FREE Allergy Alert Cards in English

FREE Allergy Alert Cards in English

Free Resources

food-allergy-alert-cardWe are thrilled to announce that we now have FREE Food Allergy Alert Cards available in English.

These cards allow you to customize your own list of food allergies and include any additional notes to wait staff or chefs.

Although we specialize in translation cards for dining out abroad, it’s just as important to effectively convey your allergies when dining out domestically. A simple allergy alert card can help chefs and managers remember your allergies in a busy kitchen setting. They also help others take them seriously, especially since it notes the severity, and the dangers of cross-contamination/cross-contact.

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Traditional Chinese vs. Simplified Chinese – What should I order?

Traditional Chinese vs. Simplified Chinese – What should I order?

Asian Languages Travel Tips

One of the most common questions we get at www.allergytranslation.com, is what language should I order for which country?

This becomes especially tricky for the languages of Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. Let’s break it down:

Countries using Traditional Chinese

  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan (Republic of China)
  • Macau

Countries using Simplified Chinese

  • China
  • Singapore

What about Mandarin and Cantonese?

These are the spoken dialects. When ordering an allergy translation card, you only need to choose between the written languages of Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.

Why is there a difference?

The Chinese government promoted Simplified Chinese to make the written language easier to write in hopes of increasing literacy. Essentially, the character forms were created by decreasing the number of strokes and simplifying the forms of a proportion of traditional Chinese characters. A Taiwanese friend once told me that the English equivalent would be the transition of the word “important” to “impt”.

Using Allergy Cards to Minimize Restaurant Errors

Using Allergy Cards to Minimize Restaurant Errors

Benefits of Allergy Cards

A recent unfortunate news story out of Montreal highlights that there are no guarantees when asking for an allergy-safe meal at a restaurant.

Police in Sherbrooke, Que., have arrested a 22-year-old waiter for serving salmon tartare to a client who ordered beef tartare and had warned him he was allergic to seafood.

The allergic diner apparently reiterated his food allergies to the server in this case several times, however was still served his allergen (salmon). This case will now be settled before the courts to see if their was negligence on the part of the server.

Our food allergy translation cards are a very helpful tool when communicating allergies abroad. However, they can be just as useful when communicating your allergies domestically.

In the case of this story, an allergy card could have helped in several ways.

An allergy card can:

Allergy cards are useful at home and abroad.
Allergy cards are useful at home and abroad.
  • Help the wait staff receive accurate information on the full list of allergies
  • Be taken to the kitchen and given to the chef
  • Highlight that the allergy is severe
  • Remind the wait staff to double check the order once received from the kitchen

Having a card that displays one’s allergies should be a tool that every person with severe allergies tucks into their wallet for the cases when they don’t want their allergies to get lost in translation, or lost in the shuffle of a busy restaurant.

Order an Allergy Card in English

Allergy Translation’s 10 Year Anniversary!

Allergy Translation’s 10 Year Anniversary!

About Us

10 year’s ago Allergy Translation was launched with a simple mission: to provide travellers with dietary restrictions printable wallet-sized translation cards that are convenient, inexpensive, and accurate.

We are proud of how AllergyTranslation.com has grown in leaps and bounds over this time, providing thousands of people with cards that can help them travel with more peace of mind.

The business started after our founder Kyle Dine travelled throughout Europe with multiple allergies and found difficulty communicating his life-threatening allergies. Our original website was launched on April 4th, 2006 and was relaunched with a new brand in 2014.

What started with under 10 languages available, has now grown to 43. We look forward to taking this website to new heights with some exciting updates in the near future.

Thanks for your loyalty – it’s been a pleasure to serve you for 10 years!

Kyle & Gareth

AllergyTranslation.com Ownership Team

11 New Languages Added

11 New Languages Added

Languages

We are excited to announce the addition of 11 new languages to our database! That brings the total number of languages available to 43. These new languages cover some adventurous locations through Europe and Asia. If you have a request for a language that we do not have, please get in touch and we will try to acquire it for our next update.

