Best Family Vacation

Curacao Family Vacation

Best Family Vacation

We are excited about our next adventure, a Curacao Family Vacation over the Thanksgiving Holiday. This is our first trip to Curacao, and when we tell our family and friends about our upcoming vacation, the most common response is, “Where is Curacao?”

WHERE IS CURACAO?

 

Curacao Liqeuer

What we will be drinking

When people hear “Curacao” they typically think of the famous vibrant blue liqueur. However, Curacao is a small island (near Aruba) in the Map of CuracaoSouthern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. It is a Dutch Constituent Country of the Netherlands. Other than their famous liqueur, Curacao is known for scuba diving and snorkeling, nightlife, beautiful beaches, and the old world charm of the capital city Willemstad, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

 

LIMESTONE HOLIDAY RESORT

 

Best Diving Hotel Curacao

Limestone Holiday Beachfront Apartments

Our family is super excited to partner with (and promote) The Limestone Holiday Resort, a small, cozy, family run beach resort located in Spanish Water Bay. They offer: 9 comfortable Limestone Holiday Family Resort Curacaowaterfront apartments with 1 or 2 bedrooms + 2 studios.  One for every budget, all with a full kitchen, air-conditioning, direct TV, free WiFi, a kid friendly pool with Jacuzzi + a private beach.

 

While we are receiving partial accommodations in exchange for promotion, we found the rates at Limestone Holiday to be very reasonable ranging from $70 – $140 USD. As an active Diving & Snorkeling family, we are hoping Limestone Holiday will be the perfect “home base” while we explore the Island.  As many of you know, food allergies are also a concern for our son, so we have greater peace of mind when staying at a location with a full kitchen allowing us to cook some of our own meals.

We can’t wait to meet the owners, Roel & Sylvia in person. They have been helpful providing information about their rentals and things to do around Curacao during the planning stages of this trip. They have also informed us that there are a few rooms left at Limestone over the Christmas & New Year Holiday. It’s not too late to plan your last minute Christmas Vacation to Curacao!  

 

CURACAO BUCKET LIST

 

Our top 5 “Bucket List” activities during our week in Curacao:

  • Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
  • Visiting the Beaches
  • Shopping in Willemstad
  • Experiencing the Animal Encounters at the Sea Aquarium (Thank you Ocean Encounters!)
  • Hiking in Christoffel National Park

 We hope to accomplish our bucket list (and then some) during our holiday. Who knows what adventures will find us during the week?  Make sure to follow our Curacao Travelog here on our blog. We’ll be posting reviews and tips to help you enjoy a great family vacation in Curacao. Follow and “like” us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & YouTube for pictures and videos of our Curacao Adventure.

Plan your Curacao Family Vacation:

 

Contact Limestone Holiday to book your stay.

 


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Disclaimer: Throughout our week in Curacao, we will be enjoying both sponsored and non-sponsored activities for the purpose of review and blog posts. Of course we will disclose any free products or services we’ve receive in exchange for promotional posts. All opinions contained within the posts will be our own.

*This post contains affiliate links.

Allergy Button

Hands Free Travel Options for EpiPens

 

For someone who has life-threatening allergies, carrying an EpiPen at all times is a necessity. There are instances when taking a bag with you may not be convenient.   Theme parks, for example, are better enjoyed “hands free” without a purse, back pack, or hand bag.  For safety reasons most rides will not allow you to carry a bag on the ride. Bags must be checked or placed in a locker defeating the purpose of having an EpiPen on you at all times. When our family visited Universal Studios we planned well in advance on how we would carry our son’s EpiPen. Luckily we found several great options for traveling with an EpiPen:

WaistPal Epipen Carrier – This is an excellent EpiPen carrier, especially for kids and teens. It is made of soft neoprene material and fits around the waste. Bonus – it carries TWO EpiPens on the front and back of the belt.

 

Insulated Red Ana Tote Twin – This insulated tote is water resistant and carries two EpiPens. It also features a clip allowing you to attach the tote to your clothing.

 

Leg Buddy Epipen leg Pouch – Made of soft neoprene material that contours to your body for all day comfort. This pouch is easily concealed under long pants. Holds two EpiPens.

