For people with food allergies, vacations, especially abroad, can quickly become a hassle! To avoid unpleasant surprises and take full advantage of this long-awaited moment all year round, some basic precautions must be taken.
Choosing the right vacation destination when you are allergic
Each country has its culinary habits and traditions, and different allergens may be more or less present in them. If you have food allergies, choose a destination where the local diet is not in complete opposition to your allergy! For example, Asian cuisine uses very little milk and wheat flour, so Asia is a possible destination if you are allergic to these types of foods, but it should be avoided if you are allergic to rice. The first step is therefore to learn about the place of your allergen in the local cuisine before choosing your final destination.
Anticipation is the key!
Once there, it will be essential for you to be able to communicate about your allergy. Learn the translation of your allergen, know how to pronounce it and recognize it in writing. To do this, you can use a translator on the web and even put together a small map explaining your allergy in the language of the country you are visiting, a simple and effective communication tool.
Find out about local regulations in terms of the labeling of allergens on products, remembering that the composition of the same product may vary from one country to another, and therefore contain different allergens. For accommodation, report your allergy before choosing a hotel, to make sure you can find dishes that are compatible with your restrictions, without eating the same thing every day. Sometimes it makes sense to opt for an apartment-hotel or rental package that allows you to cook on your own. Finally, remember to inquire about the telephone number of local emergencies, as well as the relatives who travel with you.
Your checklist for flying
To get on a plane, ask your allergist for an "allergic traveler" certificate. This will allow you to keep your emergency kit with you, including your epinephrine injection pen. Your kit must imperatively travel in your hand baggage, and not in the hold. You can also find out about the food allergy policy of the airline you are traveling with. Is there a meal compatible with your allergy? You can plan a meal on your own if needed. If the company does not allow packed lunches, find out about the supporting documents to be authorized. The "allergic traveler" certificate should suffice, but a letter stating that you must bring your food, signed by the allergist, may be required.
Choose your destination carefully and prepare your luggage to deal with any crisis: these are the first reflexes to have before leaving. All you have to do is enjoy your trip serenely!
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
My family ordered a week's worth of food from Food Allergy Concierge during the most recent lockdown. Having the food on hand, and knowing that it was safe for everyone in the family to eat, helped turn the lockdown into a stay-cation! We were still able to take a break from cooking and worrying, and we look forward to using FAC's services again in the future.
We are so lucky we found this company to help us while our son was traveling. They provided allergy-safe baked goods and delivered them to his hotel so he could have bread and pastries on his month-long Israel trip. It was very easy ordering and communicating his needs. I would definitely use the food allergy concierge again the next time he travels to Israel.