Traveling for spring break? Or looking ahead to summer trips? If you or someone in your family has food allergies, you can have a safe trip. It just takes a little forethought and preparation.
That’s the advice of Official SunButter Blogger Daniella Knell, owner of Smart Allergy~Friendly Education. She’s a mom to two kids who have six of the top eight food allergens plus a few extras. Daniella is also an airline flight attendant, so she knows the “other” side of travel with food allergies. She presents food allergy education in local schools and hospitals, offering one-on-one consulting and blogs regularly. Thanks for the guidance, Daniella!
#1 priority: Pack an awesome snack bag
Whether traveling by car, plane or train, do not leave home without a snack bag. You may look and feel like a pack mule, but you’ll be glad you have your own allergy-friendly snacks right by your side. (And other travelers may even ask to share your tasty snacks!) Our supply generally consists of fruits, veggies, and our favorite egg-free, dairy-free, tree-nut free and peanut-free snacks. As we head out on any longer trip, I have SunButter On-The-Go Snack Packs and my own homemade SunButter Protein Bars in easy reach!
Get Daniella’s SunButter Protein Bars recipe.
Remember, you are not imposing
My main advice if you’re traveling by airplane with nut or other food allergies is to not worry about being an imposition. Only you are responsible for your safety. A few other helpful suggestions:
- Bring your epinephrine and Benadryl with you — and keep it with you. It won’t do you any good in the belly of the plane in your checked luggage if you have a reaction during flight.
- Research your particular airline’s peanut policy. Make a copy of it and carry it with you. Knowledge is power and sometimes even employees are unaware of their company’s policies. In my 24th year of being a flight attendant, I’m well aware that we are not always on the same page.
- Ask the reservation agents if your peanut allergy can be added to your reservation.
- Double-check with the gate agents when boarding. Ensure your ‘peanut allergy’ information is in your reservation. If traveling with young kids, ask if it’s possible to board early so you can wipe down your seating area. Bring your own blanket to place over the seat, if this makes you feel safer.
- Remind the flight attendants about your peanut allergy when you board. Remember, they have many people to take care of and your particular needs may slip their focus. Most flight attendants are well aware of their policies, and if they’re not, you can share it with them.
You can now relax and enjoy your vacation with some calmness and confidence. And you may even chuckle a bit as your fellow passengers ask to share your traveling goodies!