We selected the 11 most requested languages from our customers:

  • Estonian
  • Icelandic
  • Indonesian
  • Lao
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Malay
  • Slovak
  • Tagalog (The Philippines)
  • Ukrainian

We hope these new language options prove useful for you as for your future adventures!

The Allergy Translation Team

Travelling with Food Allergies – Growing Your Comfort & Travel Zone From Domestic to Exotic

Travelling with Food Allergies – Growing Your Comfort & Travel Zone From Domestic to Exotic

Europe Planning Travel Tips

Travelling with one, let alone multiple food allergies is never straightforward. However, it does get more and more complex as you literally venture into more foreign territories.

I’ve had the travel bug for ten years now and have gradually grown my comfort and confidence in travelling abroad. This was built on years of domestic travel where English was the first language and extra precautions consisted of bringing extra epinephrine, extra food and not being too adventurous with new restaurants or food brands.

Then came Europe.

It seemed like a good step into the world of international travel. It was intimidating to think that there were so many languages crammed into one continent. However, I quickly learned that communicating my allergies wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be due to the prevalence of English in touristy areas. My early travels took me to Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Vienna and Stockholm where wait staff were surprisingly helpful accommodating my allergies. I found this to be a great entry into foreign travel and would recommend it to those starting out travelling abroad with food allergies. Plus, big touristy cities are touristy for a reason – they have a lot to offer and are beautiful!

Then came Eastern Europe.

Countries like Croatia, Bulgaria, and Hungary were a bit more of a challenge as English became less prevalent. This is when Allergy Translation Cards were truly valuable. Wait staff that I encountered had somewhat of a grasp on English, but I still wasn’t 100% sure if they knew not only what my allergies were, but that they were possibly life-threatening. The other challenge I found to be with pre-packaged products where ingredient lists commonly featured over a dozen languages in tiny print. Sometimes they would include English under the category (GB) for Great Britain, sometimes not. I found it best to stick to the perimeter of the grocery store finding fresh breads, meats and fruit/veggies. Plus you can use your translation card with bakers, butchers etc. who can help you avoid those food labels altogether.

Then came Asia.

Spending three weeks in a small town in China proved to be the biggest challenge yet. English was practically non-existent and I had a constant “fish out of water” feeling. Allergy Translation Cards were vital during this trip, but found the risk of cross-contamination very high wherever I ate. I bought a hot plate at Wal-Mart (yes they are in China!) and cooked basic, but safe meals in my hotel room. Things like rice, pasta, and soups kept me afloat as I toured around a beautiful country with a vibrant culture. I felt limited at times in terms of cuisine, but I really wasn’t there for that reason. I kept my food expectations low, and as a result, view the trip as a great success as I visited a place I once thought of as “off limits” due to my food allergies.

Where next?

South America seems to be drawing me in as well as Russia. Wherever it will be, I now have the confidence to know that all countries can be manageable as long as you are taking proper precautions and doing your research in advance.

Growing your comfort zone can take time, but with each new country, you will gain that much more confidence and peace of mind knowing that travelling with allergies is not so scary. Things that were once unknown, will be known, and the “what if” scenarios that played out in your mind will hopefully turn into “this could happen, so I’ll prepare by doing this”.

Happy and safe travels wherever you go!

Kyle D.
AllergyTranslation.com

 

Food Allergies at a Resort

Food Allergies at a Resort

Caribbean Travel Tips

Food Allergies Resort

Recently I travelled to the culturally rich country of Cuba with my food allergies. I was amazed how friendly and overwhelmingly nice the people were. This gave me a lot of comfort right away knowing that they would hopefully be working with me when trying to find safe meals on my vacation.

My card was also handy on my day trip to Havana!
My card was also handy on my day trip to Havana!

 

After all of my travels over the years, it was my first time staying at an all-inclusive resort. I was very curious about what the food situation was like. The resort had several restaurants on site as well as a main buffet area.

