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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:31 pm
Posts: 97
Location: Montreal
Where (and when) would you take the kids for a European vacation, knowing that:

1. the boy has peanuts, nuts, chickpeas (and told to avoid legumes) allergies

2. the girl has peanuts, nuts, mustard and egg allergies. She also has severe asthma with a collapsed lung occurring twice already. She is also very very picky, and will eat pasta everyday without complaining (no sauce too!)

3. mom is allergic to anchovies

4. dad is quite allergic to pollens (much more than everyone else in the family)

We're looking for suggestions of places to go.

11yo boy - peanuts nuts chickpeas
8yo daughter - peanuts, nuts, mustard, eggs, sunflowers (new! ), oral allergy syndrome
husband - pollen of all kinds
me - seafood,, oral allergy syndrome

 Post subject: euro vacation
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:00 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:37 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Ottawa
Where to go depends on a number of factors. My first question is what languages do you speak? We feel much more comfortable going to places where we (or someone we are travelling with) speaks the language when it comes to allergies. It is hard enough to communicate the seriousness of anaphylaxis and cross-contamination without a language barrier.

If you only speak English, then you might want to limit your first trip to England or Ireland. Although you will find English widespread in the major tourist areas of the Netherlands and Denmark as well. If you speak French, then that opens up France and Belgium to consider. Similarily for Italy and Spain.

Another factor in where is what kind of vacation you want to have. Do you want a relaxing countryside vacation, a beach vacation or a city vacation where you see museaums, art galleries, etc? The best beaches are probably in Spain, but France and Portugal and Italy have some nice beaches as well. France and England have lovely villas/cottages in relaxing countryside and the major cities all have their pluses and minuses.

Regardless of where you go, we always stay somewhere that has a kitchen so we can cook and prepare most of our meals ourselves and not have to eat out (which is very stressful with allergies). France & Spain has great villas with pools, England and Ireland have wonderful rentals of historic buildings through the landmark trust and most major cities have appartments you can rent with kitchens. The key to most of these is you will need a 1 week rental minimum, at least in the summer high season. I would recommend a 2 centre holiday, 1 week in a major city (london or paris) in a rented apartment without a car and take the local transit. Plus 1 week in the countryside is a villa or cottage (preferably with a pool in the summer) plus a car rental so you can do day trips. You will save alot of money renting a place for a week over hotel rooms and eating out.

I find the combination of city and countryside allows you to see 2 very different sides of a place. I could not believe the difference between Paris and the Loire valley the first time I was there for example. It also allows you to see the sights, but also to relax a bit.

As far as when, the best times to go for price and less crowds is spring and fall (may-june or sept-oct), but if you don't want to take your kid out of school then summer is the time or else perhaps march break (which is a good time to go to europe as long as you don't want a beach holiday).

Check out my article in the current allergic living - "Have Kitchen, Will Travel" for more tips on travelling with allergies.


9 yr old daughter - no allergies
7 yr old daughter - allergic to peanuts, nuts, sesame, kiwi, soy

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