Traveling with Allergies and Autoimmune Disorders

Traveling with Allergies and Autoimmune Disorders

These weeks I’m a bit stressed out about a business trip to Dublin that I have next week. I used to travel quite a lot during my healthy years: several times in the desert in Algeria for work, alone during a weekend in Paris, the Greek Islands, Egypt, Check Republic, … I didn’t doubt about taking my tent and doing camping solo, eating whatever I found. Life was easy, and during that time I learned to let go, stop controlling things, live the good life.

But things have changed a lot in the last years. I can no longer travel carelessly if I want to eat safely. That means only staying in hotels with kitchenette or Airbnb’s. This time will be the first in many years in a normal hotel, and I’m terrified.

TRAVELING BY CAR

This is, by far, the easiest for us with food limitations. You can plan cooking onsite, or even cook in advance and enjoy the pleasure of ready to eat meals. My friend in these situations is an electric car cooler, filled up with safe ingredients or already cooked meals.

TRAVELING BY PLANE OR TRAIN

This is the most challenging way of traveling, especially overseas, and customs doesn’t make it easier. Whenever I can, I travel at least one day in advance, so that I can buy some groceries and do some food prepping. For local flights and short stays, you can cook in advance and pack your frozen meals in your baggage. I’m jealous of those traveling light with little planning, but I know this is my new normal.

Icepacks for coolers will be a lifesaver here, along with a lightweight collapsible cooler.

This is all assuming that you will have at least a microwave at your destination, where to warm up your meals or do some very simple cooking. But what if, like me this time, you’re staying at a regular hotel, with just a bed and a bathroom in your room?

STAYING IN REGULAR HOTELS

In this case, you will need to limit yourself to canned food, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to eat it cold. A great discovery for me has been the electric lunch boxes. They are plenty of different models in the market, and even though most of them are made of plastic, I’ve found some with stainless steel containers. This is the one I purchased for my travel to Dublin.

There’s still the option of talking to the hotel and explaining your needs, but if you’re allergic to so many things, like me, an electric lunch box and canned foods are a must.

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