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    Gluten-Free Travel Tips

    Destiny Stone

    This is the time of year when familiestake vacations and travel the world. Traveling can often be stressfuleven under normal circumstances; packing problems, flight delays,getting lost, are all possible when trying to get from point A topoint B. So imagine how stressful it can be for a celiac orgluten-sensitive person to get ready for a big trip, especially to alocation that doesn't cater to the gluten-free lifestyle.The following tips are geared towardhelping even the most sensitive celiac to have a fun filled andgluten-free vacation while minimizing the stress factor as much aspossible. This article covers the following: preparing for yourgluten-free travel adventure, gluten-free travel by plane,automobile, train or ship, gluten-free accommodations, gluten-freemeals and snacks, what to do if you accidentally ingest gluten.

    Before beginning your vacation, thereare many important things you will want to consider, like method oftravel, your destination, and gluten-free options in the city ortown in which you will be staying. To help find gluten-freeaccommodations and eatery's in your location, perform a “Google”search for 'gluten-free restaurants and accommodations' in the areayou will be traveling to.

    Gluten-Free Transportation

    Traveling by car is the best way totravel, if you have a choice. That way you can stop at stores asneeded and load up on your gluten-free snacks. Trains are also good,because they allow and encourage you to bring your own food on the train. Planesand ships are where it starts to get a little trick, especially if you have a long trip ahead of you.

    Airlines are fairly easy to manage,because you can bring your own food aboard the flight. However,there is a limit to what and how much you are allowed to bringaboard, which can be a problem on a long flight. While many airlinesoffer vegetarian or Kosher options for those with special dietaryneeds, most airlines do not have gluten-free menu options for thoseof us with gluten-intolerance. However, Continental Airlinescurrently offers gluten-free food options. Although, if you areextremely sensitive to cross-contamination, it is still safer tobring your own food.

    However, if you are planning to travela cruise-line, most cruise-lines do not allow you to bring your ownfood aboard. So in this situation it is important to find acruise-line that will accommodate your special needs. RoyalCaribbean Cruise-lines, and Orbridge ships are two cruise-lines thatoffer gluten-free menu options, as well as catering to other dietaryneeds.

    Gluten-free accommodations

    Most motels or hotels offer acontinental breakfast and that's about it. Short of eating coffee andorange juice for breakfast,there usually isn't much in the way ofmeal options for a celiac. However, many small bed and breakfast'swill accommodate you special dietary needs if you talk to them andset it up in advanced, and some even offer gluten-free options. To find a gluten-free Inn, perform a “Google” search for'gluten-free accommodations' in the area you will be traveling to.

    Staying with family or friends can bestressful if they aren't sensitive to your dietary needs. It can alsobe difficult to explain to your friends and loved ones, what it meansfor you to be gluten-free, and who really wants to spend their entirevacation educating the everyone you meet on what it means to beceliac or gluten-sensitive? That could literally take the entirevacation. If cross-contamination is an issue for you and you areconcerned about eating in a gluten based house, the following linkwill help you determine what you need to be free from gluten whileyou are staying with others. It might be a good idea to print theinformation and share it with your host, maybe even emailing them alink with the information, prior to your visit.

    Gluten-Free Meals and Snacks

    Finger foods, gluten-freechips/crackers, veggie sticks, gluten-free sandwiches, these are allwonderful foods to keep with you on a trip. Bring as muchgluten-free, shelf-stable food with you as possible. Find out wherethe local farm market is, for fresh and local, organic produce andbuy fresh produce when you arrive at your location.

    Many people getting ready for a trip,will place an order online in advance and have it delivered to thelocation they will be visiting. The Gluten-Free Mall is veryaccommodating and can ship shelf stable food Nationally andInternationally and frozen goods can be shipped within theContinental US. Having a package of gluten-free food delivered toyour location, gives you one less thing to worry about. No extrapacking, or extra luggage, no worries about your food getting crushedor apprehended at customs or tossed out at an airport. It's assimple as placing an order online or by phone.

    The National Foundation for CeliacAwareness (NFCA) works very hard to train chefs and kitchen staff allacross the globe, on the dos and don't s of cooking gluten-free fortheir guests with extreme gluten sensitivities. Check out the listthey have compiled of of GREAT kitchens that have the stamp ofapproval from NFCA for a possible location near you.

    Unfortunately, not all restaurants havethe GREAT seal of approval from NFCA and the likelihood of one beingat your chosen destination is pretty slim, and finding a dedicated gluten-free restaurants are also rare depending on where you travel. That's why it is important to knowwhat to do when you go out to eat with a group of gluten-eaters.There is a great deal of information on this subject, but here aresome links to get you started.

    What to do if you Accidentally Ingest Gluten

    There are varying opinions of what thebest thing to do is when you accidentally ingest gluten, drink gingertea, take laxatives, hot water bottle on the abdomen; there really isno right answer, as everybody is different and has differentreactions to gluten. However, here are some tips that might help ifyou accidentally ingest gluten.

    The most important thing you can do for yourself is to have fun. Stress can affect how youdigest your food, and then it won't matter if you avoid gluten, you stillwon't feel good.

     

    Happy and safe travels everyone!


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    Guest Karen Brauer

    Posted

    I went on a Disney cruise in November, and they were extremely accommodating to my dietary needs. They will let you look at the dinner menu 24 hours in advance, order whatever you like from it, and they will adjust it to make it gluten-free, and it will be ready at the same time as the rest of your dining party's food. They are also very helpful if you call their customer service prior to your trip.

     

    Another suggestion I have is staying someplace with a mini-kitchen or at least a refrigerator and/or microwave in your room. You could still eat at a restaurant once in a while, but you would be assured access to safe food the rest of the time. Keep grab and go stuff in the fridge like fruit, cheese or cut veggies to take on day trips.

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    Guest Robert Carter

    Posted

    I just traveled transatlantic with Cunard on the QM2 and they were great. gluten-free items at the buffet, recipes available upon request, but in the Brittania dining room almost every item on the menu could be made gluten-free. In most restaurants you have to pick out the items that were known to be gluten-free, with Cunard you could choose almost any item and they would prepare it gluten-free. I could not recommend a better way to travel with no gluten-free worries.

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  • About Me

    I diagnosed myself for gluten intolerance after a lifetime of bizarre, seemingly unrelated afflictions. If my doctors had their way, I would have already undergone neck surgery, still be on 3 different inhalers for asthma, be vomiting daily and having chronic panic attacks. However, since eliminating gluten from my diet in May 2009, I no longer suffer from any of those things. Even with the proof in the pudding (or gluten) my doctors now want me to ingest gluten to test for celiac-no can do.

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