When you’re traveling with family members who have food allergies, a successful allergy-free vacation is dependent on many factors, including the destination you choose. Obviously, many considerations go into choosing a vacation destination, such as budget and interests, but you will also want to choose a location where it’s easier to stay allergy-safe. Start with these questions:
Wherever you are served food, you need to be able to communicate effectively about your family’s food allergies and explain about cross-contact, if relevant. It’s easiest if you are in a country where the native language is the same as yours, but you can also travel to other destinations if you can find people who speak English well enough. If you are concerned that you will not be understood properly, take an allergy card in the native language along with you and present it at hotels and restaurants.
Staying in an apartment instead of a hotel can make staying safe a simpler process. You can properly clean and sterilize when you arrive and check ingredients on food you cook. You can even bring some of the food from home, so you don’t have to read too many foreign labels. This does make for a less relaxing vacation, but if a hotel would be too stressful, this is a good solution.
Some countries are known to be more allergy-friendly in general and some may be more friendly to your particular allergies. Do some research into the cuisine served in the locations you are considering and avoid countries where your allergen is widely used, especially if it’s hidden in other foods. Disney World is a destination which is particularly allergy-friendly, with allergy-free menu options, thorough staff training and strict restaurant protocols.
Flights can be difficult with food allergies, especially if they are airborne. Consider whether you might be better off taking a road trip instead of flying. If you do choose to fly, a shorter flight will be less stressful than a long one. Confirm and reconfirm your allergy-free airline meals and bring lots of snacks to get through the flight. Or better yet, bring your own meals, in accordance with airline regulations. And don’t forget to carry medications in case of an allergic reaction.
It’s a vacation, so you’ll want to be able to relax and let someone else do the worrying for a change. At Food Allergy Concierge, we offer a variety of services which take the burden of food preparation off your hands. We can help you plan an itinerary that takes your food allergies into account. We can make your restaurant reservations and ensure that kitchen staff understands exactly what needs to be done. We can come to your hotel and restaurant (anywhere in the world) and supervise food prep to ensure that cross-contact is avoided. We will even provide medical supervision for more exotic locations.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA