Traveling with Special Dietary Need
One of the best ways to travel, if you have special dietary needs, is a cruise ship. Contact the ships’ dietary department at least ninety days prior to sailing to notify them of your specific needs. Cruise ship food service employees are usually very well versed in the special food needs of their patrons.
Other exceptional places that are very allergy-friendly are the Disney parks. For California, call 1-714-781-DINE. For Florida, call 1-407-WDW-DINE (neither has a toll free number). If you give them enough advance notice, they will send you lists of food locations and restaurants in the park that accommodate your special dietary needs. Disney employees are very knowledgeable about special foods and are happy to work with you to assure a wonderful food experience. Often they will send the chef to your table or the manager to the counter to help. They usually are quite knowledgeable about cross contamination and will serve the special diet foods separately from the regular selections ordered by other guests.
Another great allergy-friendly theme park is Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, located in Santa Claus, Indiana. They offer an array of foods that are free of the top eight allergens. The parks’ 500 employees are specially trained to understand food allergies and intolerances. http://www.holidayworld.com/park-tickets/food-snacks/
Legoland has also joined the bandwagon for understanding food allergies and intolerances. San Diego (Carlsbad), contact 760-846-0876 or california. Dietary Guide Contact them at least 72 hours, prior to your arrival. Legoland Florida, in Winter Haven will be opening in October 2011. Search for their dietary guide in their search location for assistance.
Windsor, UK, contact the park at least 48 hours prior to arrival, allowing for more time, during peak times. www.legoland.co.uk/Terms-and-Conditions-container/Dietary-Requirements
For Legoland in Germany and Denmark, contact their food service department to inquire about how they can assist you.
Most amusement parks are very good about allowing you to bring in your own food and beverages, if you tell them prior to them searching your bags, that you or your child is on a restricted diet. It might be wise to carry a doctor’s note, stating so, just in case they ask you for proof. If someone gives you a difficult time, go to Guest Relations.
Some wonderful companies carry backpacks coolers. They are ideal for traveling. Here are some online companies where you can order one:
These backpack coolers are ideal for hiking, biking, picnics or any type of excursion while traveling for the day or longer.
When traveling in the United States, you can get a refrigerator delivered to your hotel room for free, if you contact the hotel ahead of time explaining that you or your child has dietary needs. If they tell you there is a charge, mention the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and you will get your refrigerator free. This is a legal accommodation for someone with a disability or disorder, requiring special foods.
Vacations should be a wonderful experience for family time and bonding. Do not let food restrict your time together. This helpful guide should open a lot of culinary doors for you and your family! Bon Appetite.
Barrie is the author of The Autism & ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide To Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) And Others Interventions Her web site is: www.puttingyourkidsfirst.com
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This post originally appeared on our May/June 2011 Magazine