Travelling can cause anxiety and stress as you adventure into the unknown and uncertain, the best way to alleviate this is planning.
This list is to be used in conjunction with Eating Out Guide.
- Research for insurance that covers you for allergies and not overpriced. Check small print and make sure that the insurance covers, treatment, emergency transport e.g., ambulance, hospital stays, and any medication needed while in hospital and upon leaving e.g., another adrenaline auto-injector. See Travel Insurance button above.
- Speak to your doctor, explain going on holiday and you need several adrenaline auto-injectors. Also check if all your medication will remain in date while you are on holiday.
- Check what vaccinations you need, and are there any allergens in them e.g., egg. It is advised to contact doctors at least 2 months before travelling, this gives time for alternatives to be ordered.
- Travel with translation cards, developing countries allergies are less common and less likely to be understood. see link shop. (coming soon).
- Letter of all medication, to take with you – please note doctor surgeries normally need 10 days to provide, and there is a charge.
- Travel with medication in hand luggage and easy to access when in an emergency, including doctors’ letter, several action plans. Do check if there are any regulations concerning this with the airline.
- Medications should be in its original packaging, with your name on.
- Talk to airline or travel agent about medication e.g., on plane.
- Some companies offer a peanut/tree nut-free buffer zone, on the flight.
- Wear medical ID.
- Ask if allergens are on board and risk of contamination, especially if suffer from airborne allergies.
- Find out local emergency ambulance phone number.
- Keep a copy of your prescription with you.
- Will your hotel room have a fridge so you can store alternative milks to have with your drinks in your room?
- Ask if ok to take food onto plane if cannot eat food on plane, and will the food have to be disposed of before going through customs. Do not forget the journey back.
- Eating out safest is to choose a chain but be aware foods can have different ingredients e.g., McDonalds UK and USA ingredients are different for the same items e.g., fries.
- Eating out check websites for allergies and allergens
- Children with allergies should be accompanied with an adult
- Phone restaurant ahead of visit ask to speak to the manager or chef, call at times that are quieter, so concentration is full.
- Eat when quieter so full attention and no mistakes can happen.
- Ask the restaurant if they know about cross contamination.
- Look for reviews for airlines, hotels, and restaurants.
- Ask travel agent or airline about fluids you can carry with you and what container they should be in.
- Go online and check airlines food allergies policies. See Airlines And Food Allergy Policy
- Take your own travel pillow and blanket if required as you will know this has not been cross contaminated in anyway.
- Ask your travel agent is there a better time of flying to lower your risk on the flight, when speaking to airline make sure the company is not franchised and have different food allergies policy.
- If possible, book an early flight, as majority of planes are cleaned overnight.
- Arrangements made needs to be in writing and ask will staff know prior about your allergies before getting on the plane.
- Plan your holiday visits, meals, hotel so on before travelling.
- Email hotel before travelling, this way you can find out information before travelling and it is in writing.
- Are the staff on the flight trained for allergic reactions?
- While on flight inform staff every time about your allergies when food or drinks are served.
- Plan meal options for flight while booking.
- Is your destination remote? Where is the local hospital, local Chemist? has the hotel have a in house doctor?
- Sun creams can contain milk, or nuts/peanuts – always buy before leaving because ingredients on holiday could be in a different language. Do a patch test before going on holiday if you have not used the brand before.
- Are allergen free menus available on flight?
- Check if your adrenaline auto-injectors are in date and any other medication is in date too.
- Have an action plan for you or your child signed by a doctor.
- Do not put additional medication that can be affected by temperature in suitcases.
- Travel with hand sanitiser and wet wipes, this is if you cannot wash hands or need to clean a surface that you are not certain of, and clean seatbelts.
- If you have asthma, have an asthma review before travelling.
- If you or your child is going in a group of people then you or your child be with people either side of you, that way you are less likely to have someone next to you that could cause cross contamination.
