Hello summer travel!
I’m getting ready to head to Italy, packing my bag, which includes my many snacks; so I figured I’d share some of my top tips with you (that I practice too) about traveling with food allergies and avoids.
So often I hear my clients tell me how stressed they are about their food likes/dislikes/tolerances/intolerances etc, when they travel. Really, it can be simple if you prepare, and if you ask for what you want (and try to get over the fear of asking for what we want –> I know this is hard).
When it comes to planning for where you’ll be going, your final destination will sometimes determine what you’re able to bring (i.e. Tasmania, Australia– where I’ve been, doesn’t allow ANY fresh plant based foods in- no nuts) with you. Most often you can bring food and snacks in with you, as long as it’s a sealed (non-plant). So that you guys know- I’m allergic to dairy, wheat, soy, eggs, and corn- so my recommendation below do include nuts and nut based products- you’ll want to adjust this if you have nut allergies!
There’s two parts to consider when traveling, the travel itself, and the destination.
Part 1: For the travel itself (plains, trains, automobiles):
- Request a special meal from the airline (to pick at)– I usually go with gluten free; it tends to be the most plain and easiest to work around.
- Bring a meal with you- and you can bring an ice pack through security (I do this all the time). I’ll often go to Dig Inn or make a salad or something and bring it with me through security. That way I’m just picking at the food – if it’s good, and if it’s terrible I can avoid it altogether.
- Make sure you have plane snacks:
- Nuts (if you can eat them)
- Nut butters – Justin’s Single Serve nut butter, or Sunbutter
- Sandwich on your preferred wrap or allergen-free bread (like gluten free bread, a coconut based wrap etc)
- Packaged snacks that you like, here’s a few of my faves:
- Chia bars
- Chimichurri Spiced Almonds
- Grassfed jerky
- Dairy free yogurt
- Cut up/ hand fruit (grapes, cherries etc)
Part 2: When you arrive (and for the fun part, the trip!):
- Investigate the turf: If you’re going abroad or even if you’re going to another state within the US, it can be helpful to do a quick search on google to find out what type of food is available and native to the area. Researching the food environment in the place you’re going can give you an idea of how much you’ll have to plan ahead and how much you’ll need to bring with you.
- Plan to eat: Find out what’s offered in your final destination. Doing things like calling ahead to your hotel or searching for “safe” restaurants on the internet that will be able to provide allergy-friendly options will save you time and a lot of stress once you arrive. Identifying three or four places that you know will be good and reliable places to dine if you’re in a pinch will save you a lot of stress and planning.
- Pack snacks: Pack snacks that travel well- jerky, non-refrigerator hummus, veggies (yes these are fine to travel with), bars, crackers. We have an entire section of snacks and other favorite goodies in the store. Check them out here!
- Don’t be afraid to speak up: Seriously, this is probably the most important thing… clients and friends are always ashamed and anxious to speak up. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!