Life isn’t always a picnic for food allergy sufferers and people with dietary restrictions. In circumstances where you can’t prepare food for yourself, like when you’re travelling, sticking to your regimen can be tricky – but not impossible.
Travel is the spice of life, and your dietary restrictions shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying yourself. They should, however, prompt you to carefully plan your itinerary so you can accommodate your diet – and communicate your needs – with greater ease.
Below are some tips to get you from A to B with peace of mind you won’t go hungry, and won’t succumb to pit-stops that compromise your diet, and ultimately, your health.
Pack a survival kit
Whether you’re on the road or on a camping trip, take heed in the motto, “Always be prepared.” It’s a good idea to pack a portable feast in the form of a cooler full of fresh, healthy and balanced food that adheres to your dietary requirements. For times when you’re in a pinch and could use provisions, don’t forget to bring along snacks with a shelf life.
Plan your stops
Research your route and prepare yourself for any dietary challenges you might face. If you’re travelling by car, go online and seek out restaurants and grocery stores that can accommodate your needs.
If you’re heading overseas, make sure you’re aware of the dietary customs of your destination. And if you’re a vegan or Kosher, consider booking accommodations and tour packages that cater to your diet.
Put it in writing
Whether you’re travelling by air or train, make sure to reserve special meals that reflect your dietary needs, and print off any correspondence that indicates your order.
Likewise, if your final destination is a country where language is a barrier, a food allergy card can be a lifesaver – quite literally. Printed in the local language, these cards can be passed to staff at restaurants and accommodations, to ensure they understand your food restrictions.
Pills – bring them
Don’t let a food allergy, like lactose intolerance, spoil your holiday. Remember, enjoying delicious food and memorable meals is part of the experience. But since you won’t always have control over what you’re eating, take steps to manage your sensitivities. Pack pills – such as lactase enzymes – to help you cope should you accidentally ingest dairy.