Perhaps this goes without saying but make sure that you always carry your medication with you. An ideal situation will be travelling with someone who knows how to use the medicine in an emergency. Otherwise it is advisable to setup emergency information, such as a Medical ID on an iPhone, or alternatively, wear some MedicAlert jewellery that contains emergency details.
Knowing the number of the emergency services in the country you are visiting and saving it in your contacts could save precious moments, in the unfortunate case of a reaction.
Medical treatment can be extremely expensive in different countries. While it is often more expensive to purchase insurance to cover allergies, it removes an extra layer of concern when travelling and can prevent fronting a hefty bill after receiving treatment.
While not always required at airports, in the (rare) case you are asked the reason for carrying medication, a prescription or doctors note will help to speed up the clarification.
It is fortunate that English is widely spoken at most tourist destinations. However, this cannot be taken for granted, especially if you are travelling off of the beaten track. Learning a few local phrases to be able to say “I’m allergic to X” or to be able to recognise an allergen on food packaging can go a long way if English is not an option.
Always ask about allergies when ordering food. Allergens can be hidden in the most unusual places, such as walnuts on a cheese board. If you feel you are unable to communicate your allergy concerns, or if you are not confident of the response from the staff, move on. You will find a more suitable restaurant with better service elsewhere.
Carry snacks that you are familiar with. This can act as a excellent backup if you are finding it difficult to find food on the move.
If relevant, understand where you can get, or replenish, medical supplies especially if you are planning on visiting a remote area. Also make a note of opening times, for instance, whether there are 24 hour pharmacies available or if they are shut on weekends.
Hopefully these tips will help to keep you safe while travelling and you continue to make the most out of your future trips confidently.
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