Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Traveling When You Can't Eat "Normal" Food

I just headed off on my first real trip after finding out I have a ton of food sensitivities. I have traveled a bit before, but have always driven and could take my own food along with me. This time I flew. (Enter ominous theme music here.)

Here are a few of suggestions now that I have traveled and lived to tell the tale.
  1. Pack what you can eat. Check with your airline, but solid foods are usually okay to take on the plane in your carry on bags.  Now that they have eliminated almost all in flight food, it is normal to see people with bags of goodies in their carry on luggage.  There are currently restrictions on things like jellies, sauces and other gel/liquid items. (Check with the airline or TSA if you have questions.)
  2. Make a quick stop at the grocery store when you get there.  A good example from my trip is that I picked up cereal I could eat and some rice milk since I have to avoid dairy.  I also purchased peanut butter and jelly for the Gluten Free bread I brought.  I ate very well during my stay.
  3. Let friends and family know ahead of the trip that you have food restrictions.  Nothing is more awkward than having someone cook all day for you and then not be able to eat it.  I mentioned that fruit was always a good bet for me, and sure enough, the fruit plate they made for me was wonderful.  I knew I would have something I could eat safely, and they knew I wouldn't go hungry.
  4. Be prepared to talk to your waiter in restaurants.  It was a little hard explaining my large list of "don'ts" to my waiter, but he was great about it.  When the food came back prepared differently than ordered, my family jumped to my rescue and told them to try again. In the end I was able to enjoy a nice meal out and feel great afterward.
Traveling when you can't eat a standard diet can be tough.  Planning ahead can mean the difference between feeling hungry and miserable and enjoying your trip without second thoughts.

And as a last thought...Don't ever be afraid to speak up and get the food that is safe for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment