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Reading through a lot of the posts on travel tips, it affirms me that I am on the right track in terms of being prepared to lower anxiety and risk of flare-up.

However, I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for meal prep that I should keep in mind for an upcoming trip, which I'll describe below. In addition to IBS (and possibly because of the IBS; still sorting it out with doctors), I have bad reactions to even trace amounts of: gluten, dairy, egg, soy, nuts, seeds (incl. seed-based herbs and spices like mustard, paprika, nutmeg, fennel, flax, etc.), possibly fish, and possibly sulphites. Also, the lower FODMAP the better--I am most sensitive to fructose and oligo-fructans.

In short, I don't really eat out. If I do eat out, I order salad, and even then, there has been cross-contamination. I've had the best luck at make-your-own salad bars.

This October, I'm going on a photography course through the Nevada Desert. It is my first international trip since the pandemic (this trip was actually supposed to be in 2020). I've only traveled internationally once, and I was still in the process of understanding the extent of my allergies. It was a rough trip. I'm going to list the strategies I plan to take to make this happen successfully, meal-wise, and I'd love for any additional tips or things to consider.
  • I fly into Reno the day before I meet the rest of the group (which is two days before we set out), so that I have time to buy groceries and prep all meals.
  • I'm renting a car for 24hrs so I can go to Whole Foods and other grocery stores likely to have the best variety of alternative, allergy-friendly products, in addition to the "regular" groceries.
    • Any other places similar to Whole Foods that I should consider exploring?
  • I will be booking an Airbnb or accommodations with a full kitchen, obvs.
  • I've already emailed the organizer about bringing a cooler in the van with my own food; it's such a relief that they're okay with it!
    • Where does one purchase a styrofoam cooler? Cabela's?
  • I'm thinking this will be a bit like camping; I will need some cheap food storage containers, some ice packs (I will freeze the meals so they double as ice packs too).
  • I plan to drink bottled water--I don't feel like risking tap water in small desert towns.
    • I'm guessing tap water in Reno and Las Vegas (our end-point) would be clean and safe?
  • I am packing as many of my favourite snacks and teas and such from home as possible that are allowed in my checked-in bag and carry-on.
At home, I typically have hot lunches, because I'll batch-cook meals and freeze them. However, I anticipate that lunches will be eating 'in the field,' where microwaves don't exist. ...Anyone else with complex allergies have tips for backpack friendly lunches? I have sometimes thrown together rice cakes, fruit, and veggies, but the protein typically poses an issue, and I need these meals to be filling.

Any tips from your own experience on traveling with complex allergies would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Gina
 
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