy that places are really trying to accommodate and recognize how serious allergies are. At the beginning of this year I was at a resort where very few of the employees spoke English. I tried asking if a particular item had peanuts - we weren't able to communicate. In the last month I am happy to say, that, the same resort has since placed a variety of cards right by the buffet that have allergy questions in both their language and English to make communication much easier.
Air travel is also another factor you should consider. Some airlines still serve peanuts. On a flight I was recently on, I thought it was wonderful how the attendants offered more cookies and pretzels to the people seated in rows 10-16 because someone in row 13 had an allergy to peanuts and therefore would not serve them to those particular rows.
With careful planning and preparation, you and your loved ones can have a safe, memorable, and hopefully stress free vacation - even with allergies!