Safe Adventures: Fun in the Summer Sun


by Caroline Moassessi, FAACT Vice President of Community Relations

Create life-long summertime memories with high-octane tips for day trips and socializing! Life with food allergies is tough, but thankfully, the world gets better when our food allergy community shares our winning tips for good summer times.

Start with the basics. Consider creating an adventure bag for each family member packed with necessities and a few fun items, such as games for the car or special treats. Pack epinephrine—including extras in case a bag gets left on a beach by accident—plus an Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan, allergen-safe foods, beverages, wipes, allergen-safe sunscreens, and insect repellents.

Next, spread your travel and social wings and create a system based on the tips below for day trips, picnics, beach time, and visits to family and friends. Remember the power of creating family adventure checklists to stay organized and stress-free!

Let's explore a few of FAACT's favorite summer adventure tips for eating, transportation, and being ready for emergencies.

Eating on the Road and Summer Socials

  • Create a list of allergy friendly chain restaurants and grocery stores for quick on-the-road stops.
  • Research (call ahead) potential safe eateries or public parks to enjoy meals.
  • Pack easy-to-carry and eat foods, such as sandwiches or refreshments that can be enjoyed cold or warm (chicken, pasta salads, etc.). Focus on individually wrapped, shelf-stable items or meals that only require hot water or a microwave.
  • Design a list of fast and easy go-to meal ideas for those moments you are tired from too much fun in the sun! For example, microwaved baked potatoes with grocery store-bought toppings or pre-made salads with canned tuna or lunch meats.
  • Designate exciting adventure food or treats, like unique sandwiches or chips, only to be enjoyed on a day trip, picnic, or park visit.
  • Think about potential allergens and how you can avoid them. For example, when visiting the beach, will there be a boardwalk with seafood vendors cooking outdoors?
  • Invest in cooler bags and ice packs to keep food and medications cool when temperatures rise.
  • Tamp down stress about cross-contact when socializing and consider bringing pre-made meals. Pack containers, foil, etc., to reheat foods while avoiding cross-contact with grills, ovens, etc.
  • To help serve your family’s safe foods, bring small cutting boards, paring knives, travel hot water kettles, or small kitchen items to a picnic or BBQ.
  • Share FAACT's free handout, "10 FAACTs about Food Allergies," with friends and family to inform them about your family's allergies before you arrive.
  • Using your kindest and most authentic voice, ask hosts to hold off serving allergens that are often harder to manage—such as finger foods that spread quickly, like cheese puffs—to help reduce the risk of allergic reactions.
  • Bring extra containers of wipes to share at social gatherings.
  • Review family rules and eating expectations before heading into any event or adventure. 


  • Using labels or markers, write each family member's name on drinking cups and lunch bags. Color-coding food containers can also prevent allergen mix-ups.
  • When using public transportation, be ready to wipe and clean surfaces. Confirm that you can bring your own food onto buses or trains.
  • Pack extra wipes for cleaning hands.
  • Load up on allergen-safe soap for rest-stop bathroom visits.
  • Bring disposable placemats or tablecloths for rest-stop dining.
  • Print out maps and other vital information in case stable WiFi is unavailable. 


  • Be always prepared! Review FAACT's Emergency Preparedness for Travel Checklist.
  • Talk with family members about what to do if an emergency or allergic reaction happens.
  • Review where epinephrine and medications are kept during your outings.
  • Remind everyone that they must always carry two doses of epinephrine.
  • Pack extra epinephrine if possible.
  • Consider buying cooling medical bags to store epinephrine.
  • Keep phones charged and carry extra battery backups and chargers (for car use, too).
  • Print your Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Plan and contact list of people, hospitals, or doctors in the area. Keep them accessible in case you need others to help during an emergency.
  • Some smartwatches offer satellite features for emergencies when WiFi is not available.
  • If you are hiking or traveling to a remote area, consider buying or renting a device with satellite capabilities.

FAACT wishes you a summer packed with food allergy confidence as you experience new adventures, create sweet memories, and keep yourself or your loved ones safe and healthy.