Travel, especially reaction-free travel to The Cloister at Sea Island, who doesn’t love it, right? A venture to an exciting, beautiful place. SIGN ME UP! But, since being diagnosed with severe chemical allergies, traveling can be a real bummer. I’m sure many can relate. Traveling with a gluten allergy, mold illness or chemical allergies can be a challenge to stay healthy and be able to enjoy your travel. Reaction-free travel to The Cloister at Sea Island was an absolute delight.
My husband and I visited The Cloister at Sea Island Resort in the late spring of last year. Gorgeous doesn’t even begin to explain how beautiful and romantic this place is. This was one of my first trips out since my huge reaction in 2018. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to spend our entire trip itchy, rashy, swollen and irritable. Getting away from work and family is an amazing experience, unless it isn’t if you know what I mean.
Reaction-Free Travel List
My list of to-dos before i go…
- I planned ahead by packing my safe towel and pillowcase to avoid any fragrance in the bedding
- I packed safe snacks in my travel bag
- I made a call to Sea Island a few weeks before my trip to alert them to my fragrance allergy for my room and bedding.
- I also wanted the Sea Island staff to know about the Balsam of Peru avoidance diet I was doing at that time. I made sure to tell them I wouldn’t suffer anaphylactic shock.
Plan ahead for success
Planning ahead is the best way I know to ensure reaction-free travel. I began by packing my safe towel and pillowcase. I also made a call to Sea Island a few weeks before my trip. There were several things I wanted to not only alert them to, like my fragrance allergy, but also to my Balsam of Peru avoidance diet I was doing at that time. I let them know that they didn’t need to worry I would suffer anaphylactic shock, but that it could make my trip pretty miserable if I had foods containing BofP. I gave them a list of the things I was avoiding – basically…
Wheat (Ferulic Acid)
Spices (no vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric, basil, ginger, paprika, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, citrus peel/zest, cayenne pepper, chili powder)
peppers (all kinds, including bell peppers)
berries (blueberries, rasperries)
These foods are known to be high in benzoates and balsam of Peru chemical constituents, both of which are ACD allergies for me. You can read more about a BofP avoidance diet here on my blog.
Check-in to The Cloister
Upon check-in at The Cloister, I was introduced to the Executive Chef on staff. He was a delight and said he had put an Allergy Ticket in every restaurant on the resort for me and I need not worry about any trouble! He said to mention my name and they would whip something up special just for me.
Receiving this type of treatment was such a suprise for me as I never expected to be treated like this, however for the entire stay he was right! At each restaurant I went to, I only had to mention my name and they knew immediately what to do. I highly encourage you to mention any food sensitivity to their staff and I am quite certain your needs will be met. Since being diagnosed with Balsam of Peru, I have never eaten so well.
The food was absolutely delicious. I could order directly off the menu at any restaurant as well and if it contained items I couldn’t have, they would fill the dish with safe-for-me foods. It was an absolute delight! A far stretch from a normal food sensitivity experience where you have to piece meal everything and your plate always looks sparse. The views at the restaurants weren’t bad either!! This basic step went a long way in helping me have a Reaction-free travel experience.
Our room was incredible
Our room (and it’s view of the beautiful river) were breathtaking and a true retreat. Decorated to mirror the original Cloister, our room was fresh and inviting. I had absolutely no trouble being comfortable in there and experienced no reactions to fragrance or chemicals. Our room was more of an apartment-sized suite as it was very large and spacious, complete with an entry-way and large, suite-style bathroom.
Our bathroom had two separate living spaces so my husband and I could really stretch out. One in the back with a shower, full-size soaking tub, vanity and a small room to use the bathroom privately. The main area of the bathroom had two separate closets and a large seated vanity area. I was in heaven! We decided we’d never leave! I have had several trips recently that didn’t allow me to have reaction-free travel experience so this was a real treat.
The Cloister is quite impressive
The Cloister originally opened in 1928 and is located off the southern coast of Georgia. It is a true low-country destination. The resort has been completely rebuilt in recent years and in 2016 they built a $40 million expansion that included our room, the new Garden Wing. They are exquisite and I highly recommend a visit.
The Courtyard of The Cloister, the inside of this circular room is a quiet, light-filled library On our walk between The Cloister and the riverbank
The Cloister sits directly on the river and has the most beautiful paved paths perfect for a bike ride (the resort has bikes for rental use) or a walk. The views are spectacular.
The lobby at The Cloister is breathtaking The pool available to us at The Cloister was a quiet and relaxing retreat I enjoyed the tranquilness of the pool immensely
The Sea Island Beach Club sits on the same property as The Cloister and they share many amenities such as the Spa (unfortunately I cannot recommend a spa visit. I had a massage scheduled and had to cancel it when I arrived at the spa. There were so many reed diffusers and oil diffusers going, I couldn’t breathe. I immediately left and called to cancel with my apologies. It is a beautiful spa, but for a fragrance allergy it was a no-go). These types of facilities make reaction-free travel very difficult so I try to avoid them if I can.
The Beach Club is just as gorgeous as The Cloister and sits on the beach. It is a quick 3-minute beautiful walk from The Cloister (they also provide complimentary transportation if a walk is hard for you). The Beach Club is where I would take my entire family on our next visit as it is very family friendly complete with a waterslide, arcade and pizza snack bar among the many pools. We went to The Beach Club everyday to enjoy the ocean.
The restaurants at The Beach Club have spectacular views
Our visit was absolutely wonderful and we are already planning a trip back to take our children. We just loved it. We often visit Hilton Head Island and found this area of the country to be almost identical. We’ll be back Sea Island to have another reaction-free travel experience!