My Super-Simple Travel Checklist
When you are first told your child has food allergies, it feels like the safest option is to bunker down in your home, close the door and never leave. But life isn’t meant to be lived that way, and eventually, you do have to emerge and teach your child about the big wide world and start to mentor them in taking responsibility for their own safety and wellbeing.
Traveling with food allergies provides so many opportunities- new experiences, increased independence and confidence, the chance for family time- it’s a really important part of living with food allergies. It certainly takes more preparation, so I’ve put together this super simple checklist to get you on your way.
Before you travel:
- Make sure you have adequate supplies of medications- epipens, antihistamine and they are up to date
- Asthma medication if needed,
- Eczema medication and cream if needed
- Medication bag to carry in hand luggage- I use the Medibag
- Action Plan copied and in your hand luggage
- If you are traveling overseas to a country that does not speak English as its primary language, get allergy alerts on your phone/printed cards in the official language of your destination
- Pack safe snacks (pack more than you expect to need- planes can be delayed, shops may close earlier than you expect at your destination)
- Consider getting a doctor’s letter if your child has FPIES to explain the diagnosis and need for supportive treatment
- Alert airlines about your child’s significant food allergy and ask about their in-flight service policies
- Pack wet wipes for cleaning tray tables etc
While you are traveling:
- Make sure you have access to your medications and management plans at all times
- Only eat safe snacks- if you aren’t sure, don’t eat it
- Plan to stay in places where you have more control of the food- eg kitchen facilities
- When you arrive, do a quick check of cleanliness etc to ensure no contamination from previous guests (eg peanut shells)
- Know where the nearest medical facilities are
- Be assertive when eating out- research options prior to heading out to avoid frustration (we will often have a look at restaurants in the afternoon for dinner that night and ask any questions BEFORE we show up with 3 hungry kids!)
- If using child-care, make sure you personally hand-over medications, safe snacks and care-info to the person who will be looking after your child. If you are not confident they understand, don’t leave your child there.
Of course, the last one is to try and focus more on the fun and experiences in the moment knowing you’ve done the best you can to safeguard your child.
I hope this has been helpful! If you want to learn more about how I do ‘risk assessments’ for travel destinations and holiday plans, click here to watch my short video on ‘Travelling with food allergies’.