Traveling with young children with food allergies can be tricky. Although most resorts and airlines treat allergies very seriously, there can be no guarantees. This is especially true if you are going abroad to a country that may not have the same problems in their society. But, at the same time, you don’t want to restrict yourself to the same old, boring vacation year after year. Read on to find out how to plan a trip away with young kids who have food allergies.
Image Credit: Sohel Parvez Haque/Flickr
Booking Your Trip
First thing’s first, you should contact any hotel or resort before booking your trip. Most resorts around the world who experience a lot of western travelers will be fine with providing optional meals. However, if you are looking to go further afield, it might cause a few problems.
While this won’t limit your choice of destination much, it will limit your choice of hotel. Also, bear in mind that for obscure locations, you will need to thoroughly research any safety issues. If you are stuck in the middle of nowhere without an EpiPen, for example, it could be disastrous.
Booking a hotel or resort is the easy part, however. It’s the flight to your destination that can cause the worst problems.
Booking A Flight
Traveling with kids can be tricky enough, but when you have an allergy to think about it can be even worse. Choose an airline that responds to your needs and is happy to talk about experiences with other passengers who are in your situation. It’s better to book over the phone rather than online, so you can underline the importance of the allergy issue. It’s also advisable to ask them to send you a confirmation email.
Strangely, it is best for people with allergies to fly the first thing in the morning. Allergen can be picked up from seats, so boarding, before anybody else has been on the plane, means you can guarantee your child’s safety. Of course, it is vital that pack your medicine, and bring a doctor’s note, too.
Customs officers may show understanding at one stage of your journey, but less so on another. It’s best to take your own food, especially if your child suffers from severe reactions. Even though the airline will do their best to avoid contamination, there are no guarantees.
Starting Your Vacation
Once you have landed, if the flight attendants have gone out of their way to help you, be sure to thank them for their efforts. Not only will they be appreciative, but they could also store it in their memory for the next passenger who suffers from allergies.
If your treatment has been poor, don’t cause any trouble. It’s the start of your vacation, and nothing will be resolved there and then. Just wait until you get home and send a polite letter outlining your concerns.
When you get to your resort, make sure you go through the allergies as you check in to ensure staff are aware of your child’s allergy. Some places will be easier to deal with than others. Take these family villas in Bali, for example. They offer the opportunity to have a personal chef on request, so your child can have meals prepared for them safely.
Not all resorts will offer services like these, so your child may face a very limited menu for the duration of their stay. If this is the case, then research the local area for restaurants that could accommodate you and your family so that your little one can enjoy a more varied diet.
I hope this little guide can take some of the pain away from booking a trip away with your little ones. It can be difficult with food allergies, but as you can see, it isn’t impossible!