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On the Road with Food Allergies
Car Travel with Food Allergies
Traveling by car has its own challenges when you have a family member with food allergies. Here are seven tips to get you started in planning your next road trip.
1. Plan your meals before you leave home.
Decide what foods to prepare beforehand so you can have heat-and-serve or ready-to-eat snacks or meals on the road. Shop for those other items that you will need that you may not be able to purchase elsewhere.
2. Keep cold foods cold.
Bring a nice-sized cooler or a portable refrigerator that plugs into car and hotel outlets to keep perishables cold while you travel.
3. Look for rooms with microwaves and refrigerators.
Rooms with microwaves can be useful if you plan to reheat foods or cook in the hotel room. Telling hotel management you need a fridge for medical reasons puts you at the top of the list for availability. Bring a Letter of Medical Necessity from a doctor as most hotels will waive any refrigerator rental fees.
When traveling, make sure your child's medications are in their original containers with the prescription labels on the package.
4. Think small.
When you purchase food for the trip, try to get as many individually packaged foods as possible. If you have juice boxes, for instance, your limited refrigerator space isn't full of a big bottle of juice.
5. Shop locally.
Remember that nearly everywhere you go will have grocery stores. When you plan what perishable food to carry with you, bring less than you think you need of any food, like fresh fruit, that can be purchased at any standard grocery store. Bring more than you think you need of any non-perishable food, like wheat-free cookies, that cannot be purchased at a regular grocery store.
6. Ship ahead.
For foods you know you will need at your destination, consider ordering online or locally and having the items shipped to your hotel.
7. Bring your medicines and your emergency plans.
Be sure to check expiration dates on epinephrine injectors, and consider bringing extra medication in case of emergency. Inhaled medications frequently run out unexpectedly, so a duplicate can be a lifesaver.
Car travel with food allergies requires you to do advance planning and bring along extra foods and gear in the car. Once you have your plans in place, your foods packed and you are on your way, families living with food allergies can have lots of fun on the road!