Travelling is great. Sometimes, traveling gluten-free can be a challenge and bog you down, even to the most seasoned gluten-free travellers. At home, things are easier--it is easier to be a gluten-free ninja and scout out what one can eat and what one cannot; and where to eat with gluten-free accommodations. But things get complicated when one goes on vacation because the gluten-free traveler has to eat in restaurants, hotels and other places where it is an open question whether their dishes may contain the dreaded gluten or not.
Although it is difficult to ensure that we can travel gluten-free without a hiccup, here are a few tips to help us make it as enjoyable as possible:
- It is essential to always be prepared and carry gluten-free snacks for the trip because who knows what we'll find.
- It is important to communicate upon arriving a bar or restaurant that you are gluten-free. Tell them what you can have and you can not. One can even call ahead of time and explain the situation so they can prepare a dish for you.
- Ask them about the ingredients of the dishes or what you are planning on ordering. Avoid things like stews, sauces, soups etc. Use your best judgement. If one suspects that a dish may contain gluten, it is best not to take the chance.
- Contact the celiac association nearest the destination to help on your journey. The celiac associations can provide a very useful dining card, as well as, local resources and recommendations.
- Dining cards do come handy when traveling, and communication barriers are hindering one from explaining what one can eat and what is not. Before you leave home, print cards out or download a gluten-free mobile app.
- If you are traveling by plane, request a gluten-free meal. Some airlines offer special dietary meals on international flights.
If you follow these tips, you will see that gluten-free travel is not all that challenging. Remember, that traveling with a gluten intolerance should not hinder you from enjoying your trip.