Packing for a journey always gets me a little frazzled, especially when flying with budget airlines that only allow one carry-on bag. Which happens a lot because my two favourite allergy friendly airlines, Easyjet and Wow Air, are this way. And I’m cheap so never buy an extra bag.
The endless packing questions get more complicated when you have to share half the space with food allergy gear. Packing goes a little like: what do I bring? What will the weather be like? How many shoes can I fit in my bag? How much stuff can I buy? How many Epipens, inhalers, and bottles of Benadryl can I fit? And my freshly baked bread? Then comes the challenge of weaning what I want to take because it won’t fit in my bag! Ahh so overwhelmed! ?
Packing with food allergies
Packing with food allergies means you need to dedicate some space for your allergy essentials. You know the meds and snacks that keep you going. You know this stuff will trump the extra pair of shoes every time!
As I was packing for a ladies week with my mom and sister, I realized that I get so stressed about packing because I need to make sure I have more than just clothes. So I wanted to share what extras I always pack when I’m travelling and hopefully it will help make your packing a little more chill.
Pack a ton of allergy cards. These are an essential resource when travelling because they help you control what the chef sees and knows about your allergies. You can’t trust a waiter to relay the information because food allergies are not as common in some locations.
If you are going somewhere, that speaks a different language, make sure you have them translated and get the translation checked! Just using google translate is not a good idea because you want the cards to be as clear as possible. Here is a good place to start for different language cards*.
I have about 10 cards with me divided between my purse and my allergy kit. My motto is you can never be over prepared. ?
Check to make sure that everything in your allergy kit is up to date and full. I will always travel with 2 EipPens, full packs of antihistamines, and Benadryl.
I also bring a whole pack of Antibacterial Wipes* since you never know what you may encounter on the way (and a must have if you are flying).
Replacements for Allergy Kit
My allergy kit lives in my purse. Full replacements of everything that goes into the allergy kit lives in my suitcase. I have a double of everything that you can find in my allergy kit because if something is used or used up it is important to have a backup. Also, it can be hard to find the medicine you know works for you in different countries, and the availability may vary (prescription and dosage wise).
I don’t know about you, but I am always nervous whether I can easily find food in new places. For this reason, I bring along enough snacks to last me a couple of days. The snacks are for when you go out and don’t have any concrete meal plans or a “just in case” kind of thing.
I like to pack protein balls, crunchy chickpeas, my favourite cereal of the moment, and crackers. I will go to a grocery store first thing when I get to a new city to stock up on more allergy friendly food and a selection of fruits and veg that can last a while out of the fridge.
If I am going by car or train, I may bring along a little cooler with food.
Plus a Few Travel Luxuries
This packing list goes for any trip, whether travelling by plane, train, or automobile. How about you? Do you bring anything else along for the trip? I would love to know what extras you pack when you travel.
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Kortney is your typical atopic triad! She manages asthma, eczema, environmental and food allergies. Kortney is a co-creator of the online community Allergy Travels and co-host of The Itch Podcast. She wants to spread joy in a community that can easily see the hard side of life with atopic disease and believes that you can have a full life with food allergies, it may just be lived a little differently!