Living with celiac disease or other gluten sensitivities means that you must follow a special diet. This can be challenging even at home, so it is even more difficult abroad. Read on for tips on traveling with celiac disease that can make eating gluten-free on the go just a little bit easier.
Traveling with Celiac Disease
Do Some Research
Before you decide on a travel destination, do some research on the area. Take a look at some menus from local restaurants. In many major cities, it is not hard to find restaurants offering gluten-free options and even restaurants that specialize in gluten-free food. However, in other cities, these options are few and far between. If you are unable to find many options during your search, you may wish to seek out a different destination. If you don’t have a choice in locale, like for a business trip, look for a hotel room that includes a small kitchen so that you can prepare meals for yourself if needed.
Contact Airlines in Advance
Most airlines can provide gluten-free meals upon request, but you’ll need to let them know in advance. Be sure to confirm this option again when you check in for your flight. Well before the in-flight meal is served, take the time to introduce yourself to the flight attendants. This way, when they are delivering the meals, there will be less chance of them giving your meal to someone else by mistake. Just in case there are any mishaps, it is usually a good idea to bring a selection of snacks with you so that you are not left hungry.
Don’t Be Shy
When dining in hotels and restaurants, be sure to let the manager and serving staff know about your condition. The more people who are aware, the less likely that there will be any confusion. If your server doesn’t seem too familiar with celiac disease, don’t feel ashamed about explaining it. When it comes to your health, you can never be too careful. It is better to over-explain to your server than to run the risk of hurting yourself due to a misunderstanding that could have been avoided.
When traveling, you never know what kind of delays and setbacks you’re going to get. If a layover takes longer than expected in an airport with limited food choices, you’ll end up starving and cranky… and no one wants that during the holidays! Be prepared with your own gluten free snacks. Apples, bananas, nuts and dried fruit are always a good choice, as well as healthy packaged snacks like our Snackers.
Traveling with celiac disease may seem daunting at first, but with proper care and planning, it is entirely possible. There is no reason to let your condition interfere with your ability to travel and see the world, opening your horizons to exciting new experiences.