Taking a trip to another area in your country or elsewhere gives children the chance to learn about their world.  Start your planning as far in advance as possible.  You should choose somewhere to stay that best suits your family’s needs.  For example, having a kitchenette will be useful for preparing some of your meals and keeping fresh food on hand.  Keep in mind that laws and policies are different in different countries, including laws and policies for airlines, restaurants and food labelling.

Food Allergy Travel_checklist

Restaurants and travel

  • Call ahead to ask about food allergy policies and if there are safe options that can be prepared for your child.  Consider visiting chain restaurants that have food allergy policies.

Car travel

  • If you plan to rent a car, make sure that it has been cleaned, including any car seats.
  • Pack safe snacks and meals for your child in case there are no safe restaurants, rest stops or grocery stores on your route.  Take a cooler and ice packs for long journeys.

Air travel

  • Always carry your child’s epinephrine auto-injector with you in your carry-on bag.
  • Call the airline before booking your flight to ask about their allergy policy.
  • When booking your flight, tell the airline about your child’s food allergy.
  • Contact your doctor ahead of time to get any paper work that the airline needs (e.g. a doctor’s letter confirming your child’s allergy and what medication is needed).
  • Bring food and snacks for your child to eat during the flight.  Make sure to bring enough food in case of delays and layovers.
  • Consider asking to board the plane early so that you can clean the seat and anything in the area that your child is likely to touch.  Don’t forget to bring your own cleaning wipes.
  • Let the flight attendant know about your child’s food allergy as soon as you can.


  • When booking, ask to speak to the manager of the hotel restaurant about their allergy policies and if they are able to provide safe meals for your child.
  • Some hotels offer kitchen units or rent small refrigerators.  If you plan on preparing your child’s meals, find out where the nearest grocery store is located.
  • Be aware of in-room snack bars and make sure that your child does not have access to any unsafe items.

Foreign countries

  • Find out if your health insurance policy covers services in other countries.  You may need to purchase out-of-country insurance.
  • Have extra auto-injectors and other medication prescribed by your doctor, as well as extra copies of emergency plans.
  • Contact the national food allergy organization to find local information.
  • Find information on local labelling laws and read labels carefully.
  • Get information about your child’s allergy translated.  You can give this written information to those who prepare food for your child to help them understand your child’s needs.
  • Make sure that you know how to contact emergency services and explain that your child is having an allergic reaction.
  • Know where the nearest hospital is located.
Teaching Children - handprint 50px

Teaching Children
  •  Talk to your child about steps you will take to make sure that they have safe food to eat.
  • Whenever possible, involve your child in selecting and preparing snacks.


The information in this handbook is for educational purposes only. It is meant to help people learn how to manage a child’s allergies. It is not meant to give specific medical advice, recommendations, diagnosis, or treatment.

Readers should not rely on any information contained in this handbook as a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis or treatment. Nor should they delay getting professional medical advice or treatment because of information contained in this handbook. Medical knowledge is constantly developing.

Please speak with your child’s doctor or other healthcare professional before making any medical decision that affects your child or if you have any questions or concerns about their food allergies.

The authors of this handbook – Michael Pistiner, Jennifer LeBovidge and Anaphylaxis Canada – as well as individual contributors and reviewers will not be held responsible for any action taken or not taken based on/or as a result of the reader’s interpretation (understanding) of the information contained herein.

Please note that AllergyHome is not affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital

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