I was disappointed that the buffet area did not have any of the foods labeled at all. I did find a couple stations that were very basic (e.g. meats and potatoes) that I felt comfortable with.

However, the restaurants were the true saving grace as it gave me a chance to use my Allergy Translation Card and get a customized meal. I took a customized card in Spanish that featured my list of multiple allergies.

The language barrier was significant. I’m glad I had my card.

Upon trying to explain my allergies in broken Spanish, I realized quickly that I should just stop talking, and start showing my card! Upon first glance, the wait staff knew right away what my allergies were, and how severe they were. They asked me if they could take the card to the kitchen staff which I happily obliged.

On a few occasions I was made a special meal that differed from the menu options. I love that they went out of there way to make a safe meal for me as it really implied that they took my food allergies seriously.

Once again, the Allergy Translation Card helped give some peace of mind on a relaxing and wonderful vacation.

Kyle D.
AllergyTranslation.com

Setting Yourself up For Success Traveling with Food Allergies

Setting Yourself up For Success Traveling with Food Allergies

Planning Travel Tips

Travelling with food allergies can be a daunting thought for many people, especially with small children. There are many questions about different cultures and taking allergies seriously, emergency preparedness for anaphylaxis, and airline allergy policies.

There is obviously a ton of research that must be done before going on a trip or vacation with food allergies, but there are a few easy things to keep in mind that will help reduce the risk.

Top 5 Tips for Reducing the Risk Traveling with Food Allergies

  1. Read reviews – whether for a hotel, restaurant or airline, look into reviews from others rather than trail blaze yourself. If you can’t find information on allergy-friendly restaurants, look for other qualities that might lend to mindfulness of food restrictions (e.g. vegan restaurant or one with gluten-free options).
  2. Not a time to experiment with food – although food is synonymous with many cultures, try to focus on the other cultural elements such as museums and sights. Stick to the foods that you know and trust and play it safe.
  3. Stick to touristy areas – you will have a much better chance of getting wait staff who are capable in English if you stick to the touristy hot spots. This might mean missing out on some true local flavors, but it will be worth it having more peace of mind at mealtime.
  4. Always have back-up food with you – granola bars, pre-made sandwiches, and other quick snacks will help give you a back-up option in the case you cannot find safe foods. It will also help in not making a foolish decision to risk it with an unknown food on an empty stomach.
  5. Don’t eat airline food – for some reason this is advice that is easier said than done. Pack an incredible meal for yourself that you know will be better than the airline food. Then you won’t feel that you’re missing out. It’s not worth the risk at 20,000 feet.

Happy and safe travels!

Kyle D.

AllergyTranslation.com

Youth and Student Travel

Youth and Student Travel

Backpacking Travel Companies

Here at AllergyTranslation.com, we love that our allergy translation cards end up in the hands of a variety of travellers; business, family vacationers, backpackers and student adventures. I was recently introduced to the Canadian student travel company “I Love Travel”. Fitting name for a company that was founded by 3 friends and has grown to hundreds of staff, thousands of travelers, and many unique travel experiences around the globe. Many students are joining incredibly planned tours that help young travellers meet new people and have fun experiences together.

I was interested to learn that they are finding that more and more of their student travellers have food allergies.

As you know, we strongly believe that people with food allergies can travel internationally, as long as some extra planning and precautions are in place. This planning process is an important thing to learn at a young age and carry throughout life.

I Love Travel offers many great trips in Canada and the United States, and to several foreign speaking countries. Moving forward, they will be letting their travellers with allergies know the importance of carrying an allergy translation card to communicate their dietary needs while on their trip. This goes on top of their process of collecting student health information before the trips and educating their participants on travelling with allergies.

We love their proactive approach that encourages students to take responsibility over their health condition, and to start thinking of these smart practices that will help keep them safe, and give some peace of mind on their trip. To learn more about I Love Travel and the great trips they offer visit: www.ilovetravel.com.

We love travel too, and love seeing more youth with food allergies exploring our beautiful world. Don’t limit your adventure!

Kyle
AllergyTranslation.com
@allergytravel