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Author Topic: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy  (Read 226 times)

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Offline ctmartin

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Hi, All,

Well, the time has come ... we have wanted to do this for many years, but decided instead to focus on road trips within the US and Canada.  My soon to be 12 year old peanut/sesame allergic daughter has only been on a plane twice ... short flights ... and it's been awhile (9 years).

I am in the "research" phase of planning a trip to Europe next summer ... right now I am just trying to figure out if it is at all feasible.  We are looking at England, France, and Italy.  I am pretty comfortable with England, and in all 3 locations we will be renting flats with kitchens and cooking most of our meals at home.  My daughter says she would be happy with just one safe meal in each country ;)

My questions:  (1)Does anyone have any experience with Norwegian Air or TAP?  (2)How difficult is it to navigate supermarkets in France and/or Italy? How did you find the labeling??

Anyone with ANY input on travel experiences within those countries would be greatly appreciated!

Offline GoingNuts

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2017, 06:02:42 AM »
I have no experience with those two airlines, but when we flew to Poland we used Air France even though we couldn't get a direct flight, because they don't serve peanuts/tree nuts - at least not in economy.  And while their customer service leaves much to be desired in general, they were very attentive to my DS, with flight attendants checking on him frequently throughout the flight (he was 21 at the time, BTW, and thought they were overly solicitous!).

I haven't been to any of those countries in 30+ years, so no advice.  But we were in Ireland last year, and while DS wasn't with us, I did take note of how easy it would be for him there, for the most part. 

I hope you guys have the trip of a lifetime!  Keep us posted!
"Speak out against the madness" - David Crosby
N.E. US

Offline hedgehog

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2017, 06:31:44 AM »
I have been to both Italy and France in recent years, but no real experience from all allergy perspective. I went to France without DS, and he had been desensitized before he went to Italy.
USA

Online hezzier

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2017, 08:01:34 AM »
I realize this does not help with your intended locations, but my sister was recently in Ireland and noticed the same thing GN said, restaurant menus are very well labeled.

Please keep posting about what you learn...I too would like to take my kids to England and Scotland.
DS (12 yrs) TN
DD (15 yrs) cat, wasps and yellow jackets

NH, USA

Offline chase

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2017, 11:15:53 AM »
Family trip to Italy 8 yrs ago.  My son is PA only.  We spent the first 2 weeks in the Tuscany region.  He could eat without any problems.  Even ate galato every day!  We did stay out of the bakeries. Then headed to Rome and the amalfi coast.  Whole different experience. Everywhere we went we were told that the olive oil was mixed with peanut oil. One very fancy restaurant on Capri gave him a bottle of vinegar for his salad. Really!!!! To this day I don't believe it, but we didn't want to take a chance.  We had a translation card, so the language was not the problem.  He ate a lot of pizza the last week of the trip.  The galato was no longer safe either.

Offline ctmartin

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2017, 08:21:18 AM »
HI, Everyone!

Thanks for all your responses.  I will definitely keep you posted, as I think this info would be beneficial to all.  We started breaking out of our comfort zone last summer with a road trip to Montreal, however I do realize that it was nowhere near what we will experience if we take the plunge and go to Europe.  First, we drove, and second, we loaded up at Whole Foods in Buffalo and brought pretty much everything we would need for the 5 day trip across the border with us.  Finally, we only ate out 3 times, and one was at ZERO8 (which I cannot recommend enough ... what an amazing experience of stress free dining for allergy kids and parents alike)

Our allergist downplayed the risk of flying, and we know my daughter is not airborne allergic and she has never eaten at a peanut free table at school.  Of course, we would wipe down her seat area beforehand and bring our own food on the plane.  Norwegian says if you notify them of an allergy, they will not serve/sell nuts on the flight.  Are there any other things you have found that are necessary for her to be safe when flying?

Hezzier ... I would think those countries would be relatively easy to visit.  As I mentioned, I am pretty confident in our trip to England (other than the plane ride), as I believe in many ways their labeling is even better than ours and they are much more allergy aware.  Just the fact that they label for sesame is helpful for us, and a close friend who lives there has a nut allergy and will be helping us navigate.

Chase ... VERY interesting info about Italy ... Yikes!  Can't even fathom mixing pristine EV olive oil with PN oil?!  WTH?!  If we go, we will definitely be on the watch for that.  I can't believe your son was able to eat gelato, though ... that is amazing.  Luckily, we do have a friend in Rome (which will be our home base in Italy) and he happens to have a restaurant.  Needless to say, we will be dining there pretty much every night!

Thanks, everyone ... and if others have anything else to add, that would be great!

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 12:34:14 PM »
They mix peanut oil into olive oil here in North America too and it may not be on the label in America since highly refined peanut oil doesn't have to be labelled, just like highly refined soy oil.  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong.  I was told it could hide under 'vegetable oil' in America.)  It's a tough one. 

For flying (and travelling), I recommend four EpiPens and keeping them under the seat in front of you, not the overhead bins.  Bring your own food, plus plenty of extra snacks, as 10 000 m up in the sky isn't the best place to try new foods or risk airplane food since medical help is far away.  Wash hands OFTEN!  We bring plenty of hand wipes for the tray table and arm rests, but also hands. 

I also bring even more snacks for the people around us who may have only brought nutty snacks for their flight - if that would even be problematic for your daughter.  (It would be for me.)

You may want to look up what the major allergens are in each country and their labelling laws.  Some European countries include peanut in 'nuts', which can be a bit confusing when you're used to seeing them separated on labels. 
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish

Offline MaryM

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2017, 07:24:27 AM »
There is a new website that just went live.  It was put together by adults with food allergies who travel a lot - Kyle Dine is one of them, if you know him - he is a man who made a career out of writing songs for kids about allergies.  I haven't really looked into the site yet but it might be helpful and there are message boards too.

http://allergytravels.com

Offline ctmartin

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Re: Beginning Stages of Trip Planning ... England, France Italy
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2017, 10:49:30 AM »

Fabulous site, MaryM ... thanks a bunch!