Summer is the time of year when many families go on vacation to the beach, go camping, explore Disney World, and visit family and friends out of town. It can be a very fun and relaxing time. But if you’re the parent of a child with food allergies, it can also be stressful. Going on vacation isn’t as easy as just packing a suitcase full of clothes, your beach bag, and heading out the door. There’s a lot more that goes into it.
Here are the three things I do before EVERY trip.
Yep. We pack food and bring it with us wherever we go. EVERY TIME. Even if we are going to visit friends and/or family, I bring our own food. You just never know what kinds of foods will be present at someones house and I don’t expect those we are visiting to run out to the store and stock their cabinets with allergy safe food. Nope. That’s my job. So, I always pack a “safe food” bag to bring with us whenever we go on vacation. Whether it’s to the beach, camping, or to see family, the food bag always comes along for the trip (We tend to drive everywhere, so this works well for us. But if you’re flying, you may need to adjust a bit and do some shopping when you arrive at your destination.).
Bring Clorox Wipes
Wherever we go, my trusty Clorox Wipes go too. I keep a container in the car and a ziploc baggy full in my purse. Whether we are at a hotel, beach house, or restaurant, I ALWAYS wipe down surfaces, especially before we eat. Yes, I am THAT mom who you’ll see wiping down the table in the hotel lounge before eating our complimentary breakfast or wiping down the table before I let my son sit down at a restaurant. I don’t care if you stare at me and give me strange looks the whole time I do it, I’ll continue to do it because it keeps my son safe.
usually always means eating out at restaurants. So, before this allergy family goes on vacation anywhere, I always research the restaurants in the area first. It’s important to know ahead of time which restaurants are allergy friendly and which are not. It will make your life a whole lot easier if you know ahead of time which restaurants you can go to. After all, you don’t want to get to a crowded restaurant, wait 30 minutes for a table, and then discover they have food your child can’t eat, or that they won’t be accommodating to your requests to ensure there is no cross contamination.
A great way to research a lot of restaurants at once is to use Allergy Eats (you can use their website or app). This site is great because it contains a long list of restaurants that have been reviewed by allergy parents, so you will know if the restaurant is a safe place for your family to eat. They even have reviews for Disney World!