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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Travel Tips for the Little Kernels

Recently, Big Poppa and I took the two sproutlets to Nebraska. Road trips with kids are always a test of patience and ingenuity, however, when you add a severe food allergy the difficulty level increases exponentially. I learned some things that I thought I would share. I hope this helps! Do you have any tips to share?

1.  Make a list

This sounds tedious, but sitting down to think about what your child needs daily can really help in packing and planning.

2. Don't wait until the last minute

Give yourself a week or two so that you can do all the things you need to do without rushing.

3. Research!

Check out local restaurants and hotels and ask a lot of questions - don't be afraid people will think you're obnoxious. Better obnoxious than put your kiddo in danger.

4. MapQuest/Google Maps/Bing

Find pharmacies and hospitals located near your hotel. Print a map and have this information readily available.

5.  Plan your route

If "Road Tripping" choose a route that will allow you to get medical attention no matter where you are. Typically traveling via the interstate is the best choice.

6.  Oh Sheet!

There are very few laundry detergents that don't use corn so, depending on your child's sensitivity, consider packing bedding and towels.

7.  Check medicines

Check expiration dates on epinephrine shots and other medicines. Also check storage requirements. Do you need to keep medicines cool? Take extras if you have them. Remember that from the time you administer and epinephrine shot, you have about 20 minutes. Depending on how far you will be from medical attention, plan appropriately.

8.  Find travel friendly snacks

There are often times when finding food can be difficult. So take snacks! Just remember: can opener and plastic flatware!

9.  Ask for what you need!

Most hotels will provide a refrigerator and microwave on request. When you make hotel reservations, ask for those accommodations. Also make sure (depending on your needs) your room is smoke free and pet free.

10. Trust yourself!

You have done the prior leg work. Trust your research and planning. Even if, Heaven forbid, you child has a reaction you have planned for it. Try to remember to have a good time. If you are relaxed and having fun, your child will too!

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WalkingShark said...

Ok, here's one I learned the hard way: beware seemingly allergy friendly foods like fresh apples! I ate a fresh apple that I thought had been washed (doh!) while on the road just entering southern Wyoming, and the side effects of the reaction lasted for 36 hours. I wasn't totally debilitated but for a while it was so painful that I thought I was having a heart attack. On the up side, I must say that the Canyon Lodge (where I was staying the next night) at Yellowstone National Park was VERY helpful and understanding with my allergy in their restaurant, they even had their head chef come upstairs and between him and the manager they spent a lot of time going through what they had in the kitchen and finding things I could eat. Oh, and on that vacation I discovered how delicious a roast beef and avocado oh wheat sandwich could be.

Shauna said...

Awesome tip, WalkingShark! It's critical to never take anything for granted. Sometimes the fruit wax can be made of corn, not to mention pesticides. Thanks for your comments, WalkingShark. By the way, I love avocado on a sandwich. :)