 

Cargo Shorts – We found several brands of men’s cargo shorts with side pockets big enough to fit an EpiPen in each pocket. Make sure the pockets zip, button, or Velcro closed so the EpiPen does not easily fall out when riding thrill rides. The side pockets in most Women’s Cargo shorts are not large enough to carry an EpiPen. However, depending on the brand of epi-pen you use, you may be able to find pockets large enough to carry your device. *EpiPens do not fare well in excessive heat. It is advised to use an insulated container during summer months.

 

Our son also wears a bracelet and a button alerting people of his allergies on when we visit museums, theme parks, school field trips and most any place he might accidentally encounter food products that contain his specific allergens.

 

 

 

Traveling with allergies can be safe and easy. Make sure to plan ahead, contact your destination for suitable food options and most importantly, relax, have a good time and always carry your EpiPen!

 

EpiPen at Theme Parks

Here we are – Bag Free with EpiPen at Universal Studios!

 

Related Stories: Traveling With Food Allergies

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Tomato Sign St. Croix

St. Croix – Food Allergy (and Vegan) Friendly

 

One of our main concerns when we travel is our youngest son’s severe food allergies. He is allergic to eggs, almost all meat products, fish, and tree nuts. He must follow a mostly vegan lifestyle with the exception of dairy (we call it “vegan with cheese.”) While we don’t want to limit his experiences in life due to his allergies, we must take precautions. We plan ahead to ensure we will be able to find food he can eat while on vacation.

Prior to our trip to St. Croix, we scoured the internet and learned there are several local farms to purchase fresh and organic fruits and vegetables. I contacted the ARTFarm with our allergy concerns and they sent us detailed information regarding the Island and food allergy considerations.

  • Fresh local Produce is available at the ARTfarm on the South East end of the Island on Mondays & Wednesdays from 3-6 pm and Saturdays 10am – 12 noon. La Reine Farmers Market (North Shore) is open every Saturday morning at 6am and features 15-20 local vendors. Sejah Farm in the Center of the Island offers produce from local Island growers.
Food Allergy Travel

“Tomatoes” at the ARTFarm St. Croix

Vegan Friendly Travel

ARTFarm Sign

  • Almost every grocery store offers allergy friendly, nut free, and gluten free products and mixes. We found some vegan and allergy free/gluten free items at Seaside Market near Christiansted. They also carried most of the popular brands of breads and packaged foods that we have here in the states.
  • Many people on the Island follow a Rastafarian religious diet which is a Vegan diet. Thus there are several Vegan restaurants and almost every restaurant offers Vegan or meat free options.
  • There is a health food store called Health Conscious that sells vegetarian ingredients, prepared vegetarian foods, and has a cooler full of vegan/gluten-free/vegetarian prepared/convenience food options.
    *The religion follows the Seventh Day Adventist calendar so many of the stores and restaurants may not be open on Saturdays. Call ahead for specific hours.

Outside of Christiansted, we found a Vegan food truck called “Anna’s Living Food”  that offers daily vegan specials. We had vegan Cuban black beans with organic brown rice and our son tried his first grilled peanut butter, raisin, banana, & honey sandwich. (They had several peanut free options for those allergic to peanuts). Anna’s Living Food truck also features locally grown organic vegetables in all of their recipes.  Everything we tasted was excellent.

Vegetarian food vacation

Anna’s Food Truck Facebook Photo

When enjoying Island vacations, we like to eat local fish and light fare. Since our son is unable to enjoy fish or chicken we bring 2-3 bags of Gardein Vegan products. Our son especially enjoys the seven grain crispy Strips, fishless filets, and beefless sliders. We pack our frozen items inside of a small soft-sided cooler bag with several ice packs and place it in our checked luggage. (When traveling internationally be sure to check local customs laws to see if they will allow you to bring in these frozen food items.)

Overall we were very impressed with the food allergy friendliness of St. Croix USVI. This is also an excellent destination for those following a strict vegan lifestyle. For more information on Visiting St. Croix see our St. Croix Vacation Blog Post. You can also check out our article on Traveling abroad with Food allergies.

Happy Travels!

