Vacationing with Food Allergies: 5 Practical Tips to a Relaxing Trip

There is a lot of preparation for vacation in our house. In addition to our “Vacation Tub”, here are a few more things we do.

1. Be prepared to clean. We clean the hotel or rental condo even though it is already clean. If you visit family and depending on the relationship, the family can clean for you or you can help. My parents always scrub their home and fridge for us.

2. Be prepared to cook most meals. Breakfasts can be the easiest no cook meal of the day. I’ve found some “safe” ready made foods and breakfast is taken care of. I do make muffins and pancakes on vacation. To make it easier, I prepare the dry muffin mix or pancake mix at home. When on vacation, I add the wet ingredients and save time and have a safe and homemade breakfast.

Write ingredients & directions on the bag. This is my "pancake basket."

Write ingredients & directions on the bag. This is my “pancake basket.”

3. Pack the slow cooker. When I’m on vacation, the last thing I want to do is slave over a hot stove. I prepare the spices needed for dinners in advance in little plastic containers and label them and pack them. Anything I can do to make vacation easier, I do! If meals are planned in advance, dinner can be in the slow cooker before we hit the beach, the shops, the pool, or the amusement park.

4. Pack lots of baby wipes. When we went to Disney World, I wiped everything- including every ride! I wiped our hands after every ride, too. I have found tons of other uses for baby wipes while on vacation.

5. Go online and check out the town before booking the vacation. We always make sure a hospital is close by. We check out the grocery stores online. We have lots of specialty brands we rely on. We would rather drag our safe yogurts across the United States in our cooler than go without them. Don’t be afraid to call a grocery store in the area you want to visit and ask them if they carry certain brands. Be specific. “Do you carry Whole Soy yogurts?”

With a little planning and a lot of work, food allergy families can enjoy a relaxing vacation. Cheers to a fun and safe summer!

Vacationing with Food Allergies: Create a Vacation Tub

Vacation for us food allergy parents can sometimes be more work than vacation. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare for vacation with less work and less stress. These tips work best for vacations where you drive, rather than fly. We always travel with a majorly loaded car!

Before a trip, I spent lots of time carefully packing all of the essentials we needed to take with us and packed it all in various duffle bags. After our last vacation, I knew there had to be a better way. That’s when it hit me.  I needed a “Vacation Tub.”  To create this, I went to Target and bought a giant sturdy plastic bin. I also went to the dollar store and bought duplicates of cooking utensil essentials. A pasta spoon, a spatula, cooking spoons, measuring cups, etc. I added two muffin pans, a colander, a cutting board with a knife, and any other every day items I could find for a dollar. I washed them all and stored them in the vacation tub. Other items I put in my vacation tub are older pots and pans. I replaced my set last year and these are perfect for my tub. If you don’t have an extra set, just pack your pots and pans before you leave.

Other items for the vacation tub: Sanitizing wipes, napkins, a few rolls of wrapped paper towels, a clean oven mitt, paper plates, paper or plastic cups, and anything else you might need for a vacation away from home.

A way to slowly stock this tub is to look for clearance items throughout the year. After holidays, the holiday cooking supplies, paper plates, napkins, etc. all go on sale and can even be purchased for up to 90% off! It’s okay to use Christmas plates for your beach vacation in July. You can slowly stock your vacation tub this way and save money.

Vacation Tub

Vacation Tub

The inside of our Vacation Tub.

The inside of our Vacation Tub.