Allergy Awareness Week 2019: Travelling with an Allergy

Travelling when you or a loved one have an allergy can be daunting and inevitably bring extra challenges.

*Information adapted from Allergy UK

Travelling when you or a loved one have an allergy can be daunting and inevitably bring extra challenges.

Having an allergy means that you have to be aware of triggers which could affect your allergies on a day to day basis. For example, travelling with a nut allergy on planes can be a scary thought. Simple things such as choosing a destination, booking a flight or picking where you want to stay can be filled with extra questions, queries and considerations.

However, if you plan ahead, you can still enjoy travelling and holidays abroad despite your allergy. This article will provide some useful guidance to help you plan, prepare and travel if you have an allergy or are travelling with someone with an allergy. 

When booking a holiday abroad, consider:

  • How will you get there?
  • Do you understand the language?
  • Do you have adequate supplies of medication for your holiday?
  • Do you have translation cards available?
  • Have you found out where the nearest emergency department is?
  • Do you know the number for emergency services?
  • Does your travel insurance cover your allergies?

Top tips when flying or planning to fly with a food allergy:

  • Before booking, check the airline’s policy is on food allergy management and when you need to make them aware. If you wish to know whether food or snacks containing specific allergens are served during the flight, it is advised to ask this question before booking.
  • Inform airline staff of your food allergy at every opportunity – including at check in, boarding and every time a snack or meal is offered
  • Check meal options ahead of time and take safe snacks with you – first, check quarantine laws of the country you are visiting for food restrictions
  • If you are susceptible to contact reactions with allergens, reduce any risk by hand-washing before eating and cleaning your seat area and the tray table
  • Make sure you have the relevant proof required for carrying medication on board and have a copy of your Allergy Action plan

Travelling with an infant/child with an allergy

  • Note that expressed breast milk, formula milk, cow’s milk, other types of milk, sterilised water, juice and baby food are not subject to the 100ml hand luggage restrictions that applies to other liquids, gels, and aerosols – however, this is only true if you are travelling with the baby.
  • In addition, baby milk or food does not need to fit into a transparent bag but will need to be available for inspection by security staff if requested.
  • The 100ml liquid rule for hand luggage does not apply to medication in liquid form either (for example antihistamine in syrup form) but a copy of your prescription or letter from your doctor as proof of need may be required. The same documentary proof is required for adrenaline auto-injector devices (AAI).
  • Hand luggage allowances will vary, with some airlines allocating a luggage allowance to the infant or child and others not. Have your baby milk and food in its chosen form (powder, carton, bottle, or jar) available, as you may be required to present it for airport screening.
  • Ensure you have enough formula feed and food to cover unexpected delays and stop-overs. Infant milk, and the availability of specialist milk formulas, food varieties and brands may vary between your home country and the destination country. Do not assume your required brand will be readily available.
  • Liaise with your GP or Healthcare Professional well in advance to ensure sufficient supplies are available, especially if this needs to be prescribed and then collected from a pharmacy.
  • When planning for your baby’s feeding requirements, take into account the travel time to/from the airport, the total amount of time you are away for, and possible delays.

kids on a plane excited to go on holiday

Pop into your local CarePlus Pharmacy and ask your Pharmacist for advice on travelling with an allergy.



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