Over the past three months, I have had the privilege to speak about Traveling with Food Allergies. In March I was in Charlotte, in April I was in Columbus and in May I was in Jacksonville. I shared my experience, my tips, what to do and especially what NOT to do.
Each presentation was held at a food allergy conference, specifically The Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (which sadly is no longer) and the Living Free Expo. The best part of the presentation was to share success stories and unfortunately horror stories of our adventures. I use the pronoun “our” because audience participation was very dynamic. People piped up and were more than happy to disclose their tips.
Sharing is Caring
I love the collaboration of the food allergy community. We can all learn from each other. In case you missed my presentations, here are some of the tips I shared with the audience:
How to prepare?
- Research country’s cuisines
- Look for local grocery stores
- Find allergy friendly restaurants
- Learn the names of meds in other countries
- Inquire whether these meds are over the counter
- Are meds available there that are not available in US?
- Ship food ahead to your hotel
What to pack?
- Pack snacks
- Your meds
- Allergic Traveler cards – of course! Get yours here.
- Pack utensils, ziplock bags
- Inquire about allergy free zones on planes
- Pick a safe airline – Southwest Airlines
- Have a handout for passengers
- Travel by train with a cooler and toaster
Where to stay?
- Book hotels with mini fridges and microwaves
- Does the hotel have a doctor on call?
- Look for Airbnb
- Stay away from tourist traps
I have many more tips from our speaking engagement. If you would like a copy of the presentation, simply email here. We will be happy to share it with you.
Aside from our presentation
We were not the only dog and pony show, there were some great vendors at both shows. These companies are working hard to create safe snacks for you and me. Make sure to look for them at your local grocery stores. If they are not available at your store, ask the manager how to get your favorite products to shelves. Every store has a policy on how to do this, and it is because of us that allergy friendly products are hitting the shelves.
Here are some of the companies that attended:
1 in 6 Snacks, Aleias, B Free Foods, Blue Diamond, Bob’s Red Mill, Colette & Frank’s, Brazi Bites, Core Life Eatery, Enjoy Life Foods, Dolci di Maria, Freedom Foods, Full Flavor Foods, GF Mom Certified, GIG, Glutenberg, Gluten Free Grain Free Gourmet, Integrative Health & Allergy Center, Isiibisi, JPs Pastry, King Arthur, Mozaicz, Noodles Catering, Norms Farms, Pure Haven, Smart Baking Company, Safe Sweets, Sweet Es Cookies, The Only Bean, Thrive Probiotic, and Your Pie.
We will be doing a few giveaways throughout the summer with some of our favorite companies. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, I hope you all have safe travels this summer.
Tips to share
Do you have any travel tips to share with us? If so, please do!
Need a speaker?
Are you looking for a presenter? Don’t be shy! Let us know. Aside from presenting on traveling with food allergies, we also present on adopting food allergies later in life. Get in touch here.
Author: Tarah Jakubiak
After working for 20 years in the corporate world, Tarah Jakubiak founded Allergic Traveler. Jakubiak, president of Allergic Traveler has traveled the world since the age of two. She has been to 25 countries and 34 states. Jakubiak has been to all inclusives, gone on cruises, gone camping; backpacking through Europe, gone to the big cities, and little hidden gems. She has multiple food allergies but it does not stop her from seeing the world. Jakubiak is allergic to eggs, nuts, mushroom, soy, garlic, corn, sesame, potatoes, celery, shellfish, chicken, pork, peanuts, and many fruits. She is originally from Montreal, Quebec and now lives in Greensboro, NC with her husband.