Holiday travel tips with Asthma and Allergies
Posted on 06 February 2017
How to exercise due diligence when planning your travel?
Here are some tips on what to watch out for and how to prepare when travelling with allergies.
1. If visiting friends/relatives
- Let them know ahead who has allergies in your family and what those allergies are. Explain to them the importance of taking precautions when preparing food. In case of children with allergies ask them to leave the allergic foods out of reach.
- Bring a kit with all your medications, including extra epinephrine auto-injectors, and copies of your Allergy and/or Asthma Action Plan (download our free Forms). Let your doctor know you’re traveling, and ask if he or she will be available to call, email or fax in a prescription for additional auto-injectors, should you need them. Let the flight attendant know you have allergies or asthma when you board the plane.
- Pack your own safe food for the flight.
- It might sound overly cautious but it's a good idea to inspect your seating area and wipe down your seat to help prevent contact reactions or inadvertent skin contact with food particles or spills. Eating food off a contaminated surface area could lead to accidental ingestion of allergens through cross-contact. There could have been someone eating peanut earlier and dropping crumbs...
- Never take a risk with food, especially when in the air and away from access to medical help.
- Understand policies for carrying medication on board the aircraft. You may need to show the printed label that identifies the medication. It is recommended that you also show the prescription label from the pharmacy and a note from your doctor that confirms your food allergy.
3. Travelling overseas
- Find out if there are local doctors in the area that specialize in allergy. Will they be able to write you a prescription for additional auto-injectors or medications if you need them? Where is the closest hospital?
- Ask your doctor to write prescriptions that you can carry with you. Learn the generic and brand names in the countries you’ll be visiting.
- Bring several copies of your Food Allergy and/or Asthma Action Plans (download our free Forms). Carry Restaurant Cards (also available free from AllerBuddies) in English and the language of the countries where you will be. Make sure these documents are with you at all times.
- Bring non-perishable food that is safe for you to eat. Dried pasta and allergen-free snack bars are good options. Don’t assume that the same products manufactured in other countries will contain the same ingredients.