How To Travel With Allergies And Dietary Restrictions
Something I’ve had to come to terms with while globetrotting is traveling with allergies.
Growing up, my brother has had a severe peanut and nut allergy. He’s also anaphylactic. This means that even if he or his food touched a peanut or nut, he would break out in hives or go into anaphylactic shock. For those of you who don’t know what anaphylaxis is, it’s a severe allergy that can kill you in minutes.
Thankfully, my family lives in Canada where lifesaving EpiPens weren’t affected by the U.S. price jump in 2016. (How a potentially lifesaving device could jump from USD$94 to US$600 is horrifying. I digress.)
As I got older, I traveled less with my family. But I did have to come to terms with the fact that I still have to travel with allergies– my own. If you’re new here, hi! I’m Deni. I travel with adult-onset gluten and dairy intolerance, and allergy-induced asthma to pet dander, dust and some environmental factors.
While that is a mouthful, I certainly don’t let my allergies and intolerances stop me from traveling. Heck, if you check out any of my city or restaurant guides, you’ll see that there are so many gluten-free and vegan options on this beautiful planet! (P.S. If you’d like an entire post dedicated to how I travel with dietary restrictions, intolerances and allergies, let me know in the comments below!)
While traveling with allergies is seldom mentioned in the travel community, I was elated to discover I’m not the only one dealing with it!
How To Travel With Allergies & Dietary Restrictions
Two years ago, I was on Twitter when I came across Eliza Wasilik. We instantly connected over our mutual troubles traveling with allergies. Although I had lucked out and found a few other travellers globetrotting with food allergies, intolerances and dietary restrictions, Eli could hardly find a soul talking about skin allergies!
She had just embarked on what would be an almost yearlong trip to South East Asia, where she based herself in Thailand and Taiwan. And when researching for her trip, she couldn’t find any information about traveling to SEA with an allergy to the sun. From there, she started her blog elitravelbug to talk about traveling with skin allergies!
I spoke to Eli over an audio Facebook messenger two weeks ago about her experience traveling with skin allergies and how she managed to become vegan while living in SEA for my first episode of my new podcast, Travel Talk!
For those of you who don’t follow me on YouTube, check out my video on why I decided to start a podcast and why we need to talk about diversity and other travel-related issues in the travel industry. (And feel free to give me a cheeky little subscribe & like!)
Travel Talk Episode 001
Special thanks to Eli for coming on Travel Talk as my first guest and for agreeing to record twice with me! I hope you guys loved our chat as much as I did! To catch Eli’s adventures, be sure to hit follow & subscribe on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook!
Do you travel with allergies? Share your stories & survival tips in the comments below!
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