A number of years ago, My Vacation Lady was asked to help a family plan a vacation. Sounds pretty standard until we heard that their youngest (a 3 year old boy) had severe food allergies. He had allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts and gluten. To add more to the mix, his family followed a vegetarian diet. This little boy had never eaten a meal in a restaurant for fear of triggering an allergic reaction.
After speaking to the client, his mother, we put her in touch with the chefs at Walt Disney World to talk to them about what he could and couldn’t eat. This little boy came home from the vacation thrilled (not only that he spent a week in Disney) but also that he could eat in a restaurant with his family!
YES, you can still travel with food allergies. My Vacation Lady has the insight into where you can go and how to make your vacation more risk free when it comes to food allergies.
We have planned a honeymoon for a bride who has severe wheat allergies. By putting her in touch with the right people at the resort, she was assured that her food would be prepared to accommodate her allergies. The bride was so pleased with the handling of her food allergy that they returned to the same resort for their 2nd anniversary.
For the past number of years, I personally started following a gluten free diet (by choice) and try to avoid lactose and have had the opportunity to see how many different resorts and cruise ships handle this dietary requirement.
On a recent travel agent cruise on the Norwegian Bliss, upon sitting down, I told the wait staff of my food allergies. I placed my order and the waitress would check with the chef and then come back with how they could prepare the meal around my food allergies. Since this was a special 2 night cruise, usual procedures weren’t necessarily in effect.
On most other cruises, my food allergies would be associated with my cabin #. I am usually given a menu to pre order my meals prior to the next’s nights dinner. My meals were prepared separately and were made without gluten. Sometimes that might mean no sauce, sometimes it would mean it would be revised to be gluten free. Aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships now, gluten free options are clearly listed on the daily menu.
A couple of all inclusive resort chains have been known to do a great job with gluten free diets, as well as other dietary restrictions. The Sandals and Beaches resorts, as well as the Karisma family of resorts (El Dorado, Generations and Azul resorts), all do a fabulous job with special requests and will work directly with the guest to prepare food according to their special needs.
When we spent a week in Mexico at 2 different resorts – Dreams Tulum and Secrets Playa Mujeres and both had meals marked clearly on the menus for both gluten free and vegetarian options. I was thrilled to see an entire pastry section in the breakfast buffet at Secrets with Gluten Free breads and muffins (and boy were they good!!) The 2 missing muffins in the front were the 2 that I took!
When we visited the Royalton Riviera Cancun, there was entire section of their International Buffet with gluten free options. (sorry- thought I took a picture of it but I can’t find it). I was super impressed since it included gluten free pasta!
Sometimes it takes a bit of extra planning on our part to ensure that our clients food allergies can be accommodated.
When it comes to planning your vacation or honeymoon, My Vacation Lady is here to make it as easy and stress free as possible, so if you have any special dietary requests or needs, let us know in advance so that we can ensure your vacation is allergy free.