Safety Tips for Road Trips with Food Allergies
”Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure.”
-Said no person with food allergies, ever.
According to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), more than 15 million Americans are living with life-threatening food allergies, and every three minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the hospital. For this reason, many people with allergies choose to forgo vacations out of fear.
If you are one of them, know that safe and enjoyable holidays are possible if you prepare! Consider saying yes to new adventures and planning something for yourself with the help of these safety tips.
Pack your medicines and then, pack some more.
First things first.
In general, you never want to leave the house without a pair of epinephrine auto-injectors.
For vacations, you never want to leave the house without two pairs of epinephrine auto-injectors. One set in case you react on your trip and the extra pair to have on the way home.
If you’re sharing a vehicle with family or friends, make them aware of your allergies. Educate them on the symptoms to watch out for, let them practice with the trainer injector and be sure to store your medicine where they can easily find and administer it in an emergency. Another good idea is to leave it in the original packaging where your name and information is displayed. Also, have your insurance information and action plan accessible.
Research your stops.
Find Point A and Point B on your map and then figure out everything in between like, bathroom breaks, food breaks and hospitals too.
Rest stops: Depending on the state you’re traveling to, it’s important to be aware of the things for which they are known. There is a possibility that some stops are offering pecans or boiled peanuts. Yikes!
Hotels: Call ahead of time and find out if they make special accommodations for guests with allergies. Let them know you need the room to be cleaned thoroughly to prevent accidental contact with any allergens left behind from the previous guests. Bring your wipes too, as an extra precaution. If you plan to stay several days, book a room with a kitchen and appliances, that way you can go to the grocery store and cook your meals.
Restaurants: Stick to safe, familiar places to dine. Now isn’t the time to try something new. Please save all of your enthusiasm for the hiking and zip lining you plan to do. If you need help, there’s an app for finding your favorite eateries.
Use the help of apps.
There are several apps for that, actually. Are you surprised?
In this generation of technology, anything and everything can be found online, including entire databases of allergy-friendly restaurants in each state.
AllergyEats is probably the most popular, and it’s free! It’s a peer-reviewed collection of tried and true allergy-friendly places to eat across the United States. Users can look over menus, read reviews and rate their own experiences for others to see.
Bring extra snacks.
Traffic jams and detours happen. Life happens. Make sure you have enough safe snacks on hand to last you in between meals or in case you aren’t able to get to one of the points you have planned.
On your road trip playlist, of course.
This one isn’t a “safety tip,” but it’s a road trip, isn’t it? Whether it’s Classic Rock, Motown or Country that you’re into, roll down the windows and press play. You’ve got everything covered. Enjoy the ride.