Flying With Food Allergies
Last updated: January 2023
Traveling is an amazing aspect of life, but let's face it: with food allergies, flying can be overwhelming. Airports are stressful enough, and adding food allergies to the mix doesn't make traveling easygoing. Over the years, I have traveled quite a bit, and I've come up with some travel tips for making air travel less daunting when managing food allergies.
Review TSA guidelines
Be prepared with TSA-approved items. Always check the TSA website, as guidelines around what you can pack in your carry-on bags often change. But a rule that has forever been constant is that you cannot bring liquids with you into the airport that are more than 3.4 ounces in size. So you can't get a bottle full of water or another bottled beverage through security. If you have a bottle, you must discard it before entering the security checkpoint.
Regarding food, however, you are allowed to bring solid food in your carry-on or handbag. So pack away! Bring all of your safe foods. I once tried to travel with peanut butter, which security confiscated due to a bit of liquid from the oil. Also, be careful with coconut oil in a jar. I was not allowed to bring that through security either. Lastly, if you need food to be refrigerated, use a thermos bag and ice packs, not ice!
Bring an empty bottle or thermos
Bring an empty thermos for water or beverages. Since you can't bring bottled drinks through security, you can pack an empty bottle or thermos to fill after getting through the checkpoint.
You can use the airport water fountains to fill up or buy bottled water inside the airport. Unfortunately, bottled water and pretty much everything is expensive inside airports.
Organization, in general, is essential while traveling to ensure you have everything you need. Prepare ahead of time to ensure that your packed snacks and food are organized in Ziploc bags or reusable containers. If you want to have food with you during the flight, ensure the food is easily accessible to you.
The more organized you are, the easier it is to reach for items that help make traveling more seamless. So be savvy with how you load your bags and think about making your snacks easily accessible during your travel.
Explore the restaurants in the terminal
While inside the airport, find the map that shows what restaurants are available in the terminals. Use your phone to check out their offerings. If you have time, or your plane gets delayed, it's always lovely to sit and have a snack or even a full meal.
Again, with food allergies, it takes a lot of planning. You are prepared with snacks if none of the restaurants inside have options safe for your allergies. But it is always nice to know that looking at restaurants in your specific terminal is a breeze due to technology.
How about you? How do you manage flying with food allergies?
How often do you connect with others who have food allergies?