Thursday, 16 January 2014


 General Information
Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque
The Sultanate of Brunei is one of those countries that have only recently been discovered by tourists as an eco-tourism destination. Its pristine rainforest, friendly people and high standard of living are a magnet to anyone looking for an escape from the daily rat race while still enjoying the comforts of home. This is the website of the Brunei Tourist Board.

Travelling by boat, an excellent option
Most people live in its pleasant green capital Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB in short) but Brunei’s main attraction is Ulu Temburong National park. The water taxis & longboats that ply through mangrove-fringed waterways transport you to another world. A treasure chest that is dominated by untouched nature. This is where you’ll find ants as large as a child’s finger, butterflies that could be mistaken for small birds and a canopy that is so dense, that you cannot see the ground when walking on the overhead walkway. For more information on Brunei click on this link to see what Wikipedia has to say about the Sultanate.

The official language in Brunei is Malay but English is also widely spoken.

Tip: If you’re worried about going far into the jungle but still want a jungle experience, get a boat excursion from BSB to the surrounding mangroves & see an amazing sunset, fireflies and baby crocodiles.

Monday, 10 September 2012


 General Information

Pigeon Rock Beirut
This spring we decided to fly to Lebanon for a week in search of sun, snow and ancient cities. Lebanon is one of the most western countries in the Middle East. Beirut, once called Paris of the Middle East, is a bustling city full of energy. It has a bit of everything: A wonderful cornice, historic places of interest, museums and great shopping. One could spend weeks in this city of contrasts and still not have seen it all.

Harbor in Jbeil
We wandered through the fascinating towns of Batrun & Jbeil (Byblos) with their Phoenician, Roman and Crusader ruins that seem to instantly teleport you back to ancient times.

Walking in the Qadisha Valley
The mountains are a nature-lovers' (and winter sport) paradise with their cedar trees and lush green valleys. One of the highlights for our kids was playing in the snow in the Cedar Mountains. My favorite was walking in the Qadisha valley, which is on the Unesco World Heritage List.  It’s amazing to see the century-old monasteries clinging to the green valley walls and the waterfalls that cascade down from high in the mountains like long white ribbons.  

For more information on exploring Lebanon take a look at the Tourism Lebanon website.

French is the second language in Lebanon but English is also widely spoken.

Tip: If you’re lucky you can Ski and Swim on the same day in Lebanon!

Sunday, 22 May 2011


 General Information

The Waterfall in the Dubai Mall

Dubai is one of the 7 emirates that make up the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and is possibly one of the most modern cities in the world. Its impressive skyline can be seen from far away and it currently boasts the tallest man-made structure in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Dubai is truly a global city with the larger part of its population being expatriates.
There are many websites on what to do in Dubai. Personally I always check out Tripadvisor because all the attractions are added and rated by visitors themselves. The highlight of this particular visit to Dubai was the mesmerizing Dubai Fountain at the Dubai Mall.


Because of it’s international status as one of the new top tourist locations and because of the large expatriate community English is widely spoken.

Tip: If you have time, go to Wild Wadi Waterpark. However, make sure to bring a doctor’s letter if you need to bring your own food, as they have a strict food policy.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Netherlands

General Information

Thinking of Holland the first things that might come to mind are Tulips, Windmills & Football. However, The Netherlands (NL) is a country with many more “faces”. It has a rich history and you can find beautifully restored old trading houses alongside hyper modern architecture. The metropolitan areas are lively and are packed with things to do. The countryside offers excellent out-door possibilities and you will notice that just about everyone in The Netherlands owns at least 1 bike!
The most well known city is flamboyant Amsterdam. In this posting of Travelallergy I will concentrate on two less known places that are quite different but equally entertaining namely, The Hague (Den Haag) and Zeeland Flanders (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen). For more information on The Netherlands check out the website of the Tourism board. 

About 10% of the Dutch adult population suffers from some kind of allergy and nearly 25% of the families in The Netherlands need to take food-related allergies of at least one of the family members into account while cooking. In comparison to other countries the awareness of and knowledge about food allergies is high. This makes The Netherlands one of the easiest places in the world to go on holiday for someone with a food-allergy. 

Most of the Dutch know at least 1 foreign language and English is widely spoken. You probably won’t need it but here is the English-Dutch allergy dictionary. 

Tip:  If you’re planning a trip to The Netherlands and you have a pollen allergy or asthma you might want to consult the Dutch Pollen Calendar to determine the best time of year for you to go.

Sunday, 27 March 2011


General Information

Oman is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the Middle East. Vast stretches of desert give way to green wadis that are full of life. The fjords of The Musadam Peninsula in the north remind you of Norway while the sub-tropical Dhofar region has coconut plantations & unspoiled beaches. The white city of Muscat is relatively small and has kept it’s Middle Eastern charm. For tourist information on Oman you can check out the website of the Ministry of Tourism.

We live in Salalah in southern Oman. This region is renowned for it’s subtropical microclimate. When the rest of the Arabian Peninsula is baking in the sweltering heat during the summer months, the Dhofar region gets the tail of the Indian monsoon. This brings clouds and (light) rain between June & September. For detailed information on things to do in Salalah you can check out the Secret Salalah Website.

English is widely spoken in Oman but food allergies are very uncommon so even trying to explain what an allergy is can be a challenge. This is the link to the allergy dictionary English- Arabic.

Tip: Make sure you bring spare Epipens because you cannot buy them in Oman. Ventolin and over the counter antihistamine such as Claritin & Zyrtec are widely available.

Monday, 14 March 2011


General Information
Royal Palace Bangkok
Thailand is an exciting country where western ideas are embraced and absorbed into a rich oriental culture. Bangkok is a vibrant city that never sleeps. This is in high contrast to other parts of the country that are laid back and where time even seems to have come to a halt. On this trip we spent time in Bangkok and on Phuket Island.

For more information on Thailand check out the website of the Tourism board

Although Thailand is “westernized” the amount of English that is spoken is sometimes not enough for you to be able to communicate your needs & wishes in restaurants and to street vendors. So if you decide to go on holiday here it might be a good idea to make or to purchase a travel translation card that includes a picture of the allergen(s) that you react to. This is the link for the allergy dictionary English - Thai.

Tip: Our kids don't wear medical bracelets. When visiting Bangkok’s busy areas such as shopping malls & markets we wrote our phone number & an allergy warning on their arm just in case they got lost.

Monday, 7 March 2011


General Information

There are many interesting places that you can visit in Jordan. These are the ones we visited: Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum & Aqaba.

Jordan is one of the most developed countries in the Middle East and many people speak English making it easy to convey your needs and wishes. However, we found that “allergies” are a relatively unknown phenomenon in Jordan. Making it difficult to explain why our children couldn’t eat many things. The Jordanian people are very friendly & hospitable and they love kids. This can be a challenge, as they will be offering your child sweets or other food.

Tip: We brought a bag of small treats from our country and instead of our children taking a sweet from someone else they gave THEM a sweet.

Check the Jordan Tourism Board website for information on things to do in Jordan.