For parents in a family with food allergies, the thought of traveling away from home to a different country can be both exciting and scary at the same time! While those with food sensitivities are aware of standard precautions ranging from epipens to "safe snacks," there are always uncertainties about eating safety. Travel comes in many forms, ranging from pleasure to business.
Traveling can be chock full of hesitation for everyone, including food sensitive children, teenagers and adults. The trip may be avoided altogether, if there are too many questions and no evident answers/solutions.
Some new tools are here to bolster travel confidence and minimize the fears of the unknown when venturing out to explore new destinations. Even better, these new safeguards are easily accessible via the internet and contact with the mode transportation being used
3 Amazing Travel Tools:
1. Language cards to Communicate Allergies
One of the greatest challenges in travel is the ability to say what you mean -- clear as you can. Language cards that provide the visual and word in 30 language of the specific country (ies) will provide the clarity and all but eliminate confusion! Translation cards from Canada are available in 30 languages for under $10. Cards cover 200+ foods/other items and are a portable credit card size. Best of all, they can be printed on your computer with your specific food allergies.
Language cards are an essential and effective way to safely navigate a destination with a foreign language.
2. Restaurant Allergy Friendly Ratings
Yes, there is an app for that -- in the United States anyways! Allergy friendly eating can be found on this website. The site provides a guide for the food allergy population with a find, rate and share function. The free App is available for download in the Apple App Store (Apple) and GOOGLE PLAY
Canada also has allergy friendly ratings for some of the major cities and restaurants that can help to make safer restaurant choices. Canadian food safe eating can be found by searching for " allergy friendly restaurants" in major Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Edmonton.
The ability to have allergy friendly restaurants identified in various locations is a huge benefit for those travelers with food restrictions in their diets!
3. Transportation Allergy Friendly
Airlines have responded to requests for safer travel conditions for those with food allergies,whether by food served or airborne irritants. Among the services provided are food free zones where food allergens are restricted, allergy free food pre-ordering and pre -boarding to further clean seating area. Canadian airlines have provisions for food sensitive passengers, including Air Canada and West Jet.
Air Canada food allergy policy requires at least 48 hr. advance notice. A buffer zone of at least 5 rows will also be provided. A call to any airline in advance will determine if adequate measures and accommodations are available. Adequate measures for travel by train and bus can also be confirmed by contact prior to travel.
The importance of planning ahead and notifying the travel reservation office cannot be understated.
The above travel tools provide confidence and eliminate potential dangers for the food allergy population. Get ready, get set and go travel!
Candice Minch is a blogger, writer and author of an upcoming book Allergy Explosion in 2016.