Do you have the urge to travel and see the world from a different perspective? Discover new cultures, people, and destinations unheard of? Or simply reconnect with friends, families, or heritage?
Whatever the reasons are, there’s one thing inclusive with this behavior, it is normal for human beings to have that innate feeling to see the world with our own eyes. This is supported with a recent scientific discovery that we are amongst the most curious and exploratory species and the urge to travel is embedded in our DNA.
Traveling is such an important part of our life, especially to people who are said to be born with what scientists and our modern society referred to as “wanderlust genes”. According to studies, human beings have these genes embedded in our DNA which are supported by history and our human ancestors. It is said that 20 percent of the global population have that urge to travel. The truth is it’s just a small portion but another truth is that not all of us are fortunate enough to leave our jobs or businesses, that we need to personally handle, to travel.
The Serious Connection of Food Allergies and our Need to Travel
And you thought that this was about traveling with a food allergy- but why the long introduction you ask? Though we wanted to get straight to the point, we intend to expand on the idea that traveling, whatever the reasons are, is normal to us human beings and it’s becoming popular, particularly in our age of social media and well-announced discoveries made available for public eyes, thanks to the internet and advancement in technology like photography, videography, smartphones etc.
With all this being said, we can safely say that every living person has the need to travel. Even if this means getting far away from the comfort of our home and sometimes our loved ones. So what’s the difference in traveling if you have food allergies? There’s one that stands out and that’s preparation.
We all know that if not soon, one day, our thirst to travel will be quenched and once we experienced it, we will be hungry for more, and that does not exclude people with food allergies. There should be no debate or difference with that aspect but we need to see it from another perspective.
People with food allergies need to stay away from their specific allergen to avoid attacks that are life-threatening. Unfortunately, one person can be allergic to a wide range of food and we have eight major allergens namely milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean shellfish, plus over 170 others. So why the preparation? Allergic reactions can escalate to anaphylaxis, which is the fatal form of an allergy attack. It happens when a person with an allergy is in contact or exposed to an allergen/s that makes everywhere an unsafe place but do we need to ask “Why travel?” Should this be enough reason to stop a person from exploring or even visiting loved ones out of town?
Travel and Preparations
First time or not, if you are traveling, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to make it a lot easier and less scary for you to go on an adventure.
We know that food allergies are serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly but we need to accept that most of the people that we will encounter during our travels don’t know or have any idea of what food allergy really is, or even about anaphylaxis or EpiPens. If we have this mindset, we’ll be more careful and understanding of others who have little to zero knowledge about our condition.
Know your Destination
If you have a travel destination in mind, knowing the name of the place, town, or country, will not suffice. You need to do further research as other travelers do, but be more thorough. It’s given that you should know how far, how many stops, alternate route, and the works, but you need to also know the nearest hospital from where you’ll be staying, a restaurant that you can eat at, and a pharmacy in case you need to buy additional medicines or supplies.
What you also need to consider is the culture and food, of course. Know the regional dishes and what your alternative choices are. If out of the country, you need to know what common food is dominantly available in that specific country or what dish they usually serve to tourists.
This also depends on the type of travel that you’re planning to do: solo, with family, group, packaged, cruise, etc. Which brings us to…
Types of travel and transportation
Before you head out or book a flight, consider these things first. Your options for traveling solo or in a group are plane, ferry, or own car. Keep in mind that if you’re using a private or owned vehicles, with close friends or family members who know your condition, you just need to bring your essentials (Sammie Medicine Case with Medications and epinephrine auto-injectors) and you’re all set. If you’re with other groups of friends, you need to educate them or inform them about your allergies and what they need to do in case of an emergency.
Airplane travel can be very tricky so you need to check the airline policies, customer reviews, and call them if needed. Since you’re bringing medications, you need to consult your doctor and ask for a prescription for travel. If you have a Sammie Medicine Case, it comes with an information card that you can fill out with your ID, allergen information, and instructions on how to use epinephrine auto-injectors in case of anaphylaxis.
It’s a lot easier to negotiate with ferry officials than the plane when it comes to your allergy but you still need to check out their menu, stopovers if any, or communicate your conditions with crew and personnel so that they can help you. This conveys your needs in order to have that peace of mind while traveling.
Make sure you bring what you really need
This is a common mistake for first-time travelers, and that is to almost bring the whole closet with them to their travels. This is understandable for first timers since they mostly spend time at home and again, this depends on the travel and destination so proper clothing is up to you. Make it a priority to prepare what is really important first before anything else and that is your EpiPen, Auvi-Q, Benadryl, asthma inhaler etc in your Sammie Medicine Case for ease of carrying and reliability.
Don’t forget to include disinfectant alcohol or wet wipes with your essentials. You can use it to clean your area, mess space or utensils before eating to avoid cross-contact or food contamination.
Bring your doctor’s letter and emergency action plan plus health insurance details with you as well.
Bring your own food
Taking your own food with you will make your life a lot easier and safer. It might take more space or weight but it’s worth the peace of mind. Have a conversation with the host of the place where you’ll stay and inform them about your allergies. If you’re staying in a hotel, you can also choose a room with its own microwave or stove so you can heat or cook your own food.
Other important things
– Ensure that you have a fully charged phone and power bank.
– Wear your Medic alert band
– Properly communicating your condition to people you’re seated within plane, staffs, or ferry crew
– Know where the emergency department is in a hotel
– Inform emergency staff what to do and where your EpiPen is stored in case of anaphylaxis. We offer a range of storage solutions for your EpiPen travel needs, such as Insulated cases and carry bags.
– If traveling to foreign countries, know the lingo or have someone who can make communication or bring translation cards to make it a bit easier for you
– Say thank you to the supportive staff
– Stay safe and enjoy your travel
Wanderlust: a Genetic Basis to a Globetrotting Fanatic
The Wanderlust Gene: Why Some People Are Born To Travel
Fare Facts and Statistics: Number of food allergens
14 Types of travel everyone should experience once
FLYING WITH FOOD ALLERGIES: THE SECRETS TO DOING IT SAFELY
Traveling BY FERRY WITH FOOD ALLERGIES
The Trick To Traveling With Food Allergies