Hands Free Epi Pen Carrier:

 

Helpful Links:
Sejah Farm    ARTFarm    Anna’s Living Food Truck
GoToStCroix-Farm stands

*This article contains Amazon Affiliate links.

Traveling abroad with children and food allergies

Our son has a SEVERE egg allergy.  That includes anything with eggs or egg products, cookies, pastries, most breaded foods, some breads, and even some candy.   We have to read labels very carefully. We often find foods he is allergic too hidden in unsuspecting items.  Once,  we found a hard candy lollypop containing egg whites at a theme park.

With a few precautions and a little planning a person with food allergies can travel safely to almost anywhere home or abroad.  A few tips and tricks from our travels:

1.  Choose a destination that is right for your family.  All inclusive resorts are a lot of fun, however you will need to call ahead to make sure they can accommodate your child’s food allergy during every meal.  Consider a renting a condo and making your own meals.  This way you KNOW the your child’s food will be safe.

2.  Research the area and know the closest hospitals and clinics in case of a reaction.  Having appropriate medical care available and knowing how to dial the local emergency number is essential.

3.  Be careful when eating out.  Talk to the chef prior to ordering.  Make sure they know the ingredients your child needs to avoid.  Most restaurants will be more than happy to accommodate your requests.  Know how to state your child’s allergy in the country’s local language if you are traveling abroad.   We have made index cards in various languages detailing the food items we need to avoid.  There are also several food allergy translation apps available for your smart phone.

4.  Pack extra snacks and medical items.  Find easy to pack snacks that are safe for your child.  Make sure to have any emergency medicine such as an epipen on hand.

5.  When attending a hotel/resort kids camp send your own allergy-free snacks.   We pack enough dry snacks in our luggage to offer something each day if we cannot purchase needed items locally.  There is generally a good selection of fruit he can eat for snacks, but it is nice to have our own version of a dessert when the other kids are enjoying an afternoon cookie. Tip: Carry an extra epipen prescription and allergy action plan from your doctor in case you need a refill or have issues in customs with any medicine or special food items in your luggage.  Often times pharmacies in foreign countries will honor your prescription.

One of the biggest problems we have is people randomly offering our child food that would cause him an allergic reaction.  They are trying to be “nice” but too often the cookie is in hand by the time we intercept.  He has started wearing this button during times when we might be around other families or food events (resort events) where people may try to be “nice” by offering him food.

Some packing essentials:

*A copy of your child’s prescriptions from the doctor along with his/her allergy or asthma action plan.
*2-3 Epipens.  One in your carry on bag and one in your checked luggage.
*Medical Alert Bracelet.
*2 Inhalers, children’s Benadryl and any other medicine on your action plan.
*Nebulizer and albuterol in case of respiratory reaction (if indicated by your Doctor).

Our toddler doesn’t completely understand his allergy but he remembers one of his bad reactions.  We constantly remind him that eggs “make him sick.”   He is beginning to recognize items, such as cookies, that he should avoid.

Some easy-travel snack ideas (depending on your particular allergy):

*Pre-packaged rice crispy treats – they are small enough to stuffed into various pockets of your luggage.  We can also take them to restaurants for his “dessert”

*Raisins

*Divvies allergy free pre-packaged cookies – This is a wonderful bakery that ships their nut, egg, and dairy free items directly to your door.

*Enjoy Life Brand Allergy Friendly Foods – Free of most of the common food allergens. Found at most grocery stores.

*Goldfish & Cheerios

*Fruit Snacks

*Graham Crackers

*Pretzel Sticks

Remember to take snacks to restaurants so you will have “emergency” options in case you are uncomfortable with the menu.

Finally, consider purchasing medical trip insurance that covers any emergencies or even transport home.  We purchased insurance for our entire family for around $36 during our last overseas vacation.  Thankfully we didn’t use it but the cost was worth knowing we would have transport back to the states in case of emergency.

We have taken several vacations since learning of our son’s egg allergy.  We have not experienced any problems and have had an absolute blast!  Don’t let a food allergy spoil vacation memories for your family.  Be careful, plan accordingly, and if you aren’t sure – don’t eat it!

Be sure to post your tips, comments, questions below.  Consider “liking” us on facebook for more fun family vacation information!