I’m headed to Toronto next week for the Toronto Jazz Fest. I’ve been to Canada many times but not in years and not to Toronto. So there’s lots to do ahead of my trip for someone like me (and maybe you) who has food allergies, allergies and asthma. It can seem overwhelming to do it all or if you try to do it all the day before. So, what I recommend as an advocate, food allergy coach and someone who has traveled the world: break it down into bite-sized manageable tasks and start weeks ahead of when you leave.
Here’s a thumbnail sketch of my initial and general health checklist. These are quick and easy tasks that can be accomplished weeks in advance of any trip:
My emergency medications – they are up to date and I have multiples for dop kit, purse and travel case.
My American medications that I like are in my dop kit – Tylenol, Advil, Benadryl, etc.
Have emergency allergy and asthma action plans – I have a printed copy and a copy in my smart phone. (Don’t have one? Here are links for several plans. Go to your board certified medical provider and get one filled out.)
Call the TSA – I’m bringing special food, what do I need to do? They said, the restrictions don't apply for food allergies, just present myself to security to be checked.
Doctor’s Note – Although the TSA said a note wasn't needed, when I recently flew to Chicago to give the key note at FAAN, the TSA asked me if I had a note. As back up, I asked my board certified medical provider to write a note about my needs regarding carrying special foods and allergies/asthma to pets. I have a hard copy and copy emailed to myself as backup.
Call Health insurance overseas/international – Am I covered? Do I need extra coverage?
Lingering questions about atopic disease management when away from home? See your board certified medical provider and get your questions answered. If you feel like you don’t even know what to ask, my free downloadable FAQ about food allergies is a great start.