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Traveling with Allergies & Dietary Restrictions

Updated: Sep 24, 2023


Counter with nut, seed, eggs, fruit, cheese, fish

Traveling with allergies can present many difficulties. Going out to restaurants, ordering food, eating at hotel breakfast buffets, finding food in an airport, and eating on planes can all be nearly impossible tasks. This exact obstacle can stop many of us from traveling, but it shouldn't.


Being lactose and gluten intolerant, I've had a lot of experience with just this. As a result, I have a few tips for traveling with allergies and dietary restrictions. This is what we're discussing today.

 

Grocery Stores

Grocery stores will always be your best friend when traveling. They are definitely one of the safest options for those of us with food allergies and dietary restrictions. I frequent them all throughout my travels and find a lot of enjoyment in them. For me, it's fun to explore what options exist for me in the places I go.

Vego vegan chocolate bar

I still dream of the Vego vegan hazelnut chocolate that my host mom got me for my birthday in Germany, the Scharr gluten free breads in Germany (they take gluten free bread seriously in Germany), the Whole Foods hot and cold bars filled with delicious veggies, and gluten free muffins from the hotel in Virginia.


Hotel rooms and Airbnbs typically have a fridge of some kind in them as well as a microwave, so you at the very least have a way to store and cook your groceries.


I have definitely had a few microwaved eggs while traveling. Not the most glamorous meals, but definitely better than an allergy accident.


Snack Sack

protein bars

You might not always have access to a grocery store when traveling through an airport or on a plane. You could buy snacks in the airport or on the plane but those are always overpriced and aren't guaranteed to be allergy friendly.


For this exact situation, I always have what I call a snack sack in my suitcase as well as in my purse. To learn more about what exactly a snack sack is and what I keep in my snack sack, click here.



Supplements

Not all allergies can be helped through medications such as gluten intolerance, however thankfully lactose intolerance can be eased with Lactaid. It's a huge lifesaver in the case of cross contamination. When I order a coffee from coffee shops and ask for almond milk, I take a Lactaid just in case because I want to ensure that I will enjoy my day pain free.


I also take multivitamins every day to ensure I meet my daily requirements for my nutrition. I take these with me on my travels to, not only keep the habit going, but also to help supplement my dietary needs when navigating new food territory.


There have been far too many times where I have gotten sick from not getting enough iron due to the lack of protein options available to me while traveling. As a result, I've lessened my restrictions on my vegetarianism and have begun eating poultry again, but you can also take iron as prescribed by your doctor.

white pills in a white dish

Bringing any medications that can help ease or save you from allergy accidents is crucial when traveling. This is especially important when going out to dinner at a new place.




Allergy Friendly Dinning

Because of my specific allergies, I tend to stick to vegan restaurants when traveling just for safety. This doesn't guarantee me there won't be cross contamination, especially from gluten, but my allergens are less present at a vegan restaurant than they are at a regular restaurant. This is just something I do to ease my food anxiety when traveling.


I know some meat and fish free individuals make exceptions when traveling such as, when they can't find eggs, they settle for chicken. It's important to do what works best for you and your specific allergies and restrictions.


I loved the Buddah Bowl from The Daily Kitchen in Virginia, I fell in love with Chipotle in Austin, Texas, and couldn't get enough of the stir fry from The Loop West End in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



 

If you're traveling somewhere with a language barrier, it is important to go over the spelling and pronunciation of the necessary vocabulary. To suggest a few:


Contains

Ingredients

Allergy

Sensitivity

Lactose intolerant

Gluten intolerant

Vegetarian

Vegan

Peanut

Shellfish

Soy

Eggs

Eczema

Hives


Stay safe and enjoy the travels!



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