Peanut allergies are quite common in a country like the USA. Around 15 million Americans have a food allergy, and peanut allergy seems like a more common food allergy. The stats are similar in Europe and Australia too.
While having a peanut allergy is very problematic and can be life-threatening but, you don’t have to confine yourself in a bubble if you have peanut allergies. With some proper precautions, traveling with peanut allergies is very much possible.
- As some general advice, you can notify your physician in advance where you will be traveling and when you will be traveling. Your physician may help you give proper guidance about the place you are visiting.
- Make sure your travel or health insurance covers your peanut allergy. If you need to visit a hospital, you can be assured that your costs are covered.
- Bring medicine with you, which should be more than what you might need. It never hurts to be prepared. Bring extra medicines with you, so you don’t have to search for them in a foreign place.
Talk to the Airlines
Coming to the travel part, many airplanes offer peanut-based snacks, and that might stop many people from traveling on planes. But, there are several precautions you can take to avoid any unfortunate incidents.
- Some airlines have completely stopped serving peanuts on their flights, and it is better to consider opting for such airlines. If you have to choose an airline that offers peanut on board, talk to the airlines about your allergy, and they will try to accommodate your request. Although some airlines might not fulfill your request, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Enquire about the food or snacks served on the airplane. They most probably inform you about the menu and its ingredients. This will help you to opt for airplane food or to make your arrangements. If the menu contains peanuts or related ingredients, take your food.
- Wipe down your seat before you board to eliminate any peanut crumbs or residue. Some airlines might help you with this or allow you to pre-board.
Hotels and Restaurants
Hotels and restaurants form a significant part of traveling. When you are in a foreign place, many might not be aware of how fatal peanut allergy can be. It is better to research the common food ingredients used in the region you visit and understand the local food culture.
- When in doubt, ask the restaurant if the food you are ordering contains peanuts. If you are in a country where English is not spoken, it might get a little complicated. In such cases, carry a card in the local language so that waiter or the restaurant will understand your situation.
- Many larger cities will have a host of fast food joints that serves western-style food. If you are worried about local food having peanuts, eat at such joints to minimize the risk. If you are traveling for lesser days, it is advisable to bring your stack of snacks.
- It is also recommended to avoid hotel buffets at any cost because there is a high chance that there will be cross-contamination.
You having a peanut allergy shouldn’t stop you from enjoying and traveling. Although, being on the safer side with all the proper precautions will avoid any risk. If you are not comfortable or have a doubt about it, avoid it. There is no need to take such risks.