- Do the people who are travelling with you know about your allergies, symptoms, and treatment, if needed get a free pen trainer from the company of your adrenaline auto-injector so you can teach the people traveling with you. Links for free trainer pens below
- It is wise not to use the back of the seat storage, as these may have crumbs in, and difficult to clean.
- Inform staff on plane where your medication, action plan, and adrenaline auto-injectors are.
- Speak to doctor before leaving for your holiday about how many adrenaline auto- injectors they think you might need.
- If you require any information that you cannot find out anywhere else contact the embassy if the country, you are traveling to link below.
- Have an ICE contact on your phone see links below.
- On day of travelling leave earlier do you can find out at airport that everything is in place for your flight.
- If hiring a rental car speak to travel agents to let the rental car supplier that you will need a deep clean of vehicle.
- Ask the travel agent to make note that no allergens in hotel room, e.g., biscuits, chocolate, milks so on.
- Do you understand the language? There is a re plenty of translators on the app store of your phone.
- Do not try new foods unless you are 100% certain you know all the ingredients.
- Do not feel under pressure by others, do not take chances that you would not normally take.
- Alcohol can cloud your judgement when making choices about your allergies.
- Tiredness could make your food allergy reaction more severe. On holiday think about have some rest times as well.
- If you are travelling with infant with allergies check about travelling with their milk alternatives and any food and going through security.
- When travelling with a child’s feed make sure you have enough for the entire trip as you may not be able to get what their require at your destination.
- If the airport has a chemist, you might be able pre-order and collect after passing through security.
- Take adrenaline auto-injectors in insulated bag so when on holiday the temperature does not affect it.
- Find out emergency services phone numbers, and addresses.
- The 100ml liquid for hand luggage doesn’t apply to medication in liquid form e.g., antihistamine syrup but copy of prescription or doctors letter may be required – but always check with flight operator in case law changes.
- Going abroad check their allergens e.g., USA has top 8 allergens, so it may be worth learning how the country you are visiting labels their food.
- Be prepared for the unexpected.
- Some airlines will make nut/peanut allergy announcements upon request. See Airlines And Food Allergy Policy
- Airlines will not allow a child to travel on their own if they have peanut/nut allergies.
- Airlines have or in the process of phasing free snack out on flights but check with airline company.
- Talk to your travel agent about onboard flight meals.
- Join social media groups for allergies and ask questions.
- Bring your own toothpaste and wash kit, some hotels offer free items in the room but unfortunately some do not have the ingredients on.
- Notifying flight crews immediately of any signs or symptoms of a reaction
- Have an emergency fund in case taken to hospital, e.g., unexpected payments, transport back from hospital, so on.
- Translation chef cards, see link shop. (coming soon)
- Some package holidays include booked tours e.g., days out from a cruise, ask the booking company if you can have the name and email address of the trip manager, so you can discuss your allergies.
- Because of times differences work out when you need to take your medications, speak to your doctor about recommendations. Also, because your routine will be different, it might be worth setting alarms on your phone to remember to take medication.
Availability Adrenaline Auto-Injectors abroad
- North America
- South Africa
Not Readily Available
Be aware that healthcare can vary in standards from country to country, and certain holiday destinations can be remote, making healthcare difficult to access.
List of Emergency Numbers
Can I take my medicine abroad? NHS
Please note these are compared to UK’s 14 Allergens and other countries have other allergens which is not included on this list, also check up to date information.
Medical ID ICE Android Google App Store
Medical ID ICE Apple Google App Store
Association of British Travel Agents ABTA
To accept a consumer’s complaint, the business must be a member of ABTA,
30 Park Street
Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution Airlines – CEDR
CEDR covers any flight that departs or arrives in the United Kingdom by an airline that subscribes to CEDR’s ADR scheme.
70 Fleet Street
London, EC4Y 1EU
UNEXPECTED ALLERGENS IN FOOD Australia Allergen Bureau
This information is only given as guidance and not extensive. Information to be used at individual’s responsibility. Always seek medical advice.
© All material on these pages, including without limitation text, logos, icons, photographs, and all other artwork is copyright material of British Food Allergy Awareness, unless otherwise stated.