Insiders Guide to Gluten-Free Travel

6 Tips to Travel Gluten-Free Without a Hiccup

Barcelona 17
Barcelona 17

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.

Are you a gluten-free traveler? What advice would you add? Share with us!

How-to Not Get Gluten Sick While Traveling in a Foreign Country


gluten-free travel, gluten-free italy, gluten-free in italy, gluten-free rome [dropcap letter="I"]nternational travel, naturally presents an inherent challenge to gluten-free traveling because of the unfamiliarity, different cultural customs, and the ever-present language barrier. To carefully guard your health and avoid cross-contamination when traveling in a foreign country, know the right questions to ask, keywords to look out for, and be prepared to educate service staff when necessary. If you employ the skills that you have learned and practiced at home for avoiding cross-contamination, your chances for a safe experience abroad increase substantially.

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Never assume anything and always double-check everything.

Although, it can be challenging, get to know the names of ingredients you cannot have in that country for efficiently scanning menus. This is when dining translation cards come in handy. Ask how the foods you are considering will be prepared and be on the look out for techniques such as dusting and dredging meats with flour. This is when having a general knowledge of how many foods are prepared can be beneficial, particularly overseas.

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Minimally prepared and separated food.

Another good tactic for avoiding cross-contamination is to ask that foods be prepared minimally and separate from other ingredients that can be questionable. Confirm that the service staff understands exactly what you need, by having them repeat back to you in their words how they will prepare your meal. Even though, you may find certain cities to be quite accommodating to your needs and know how to avoid cross-contamination, you need to be prepared for the times when awareness of the issue is not what it should be.

Backcountry restaurants where the staff does not speak your language or cultures that are "people pleasures" like in Thailand or Laos are more prone to communication barriers. Regardless of where you are in the world, your strategy, and safety net boils down to how many questions you are willing and able to ask.

How do you prepare for gluten-free travelling in foreign countries? Share with us below or on Facebook.