More restaurants in industrialized nations are offering gluten-free options on their menus than ever before. This is helpful to people who love to travel, but otherwise may be limited by their dietary requirements. Still, when traveling to other regions or countries, you have to be prepared to work a little harder to find cuisine suited to your nutritional needs.
When you travel, eating out is the most common option. For anyone visiting an unfamiliar land, getting used to differences in cuisine can take some effort and time. Particularly where language is a barrier, eating out is tricky enough for someone without special dietary concerns. Unlike grocery stores in the U.
S. and Canada, markets in other countries may not offer gluten-free selections. Even finding something like rice flour may be more difficult in some geographies.
Researching Gluten-Free Options
Before you get on the plane or into a car, use the Internet to learn as much as you can about the cuisine of the place you are going to visit.
Pay particular attention to dietary customs and places offering things you can eat. Foods with only fresh meats, fish, rice, fruit and vegetables are always great options, so look for restaurants serving those. It may be helpful to research potential celiac disease support groups in the region to talk with some members of those groups for local tips and helpful information. You can learn a lot about where to shop and dine out, from locals with your same dietary restrictions.
Road Trips with Celiac Disease
If you are driving to your destination, pack basics of your everyday diet to take with you. These can help you get through the initial days as you become acclimated to the unfamiliar place, or you can pack for your entire visit. Gluten-free bread, waffles, pasta, energy bars, cereal and bagels are great items to take along with you for when hunger strikes.
Airline Travel with Celiac Disease
For airline travel with meal service, contact the airline in advance and ask whether there are gluten-free selections for passengers. You may wish to stop into an airport concessionaire before boarding to purchase some energy bars, pretzels, fruit or other items you can have, in case you get hungry or do not have options on the plane.
International Travel for Celiacs
When traveling to countries where you do not speak the language, gluten-free travel cards are available which translate your needs to the local tongue. Glutenfreepassport.com has a wide variety of these items available. Smartphone apps are also handy and evolve and improve every day. Check your app store on your smartphone for apps you can use while you travel to make sticking to your gluten-free diet easier. If all else fails, the local health system may be a good resource when you need help finding healthy options. If you are willing to pay for a doctor’s visit or your insurance will compensate for overseas medical care, you can make an appointment and gain some support from a physician or dietitian. Check into international travel health insurance plans or talk to your insurance agent to discuss your options for coverage.