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Traveling With Food Allergies

Traveling With Food Allergies:

As I am sitting here writing this, I cannot wait for the day when I can finally travel again; in the meantime, the most I can do is write about traveling. As I’m sure many of you feel the same way, hopefully, when Covid-19 finally settles down, this article will be applicable to all of you. Traveling with food allergies, though, definitely complicates things. I’ve therefore devised two helpful tips which are the most crucial in managing your food allergies.


Be Prepared:

I’m an adventurous eater and love exploring a place through its cuisine, yet having food allergies can make this dangerous. Therefore, I always figure out a place I want to eat prior to the meal and subsequently go through the menu as a preliminary check. Once this is done, I call the restaurant and talk to the manager to ask him/her any follow-up questions. For instance, just this past summer I was at a restaurant in Aspen, Colorado. My family and I had done our research, and we felt comfortable eating at this place. I ordered the most basic dish on the menu, chicken, and really enjoyed my meal. At first, I felt fine and my family and I decided to go and explore the town. However, 20 minutes later, I suddenly began to get a tingle in my throat, a feeling which I know all too well. Fortunately, it was only cross-contamination, and I wasn’t forced to go to the hospital. Yet, I still missed out on a fun afternoon of activities and dinner.


When traveling internationally, there are a plethora of things which must be taken into consideration, especially if the country you are visiting doesn’t speak your first language. What I’ve found to be the most efficient solution to this is printing out a note card prior to traveling stating your allergies in the language of the country you are traveling to. This is a simple and easy way for someone to know your food allergies


And lastly, the most basic thing is always having your epi-pen by your side. Although this should always be true of someone with food allergies, it is especially important when traveling due to the fact that you are in an unknown place with many variables.



Air on the Side of Caution:

When in an unknown place, it is always easier to be safe. The nearest hospital may be unknown to you, and on top of that, you may not trust the people working there. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and do everything in your power to stay out of the hospital.. If there is even the slightest chance of cross-contamination at a restaurant, try finding an alternative option. Over the past year, I’ve been forced to cut pizza out of my diet when eating out. Although I really enjoy this food and always want to order it, I’ve come to understand that this isn’t the smart decision. I know what it’s like to make the wrong choice, as I’ve done so multiple times, and suffered the consequences of an allergic reaction. It was very frustrating not being able to eat one of my favorite foods, so I’ve gotten creative and have begun to make my own pizza at home. There are many alternative options to foods you love; it’s just up to you to figure out how to make it work!


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    We are a group of teens with food allergies who want to make others feel less alone in their journey. We're here to share our advice, experiences, and helpful resources to help others! If you have questions, you can contact us at foodallergicteens@gmail.com.

     

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