Photo: Melissa Schollaert
It's the first night of your honeymoon, and you're enjoying dinner in the glow of a gorgeous sunset when it suddenly hits you — you're beginning to feel sick. It's an unpleasant scenario, but for many people suffering from food allergies, the feeling is all too familiar. Still, it shouldn't keep you from traveling, especially for your honeymoon! So, here are some important planning hacks to help you have a healthy, reaction-free trip.
Before booking your hotel, check any menus available online to see if it offers items you can eat for each meal. If you are particularly sensitive, such as not being able to eat dishes prepared with cutlery that has touched your trigger foods, call the hotel to give the staff a heads-up and make sure the kitchen is equipped to accommodate your allergy. The same goes for your airline if you are taking a long flight that will include a meal!
Learn It in the Local Language
You have a spiel ready whenever you head to restaurants in your neighborhood (e.g. "Please be sure there is no [fill-in-the-blank] in this dish..."), but when you're headed to a foreign country, explaining your allergy can become a bit trickier. When possible, try to learn in the local language how to say key words that will clue in restaurant staff. Too tough? Ask for help from the hotel staff when you arrive and have them write down your allergy issues in a note that you can carry along in your purse to show when necessary.
Become a Savvy Shopper
Sometimes, the safest route is simply to purchase and prepare meals for yourself, so do some research into grocery stores around your accommodation. Of course, if you are in a foreign country, many of your favorite brands may not be available, meaning picky eaters may want to bring along some non-perishable basics in their bags. If you do choose this route, be sure to invest in a hotel room with a kitchen setup included. And don't be too bummed about dining in — after all, what could be more romantic than whipping up your favorite dishes hand-in-hand in a honeymoon suite?
Find a Just-in-Case Clinic
Worst case: Your preparation doesn't pay off, and you still find yourself sick from the food. Aside from consulting with your doctor before your trip and making sure you have packed any important medications, do your homework on healthcare options at your destination, (your hotel may be able to make some recommendations, too). Be sure to also purchase travelers's insurance so you are covered if there is an incident.