According to Allergy UK 44% of British adults are affected by one or more allergic disorders, and whilst this may be well controlled at home, it is important to understand what precautions you should take when planning a trip abroad – including making sure you have the right travel insurance cover.
Where to start?
Before heading abroad, spend some time researching your chosen destination and the local food to get an idea of the ingredients used in common cuisines. It’s important to note that many cultures will use different ingredients during religious rituals, and therefore you may be at risk without prior knowledge.
It is also worth learning the phrase for ‘I have an ___ allergy’ in the country’s spoken language, or if you struggle speaking the language you can purchase translation cards online which explain your allergy in the language of your choice
Before you go, find out the location of a hospital and allergist at your desired destination – just in case.
Flying with an allergy doesn’t have to be a panic, but it is a good idea to check your airlines policy. Most airlines will have information on their website about travelling with an allergy, but you can also telephone the airline for further reassurance.
Airlines’ approaches to allergies vary and some companies will ask for a Doctor’s note before allowing you to board – especially if you are carrying an EpiPen.
When in flight keep your EpiPen or emergency medication on your person, not in the overhead compartment. Due to the severity of some reactions, time can be crucial.
Do you have the right insurance?
When buying travel insurance for your trip be sure to declare your allergy, the medication you take and any associated conditions. Failure to declare your medical conditions may result in a claim being denied – leaving you with a costly bill. For more information on travelling with a medical condition click here.
If you’re travelling in the EU, make sure your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is in date.