You’ve picked your destination, flights, and accommodations for your food allergy vacation and now getting to the fun part of booking activities. Or maybe you are doing research to see if booking a vacation with food allergies is possible. Either route, let’s dive into how to look at booking activities with food allergies and things to consider.
This is a general overview of things to consider when booking activities with food allergies that can be applied to cruises, domestic, international, etc.
What to Consider When Booking Activities with Food Allergies
When it comes to selecting an activity, the first thing you will want to look at is timing. Will this be a half-day or full-day activity? Does the activity go over a meal time or include a meal?
My recommendation is to normally start with breakfast in your accommodation as most destinations this is the harder meal with food allergies. Not only does it start your day off on the right foot with you preparing your own meal, but it ensures you are full and ready for your day of exploring.
Doing half-day tours allows you to schedule them before or after lunch. This is a great way to explore but with breaks to either eat at a researched restaurant or having your packed lunch as a picnic in a local park.
Remember that traveling in the summer will be hot and taking breaks can keep everyone from getting overheated and exhausted. Plus if traveling with younger travelers it can be good to take a break and run around or go back to the accommodation for a nap or rest.
Some must see items just aren’t possible in a half-day tour, and that is where a full-day tour is needed. When it comes to selecting a full-day tour with food allergies, it is best to reach out to the vendor. Learn whether a meal is included, if they have a restaurant name, and ask about bringing your own meal. I recommend always taking a packed lunch just in case anything changes on the fly or you don’t feel comfortable with the restaurant.
How To Pick the Tour Size When Booking Your Activity
Group, Semi-Private, and Private Tours
Picking the tour size many items come into play like cost, inclusions, sites, and more. Private tours are always my first recommendation when it comes to traveling with food allergies and tours that include needing transportation. Not only does it give you the freedom to choose your departure time, length of the tour, stops that interest you and your family, and the ability to ask questions and immerse yourself in the tour. Doing a private tour especially if you are doing transportation, allows you to ask the driver to not eat the allergens especially if they are airborne.
However, sometimes private doesn’t make sense for the tour, maybe you are wanting to visit the Louvre in Paris. While you can definitely do this privately as well, unless you are incredibly interested in the Louvre and want to know the ins and outs of the art then I recommend doing a semi-private or group tour. The reason I like semi-private for a tour like the Louvre is it saves you money vs the private but you are able to have a more intimate group than a larger group. Should you want to ask questions to the guide and be able to go more in-depth than a large group tour this is the route I would recommend.
Now you may be wondering, is doing a large group tour bad then? No, a larger group tour to climb the Eiffel Tower or visit the Tower of London may be perfect for you. My recommendation is if it doesn’t involve transportation, then a larger group tour can be great, but it is always based on the activity.
Consider the Items Needed during Your Activity
For tours that include items that will go on your skin or in your mouth, make sure you go over the cleaning protocols extensively with the vendors. From the snorkel that goes in your mouth, asking if they can supply a new one or bring a cheap one off Amazon to ensure the experience is safer. To bringing wipes to wipe down anything you’ll be touching on the activity.
Communication is Key when Booking Activities with Food Allergies
It is so important to ensure that you communicate with vendors and let them know about your food allergies. Whether a snack or meal is included, it is also important to make sure they are willing to make an announcement if you are taking a bus with others.
Since plans can always change, I recommend following up with the vendor closer to the trip to ensure nothing has changed around the food or protocols. However, you can only control yourself and what you bring, so remember lots of safe snacks and a meal for the food allergy individual(s).
Picking activities for your trip is important, and when you work with me as a Food Allergy Travel Agent, I take care of talking with vendors and making recommendations for you. Ready to plan your next vacation, schedule a call with me HERE.