Sunny Spain seems like a bit of a distant memory even though we only got back home 10 days ago!
We had a lovely, reaction-free week, and enjoyed some great food which inspired this recipe for dairy and egg free churros.
Like most things with managing allergies, travelling mainly comes down to the preparation I think. Make sure you have thought about:
Allergy translation cards
Medication and doctor’s note
Theses are all covered in my post on Travelling With Food Allergies but here are some more things we learnt travelling to Spain with food allergies.
Ryanair nut bans
We haven’t flown Ryanair with J before and they don’t have a policy of banning nuts on their planes. However, on both flights I asked the cabin crew and they made an announcement saying they wouldn’t be serving them and asking passengers not to eat any. So that was very reassuring. I personally don’t mention it on booking or at the gate as this information is not passed on to cabin crew anyway and I don’t want to run the risk of them questioning whether J is fit to fly.
Rented car seats
Last time we went away to France J had a reaction on the drive from the airport. We think it was due to food residue in the rented car seat. To be honest, this wasn’t something I had considered before but this time we decided to play it safe and take our own. It only cost £20 on Ryanair which was much cheaper than hiring one anyway and alleviated that risk.
We also took some of J’s milk with us in our checked bag and some bread, crackers and treats in hand luggage. This turned out to be a great thing as we were stuck on the tarmac for 3 hours due to French air traffic control strikes!
New EU Allergen Labelling
The new allergen labelling that came into effect here in December is an EU regulation which means other countries in Europe have to comply as well. This is great as it means all the labelling in shops is very clear and as long as you have translated your allergens in advance it is easy to check ingredients.
A lot of UK brands are sold in Spain so it is fairly easy to find trusted food. However, ingredients can vary in different manufacturing so always double check the ingredients.
Eating out in Spain with allergies
Unfortunately, we found that eating out wasn’t as well managed. Some places we went were brilliant and the Spanish are very family friendly which helps. We showed our translation cards and asked if food was safe and they were really happy to help. The worst experience we had was actually an English run place. She couldn’t tell me what was in their chicken nuggets and had thrown away the packaging. She seemed very disinterested in helping us so J had to stick with his back up supplies.
Overall, we had a good experience in Spain. We stayed self catering again which I think is definitely the easiest way to travel with an allergy child. I am still wary about booking a hotel or resort but want to keep exploring and letting J travel as safely as we can.
What are your top travelling tips? Have you been to Spain with food allergies?