Just because I have food allergies doesn’t mean I can’t have fun and travel when the holidays are here! For example when we go on a holiday I am always so excited but there is always so much planning to do before we start our trip to make sure that my holiday is a safe and happy time.
Some of our travelling and planning tips are:
If we are travelling on a plane we try and travel outside of meal times if possible. I always travel with more than one epipen, x4 to be exact. I also pack my Action Plan for Anaphylaxis that’s signed by my doctor. ASCIA also has a Travel Plan that is great to use when flying. I also pack my anti-histamine and my ventolin also. All of these come on the plane with me. I travel with a face mask just incase the smells in the plane are too much for me. I haven’t needed to use this ever but it’s good to know I have it if I need it. I always carry all of my own food to make sure to decrease any risks while in the air. Mum always packs me way too much just so that I have a great choice and that if there are delays we are never caught out. If the seats are leather we wipe them down with our wipes and all the arm and table areas. But just incase they are not leather and easy to wipe we pack a sheet to cover the seat with. Some airlines if given 72+hrs notice upon request will put into place ‘no nuts’ on the flight you are on. But it is always good to be prepared as you don’t know what other people will bring on the flight. I also hope that Zeus (God of the sky) from my favourite book series that I am reading at the moment… Percy Jackson… looks out for us 🙂 ASCIA has a travelling with allergy, asthma and anaphylaxis checklist that is also good to use as a cross check-list.
Unless travelling into Australia, we meal plan and pack most of my food for our holiday. My mum and I cook for many days and weeks before our trip and freeze a lot of my food especially if we are travelling to a place that we don’t know exactly what food we are able to get there. Once we travelled to Singapore for only 4 days so it was much easier taking all my food prepared and cooked and frozen than spending most of the four days searching for safe food and cooking. This way my mum gets a bit of a holiday too! Prior to booking our accommodation we check where hospitals and medical facilities are and if it is medically a good place to visit. We mostly always stay in an apartment, with refrigerator and if possible a dishwasher. This allows us to wash all the dishes in the apartment on a hot enough temperature as soon as we arrive so that we know all the eating things are safe for me to use.
We use a big double bed sheet to cover the couch so that I am not sitting on any liquids that might have been spilt and now not visible or food and crumbs that might be on the couch. My mum goes around and wipes everything down as soon as we arrive so that I know that I am safe to sit at the table and use the other equipment in the apartment on our holiday. All these things help decrease the chance of anything happening. But if something does happen we are always prepared travelling with multiple epipens, anti-histamine, my action plan and knowing exactly what the EMERGENCY NUMBERS are in each place we travel to and where the closest hospital or medical facilities are.
If we are travelling in a car a long distance we pack an esky full of all our favourite foods and have fun picnics along the way. We pinpoint interesting and fun places to stop and explore along the map prior to starting our trip. We pack audio books to listen to and sometimes mum reads us our favourite book. Once we read James and the Giant Peach for 7 hours on our way to Adelaide. My mum was exhausted at the end of it and could barely talk 🙂 And from now on we try and plan audio books instead 😉
N.B. Oliver has had anaphylactic reactions to each of these foods: dairy, wheat, egg, and rye… so we have a lot to take into consideration when travelling. He has also had SPTs that have shown large SPT results for peanut and tree nuts. We do not take risks when travelling and we risk minimize to the greatest lengths that we can. But we never let food allergies stop us having fun!