For food allergy families, the idea of travelling can be daunting: Planning out meals, knowing which hotel room to book, figuring out what to pack and what to leave at home…it can all seem overwhelming. In this post, I’ll be offering tips and tricks for travelling with food allergies: 1 night away.
Where Should my Family Stay?
You can stay in a double queen room without a kitchen! When we first started travelling with food allergies, we always booked a suite with a kitchen. You. Don’t. Need. To. For starters, the cost adds up. Secondly, if you plan your food right, you can make it work with a microwave and mini fridge. (At this time in our journey, we don’t eat at restaurants. We have several reasons why we avoid them at this time, and if you’re interested I can write a whole other post on that topic.) When searching for the right hotel, check out their amenities list to ensure your room comes with a fridge and microwave. Don’t assume every hotel has both. We have come across hotels in our searches that do not include a microwave in their rooms. Always check.
For a one-night-stay, you will have to think about supper, snacks, breakfast, and possibly 1-2 lunches depending on how far you are travelling. Before we begin packing, I sit down and create a chart that includes the days we are away. Under each day I list the meals we need to plan for. After I have that figured out, I begin planning what we will eat for each meal.
- Plan meals that don’t need to be heated. For snacks and lunches we often choose foods that are quick and easy. These foods are perfect when you don’t have the ability to reheat, are out sightseeing, or are in the car travelling to your destination:
- granola bars
- Plan meals that can be reheated in the microwave. Let’s be honest, when you travel, you don’t always make the healthiest food decisions 100% of the time. So, in your meal planning cut yourself some slack. There are times we will plan hot dogs for a quick kid-friendly meal. On vacation, it’s nice to have a meal that the kids won’t fight you on. Other times we have planned:
- pre-baked pizza: Derek and I will make pizza the day before we head out, let it cool, slice it up, and store in a Ziploc bag (we reuse our bags) or airtight container. This makes for an easy reheatable meal at the hotel!
- pre-made chilli: If we don’t feel like bringing our crock-pot, we will throw together a batch of chilli in the crock-pot the day before our trip. Once cooled, we will divide into air-tight containers with enough chilli in each container to serve 4. At the hotel we easily reheat the chilli and serve with bread or cornbread muffins!
- Other meal ideas include:
- ham and perogies (precooked for easy reheat)
- meatballs and rice
- pulled pork and buns
- Use your crock-pot! If you have the ability to plug your crock-pot into your vehicle, you can easily have your supper cooking while you drive! We have cooked chilli at my feet while driving to our destination.
Food Allergy Essentials:
- Utility tote bag for all non-perishables: I have two ThirtyOne tote bags and they are AMAZING. Not only can you fit a ton of items in them, but they also evenly disperse the weight so you’re not dying while lugging them around. The open top of a tote allows for easy access and storage of all foods items. If you don’t have a ThirtyOne dealer in your community, I found these utility totes on Amazon!
- Medium-sized cooler with wheels (ideally): A cooler is essential to get you from point A to point B. I am all about convenience so wheels are essential for coolers, suitcases…the simpler the better, right?!
- Wipes! Every hotel room gets a thorough wipe down with Lysol wipes when we first arrive. While I trust the staff, they aren’t thinking about food allergies when preparing the room. You don’t know what the previous guests ate while staying in your room. I wipe all surfaces including table tops, chairs/couches, microwave, fridge, door handles…you get the idea…We also have WetOnes hand wipes for times when we aren’t near a bathroom.
- Kitchen essentials: cutlery, plates, bowls, dish soap, dishcloth, dish towel, extra to-go cups, and anything else you’ll need for the specific meals you planned.
- Food allergy medications! Don’t forget to bring two epinephrine on your trip! Always carry two with you at all times!
Happy Travels! I hope this post helps you in your trip preparations! Please like, share, and comment! 🙂
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