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We spent 2 weeks traveling around Spain without any trouble. We didn't really need the translation cards as everyone knew what we were saying when we said, "Celiaca". The servers that didn't speak much English would just point to the things on the menus that we could have. Most servers spoke English, though. We even found a couple bakeries that had meringues that were gluten-free. Don't be shy about asking.
We travel a lot with our kids and Go Picnics are our best resource. We use them on planes and in our day packs. I used to get them online and pay shipping but now Target sells them and that is awesome! We are also dairy free and additive free so there are only three varieties for us but that is plenty.
In airports, we often get oatmeal at Starbuck's.
I think you picked a good place to visit! I was in San Diego a couple years ago and had no trouble with gluten free as well as dairy free. They are very health oriented in San Diego. I don't recall the places I went but I do know that I used this great website to research ahead of time.
We just returned from a cruise on Norwegian and it went great. We are all gluten-free and my kids are also soy free, dairy free, and artificial additive free and they handled it beautifully. We didn't do the buffet except a couple times when the kids were hungry between meals and they had a hamburger no bun and potato chips. That went fine. Otherwise, we ate in the main dining room and ordered our meals the night before. We always had room service for breakfast and we just wrote in what we wanted and they brought it (mostly gluten-free waffles!)
While I was researching, it seemed that all of the cruise lines can do gluten-free now. If it were me, I would go with the balcony. We spent so much time out there just sitting, napping, reading, or eating breakfast. It added a lot to our experience, especially since the cabins can be so small.
We just returned from a Norwegian cruise and even though they said not to bring food off the ship, we did bring packaged bars in our backpacks and they didn't say anything about it.
I researched ahead of time to see what restaurants we could eat at that were in the port cities. That will be harder with a shore excursion that includes a meal. The good news is that you will be so well fed on the boat that a plain salad one day on an excursion may seem like a welcome break!
We just flew to NYC last week and I was a bit worried because I was traveling with homemade capsules of baking powder in my carry on as well as a bunch of other meds. Nobody said a word and all went fine.
New Orleans was one of our harder places to travel but we managed. The Lucky Dog hot dog stands are all over the French Quarter and the hot dogs and chili are gluten free and dairy free. The were very helpful with us in changing gloves and putting into a container that we could eat it without the bun. Super yummy!!
We had a great meal at Napoleon's in the French Quarter. The Red Beans and Rice meal came with sausage and salad and was delicious. I wish I were eating that right now!
Bubba Gumps is also in the French Quarter so that is an option. They take gluten free very seriously there and our waiter was so helpful and knowledgeable.
We had several meals in the Marriott where we stayed and twice we went next door for Arby's roast beef and horsey sauce.
Have a great trip! New Orleans is my favorite city in the world.
We always bring packets of Gluten Freeda oatmeal. You can use coffee pot water or on the plane the flight attendent can bring you hot water.
We also bring concentrated chicken broth packets (Trader Joe's) and Minute Rice. Get some hot water and add both and you have a quick soup. On the plane we just make small amounts in the styrofoam cup but in the hotel room, you could even add a foil pouch of chicken. Use the coffee pot as the bowl.
We have been to the Dells twice since gluten-free and it's not the easiest place but you can get through a few days.
The best option is the Cheese Factory. It's a small healthy restaurant that knows gluten-free well. I believe the menu is marked.
We travel a lot and found New Orleans to be our most challenging city yet. We found a few good places in the French Quarter...we didn't venture out beyond that.
Napoleon's- Red beans and rice with sausage.
Bubba Gump's- several options, they were very aware.
Marriott on Canal Street- we stayed here and let them know ahead of time about our dietary issues. They went out of their way to make things for us including pasta and pancakes. If you don't let them know ahead of time, you can at least be assured that they know what they are doing.
Lucky Dog Stand- we had several chili dogs with no bun. I talked to the company before our trip and double checked the ingredients.
Arby's- when we were tired and hungry we got a few roast beefs with no bun. It works in a pinch.
We spent 3 days in Lisbon with our 2 gluten-free children and no trouble at all. They are very knowledgeable about gluten so you just have to say "gluten free?" and they will help you with the menu. We had this experience at every sidewalk cafe we sat down at. We didn't speak any Portugese so it was all done by pointing and the great English that most of the servers spoke.
All of the grocery stores we found in Portugal and Spain had gluten-free areas.
I don't think you could find anywhere better to go right now than Disney. They take gluten free very seriously and you will have more food than you know what to do with!
It may be just the boost you need to know that this will all be okay.
Tyson Chicken Packets
Minute Rice (use hot water from the coffee maker)
Chicken broth packets (available at Trader Joe's)
St. Dalfour Read-to-go Salmon
Peanut butter packets
gluten-free breadsticks or crackers to supplement a restaurant meal
Atlanta is a great place to travel gluten-free! My favorite place to go is the fast food restaurant Chik fil A. You can print out the gluten-free options before you go. There is one in the airport and also in the CNN building near Olympic Park.
Delight Magazine had an article about gluten-free Atlanta last summer. Here is a list of the restaurants it gave that have gluten free options.
Lavendar Asian Bistro
Leon's Full Service
The Iberian Pig
5 Season's Brewing
Shane's Rib Shack
Fogo de Chao
South City Kitchen
What a shame that you have had such bad luck with Delta. We flew from Atl to Buenos Aires overnight a few weeks ago and had an issue- our flight was cancelled and our gluten free info was not transferred to our new flight. Of course we had emergency food on hand since it was a 10 hour flight but it's not the same as a hot meal. The flight attendant felt awful and brought my daughters all of the strawberries they could eat. After reading your post, maybe it worked out for us after all- a meal with bread would have been even more frustrating than no meal at all.
From Buenos Aires to Atl we had great food and no problems.