So it’s fair to say that our recent trip to Miami was our first “real” trip as food allergy parents.
We had a wonderful time, but being away from home and out of our comfort zone definitely brought the stress to another level. We were properly prepared for our flights, and because our two allergy kids are picky eaters, we made most of their meals in our hotel room.
Still, it felt as though there were food allergy dangers all around us. The grandmother at the park who packed peanut butter sandwiches for her grandchildren, the guests at the pool eating “who knows what” just a few feet from where we were sitting, the bar in the lobby that served peanuts…even the pizza shop we frequented. They claimed to be nut-free…could we really trust them? Not everyone understands what nut-free means.
Our stress rose to a whole new level the morning that our daughter told us her tongue was itchy and her throat hurt. OMG, was she having an allergic reaction? We couldn’t point to any one thing that could have caused a reaction, but we still got our Epipens ready, our food allergist on the phone and monitored her closely. It was hours until we could breathe a sigh of relief.
Because food allergies and special dietary needs are becoming more and more prevalent in our society, I believe that in the near future we will become a market force that will be paid attention and catered to—and that we will have an easier time in our daily lives and when traveling as time goes on.
In the meantime, here are 5 quick tips we have learned over time for those who are planning a vacation with food allergy children: