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Best Places to Travel with Food Allergies

Jameson Cole

9 Minutes to Read
best places to travel with food allergies

Traveling with food allergies can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to hold you back from exploring the world! With some smart planning and insider knowledge, you can find amazing destinations that will cater to your dietary needs. We’ve scoured the globe to bring you the ultimate list of the best places to travel with food allergies. From luxurious resorts to action-packed theme parks, these spots go above and beyond to keep you safe and satisfied on your vacation. Let’s dive in!

What to Look for in an Allergy-Friendly Destination

Before we get to the good stuff, let’s review the key factors that make a location great for food-allergic travelers:

  • Knowledgeable staff trained in handling food allergies
  • Clearly marked menus with allergen information
  • Dedicated allergy-friendly kitchens to prevent cross-contact
  • Access to medical care in case of an emergency
  • Accommodations like in-room kitchens for preparing your own meals

Keep these in mind as you evaluate your options. And of course, always notify your destinations about your allergies well in advance and bring your emergency meds with you wherever you go!

Top Allergy-Friendly Resorts in the U.S.

best places to travel with food allergies

America is home to some incredible resorts that roll out the red carpet for food-allergic guests. According to Spokin users, these are the cream of the crop:

  1. Walt Disney World Resorts (Orlando, FL) – With extensive allergy menus, specially trained chefs, and unparalleled customer service, it’s no wonder Disney tops the list. Their restaurants and quick-service eateries across the various resorts are extremely accommodating and knowledgeable.
  2. Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, CA) – The magic of Disney isn’t limited to the East Coast! Disneyland is another fan favorite, offering detailed allergy menus and well-informed staff at their on-site hotels.
  3. Great Wolf Lodge (Multiple Locations) – This family-focused chain features spacious suites with kitchens, perfect for whipping up your own allergy-safe meals. Their restaurants are completely peanut and tree nut free too.
  4. Gaylord Hotels (Multiple Locations) – With renowned allergy-friendly policies, these upscale resorts are a great pick no matter which location you choose. Their culinary teams receive in-depth training on allergies and special diets.

Other top picks include:

  • The Ritz-Carlton Naples
  • Four Seasons Resorts (Scottsdale, Maui, etc.)
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Hyatt Regency Resorts
  • Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
  • Hilton’s Curio Collection

Allergy-Friendly All-Inclusives Worth Booking

All-inclusive resorts can be especially tricky, with the ever-present buffets and risk of cross-contact. But these international properties have stepped up to the plate, offering peace of mind along with your relaxing beach vacation:

  • Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort (Dominican Republic) – They offer HUGE, multi-bedroom villas with full kitchens stocked at your request. On-site restaurants are very allergy-aware too, with ample “safe” options.
  • Beaches Resorts (Jamaica and Turks & Caicos) – Beaches has a dedicated Culinary Concierge team that will work with you to create a safe meal plan. Chefs are well-versed in allergy protocols.
  • Finest Resorts (Mexico) – Staff undergo rigorous food safety training here. Their “Finest Clubs” even have exclusive lounge areas with allergy-friendly snacks!
  • Azul Beach Resorts (Mexico) – Azul properties have a stellar reputation in the food allergy community thanks to their exemplary customer service and attention to detail. Private chefs will even cook allergen-free meals for you!

I’m a big fan of booking through a knowledgeable travel agent specializing in food allergies, like Lesley Hayden-Hock at Pixie Lizzie or Amy Wicker at Amazing Journeys, to help coordinate the details. It’s well worth the extra help!

Cruising with Food Allergies

Cruise lines are really making waves in accommodating special diets these days. Here are a few that get top marks:

Cruise LineAllergy-Friendly Highlights
Disney Cruise LineSeparate allergy prep stations in kitchens, wide range of options
Royal Caribbean“Allergy Friendly” quick-service spots, attentive staff
Celebrity CruisesAllergy-specific menus available, stock EpiPens on board
Oceania CruisesWill pre-screen cabin for allergen exposure, carry-on food allowed

Of course, even on the most accommodating ship, you’ll still need to be vigilant. Follow best practices like:

  • Alert the Special Needs team well before departure
  • Meet with the Maître d’ on Day 1 to discuss your needs
  • Review ingredients with your server at each meal
  • Carry your meds (in original packaging) and a doctor’s note

Now, let’s take a tour of allergy-friendly destinations around the world!

Best of the U.S.

We’ve covered the top resorts, but don’t overlook these other awesome vacations right here at home:

Theme Parks That Get It Right

  • Dollywood (Pigeon Forge, TN) – Dolly Parton’s park is famous for its allergy accommodations. Chefs will even prepare custom meals if you call ahead.
  • Hersheypark (Hershey, PA) – Fitting for a park built by a candy company, Hershey has a sharp eye for allergies. Their restaurants offer detailed allergen menus.

National Parks: Nature’s Hypoallergenic Retreats

Communing with nature is a fantastic option – just BYO food and scope out nearby hospitals in case of an emergency. Some of my favorite allergy-friendly parks include:

  • Yellowstone
  • Great Smoky Mountains
  • Acadia
  • Grand Canyon
  • Yosemite

Check out the full list from AllergyEats!

City Slickers

Big cities mean more dining options and better access to medical care. These spots get a gold star:

  • New York, NY – The Big Apple has something for everyone, with countless allergy-friendly eateries and even allergy-friendly food tours!
  • Seattle, WA – This health-conscious haven is home to some of the best gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-aware restaurants in the country. Check out Capitol Hill for the densest concentration of safe spots.
  • San Francisco, CA – Another crunchy, alternative diet mecca, SF is a dream for food-allergic foodies. Don’t miss the Ferry Building Marketplace for tasty, safe eats.

Awesome Allergy-Friendly Adventures Abroad


best places to travel with food allergies

Our friends across the pond have some lovely allergy-friendly locales:

  • England & Scotland – The UK has an estimated 2 million food allergy sufferers, so awareness is high. Westfield Malls in London even have dedicated allergy-friendly food halls! Other great towns include Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, and Edinburgh.
  • Italy – Italians take food VERY seriously, and that extends to allergies. In fact, Italian law requires restaurants to disclose allergens. Rome and Florence are especially accommodating.

The Caribbean & Mexico

Looking for a tropical escape? These spots will keep you safe AND sun-kissed:

  • Aruba – This Dutch island is a haven for food-allergic travelers. Groceries carry many American “safe” brands and restaurants are well-versed in allergies.
  • Turks & Caicos – With its pristine beaches and luxe resorts (like Beaches!), T&C is a fantastic pick. Many restaurants even have separate allergy kitchens!
  • Playa del Carmen, Mexico – This Riviera Maya hot spot has become increasingly allergy-friendly in recent years. Resorts like the Royal Hideaway Playacar and Grand Velas Riviera Maya are standouts.

Asia & Oceania

Venturing to the other side of the world? Consider adding these to your bucket list:

  • Japan – This may surprise you, but Japan is actually incredibly accommodating to food allergies. Their Hypoallergenic Restaurant (HRS) certification system makes it easy to find safe spots. Tokyo and Kyoto are especially great.
  • Australia – Oz has the highest food allergy rates in the world, so awareness is sky-high. Melbourne and Sydney have tons of allergy-friendly restaurants and bakeries.
  • Thailand – With its vibrant street food scene, Thailand can seem intimidating. But many restaurants, especially in Bangkok, are happy to accommodate special requests. Just learn how to say your allergy in Thai to be extra safe!

Allergy-Friendly Airlines

Getting to your dream destination is half the battle. These airlines offer the best food allergy policies and in-flight options:

AirlineAllergy Policies & Perks
DeltaPeanut-free meals and snacks, buffer zones available
JetBlueExtensive gluten-free menu, will create allergen buffer zone
British AirwaysCan pre-board to wipe down seats, offers gluten-free meals
SouthwestAll peanut-free and will suspend serving “peanut dust” snacks if you request

Be sure to note your allergies when booking and always pack an abundance of safe snacks just in case!

Creating a Custom Allergy-Safe Itinerary

Of course, you’re not limited to the destinations on this list. With the right prep, you can visit practically anywhere! Here are my top tips for crafting your own allergy-friendly adventure:

  1. Choose accommodations with kitchens so you can cook your own meals. Airbnb and VRBO have tons of options.
  2. Research restaurants well in advance. Search allergy-specific reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, AllergyEats, etc. Don’t be afraid to call or email ahead!
  3. Learn key allergy words in the local language, like “gluten”, “peanut”, “anaphylaxis”, etc. Screenshot images of your allergens to show restaurants too.
  4. Pack an allergy card with your triggers listed in English and the local language. Give this to every restaurant!
  5. Locate hospitals and pharmacies near your accommodations, just in case. Consider investing in travel health insurance too.
  6. Bring a chef card to give to restaurant staff. This free chef card template from FARE is available in multiple languages.

Remember, knowledge and preparation are your greatest assets for a safe, enjoyable trip. Don’t be afraid to speak up, ask questions, and advocate for yourself!

Happy (and Safe) Travels!

We hope this guide has shown you that traveling with food allergies is not only possible, but filled with exciting possibilities. From Disney’s magic to the culinary delights of Asia and Europe, you have a world of options at your fingertips.

Life is too short to let food allergies hold you back. So get out there, explore, and bon voyage!


Q: Are there any travel agencies that specialize in food allergies?

Yes! Check out Pixie Lizzie Travel and Amazing Journeys – they have tons of experience crafting safe itineraries.

Q: What if I accidentally eat my allergen while abroad?

Always travel with multiple epinephrine auto-injectors and any other necessary meds. Head to the nearest hospital immediately if you have any signs of an allergic reaction.

Q: How do I find allergy-friendly restaurants in a new city?

Apps like AllergyEats, Spokin, and Allergy Genie are great for searching user-generated reviews. When in doubt, call the restaurant and ask about their allergy procedures.

Q: What are the best snacks to pack for flights?

Stick to shelf-stable, individually-wrapped items like dried fruit, seeds, allergy-friendly protein bars, and baby food pouches. Avoid anything too smelly or messy!


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Jameson Cole

Jameson Cole is an avid explorer and travel writer who brings the world to your fingertips through his captivating narratives and vivid descriptions. With a passion for uncovering hidden gems and experiencing diverse cultures, Jameson has journeyed across the globe, from bustling cities to remote wilderness. His expertise spans trips, journeys, adventures, excursions, voyages, exploration, tours, and expeditions.


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