I'm all for traveling. Or at least I was before I was diagnosed with food allergies. Now, if I am traveling in the US, I feel confident that I will not have a problem finding things to eat wherever I go. However, when I leave the country, all bets are off. I feel anxiety and begin eating three weeks in advance just to be sure that I have an extra fat reserve in case I can't eat anything on my trip.
As you can imagine, countries such as France or Germany are daunting -- all of those delicious breads and the bevy of rich sauces, all of which are off limits. Between the eggs and the flour, and the language barrier, all hope sometimes seems lost. However, I have devised a plan to help you travel safely and reaction-free no matter where your adventures take you.
1) Call the Airline: If you are severely nut allergic and concerned about boarding a plane on which the only snack for six hours will be a pouch of peanuts, call the airline and express your concerns. It is possible that they can provide an alternate snack and that they can alert the flight attendants to your allergy
2) Make sure you have single-serve Benadryl: This is helpful as the doses are 2 ounces or less, so you can bring them in your purse for yourself or your child, just in course you have a reaction in the air. Of course, if you or your child is anaphylactic, it goes without saying that you should have an epi-pen on board, too.
3) Pack Safe Snacks: Ziplocs of cut vegetables, apples, gluten-free pretzels, whatever will get you through, make sure you have enough on hand to survive the flight.
Upon Arrival: Ask the hotel concierge for the closest super market. Settle in and then make sure that you know where the safe food is. I always think it's fun to check out the culture of the foreign supermarket, anyway. I love to see what other countries consider "healthy" and to see how differently we eat from country to country.
4) Bring a Dictionary and Learn Some Important phrases: Make sure that you can tell a waiter that you are allergic to wheat, to eggs, to _____________.
Remember That No Matter where we go, there is almost always something that we can eat: if all else fails, raw fruits and vegetables are almost always the answer (at least temporarily)
5) Finally, Don't Be Afraid to Pack Some Non-Perishable Food in Your Suitcase: I always bring some canned salmon, soup, gluten-free oats. Just some staples in case worse comes to worse.