Gluten-Free Travel Basics

The growth of gluten-free options all around the country and the world makes it easier than ever to travel on the gluten-free diet.

Still, while you can travel with relative ease, you do have to be cautious and prepared.

One of the biggest components of traveling is eating out. You’ll find great tips and resources here. Information you can access on your smart phone makes it easier than ever to find out about restaurants in an unfamiliar place.

Many supermarkets, groceries and health food stores throughout the United States and Canada carry a wide variety of gluten-free items, cutting down on the amount you have to pack to take with you.

But it’s still possible to end up in a place where the stores don’t carry a very specific item or have everything you’ll need.

Use the Internet to find out as much as possible before you leave for your destination. If you are going on vacation by car and staying in a condo or cabin, pack a box of essentials to cover breakfast, lunch and a simple dinner or two. Gluten-free cereal, bagels, waffles, bread, pasta, and energy bars are good suggestions. Consider buying toaster bags since the toaster is almost certainly cross contaminated. You can buy lots of naturally gluten-free items including meat, fruit, rice, potatoes and vegetables in any food store.

If you are traveling by plane for a distance that would require eating on board, check with the  airline at least several days in advance to see if they provide any gluten-free options. You’ll find a list of airlines policies regarding gluten-free meals here. As an emergency backup, take gluten-free energy bars, pretzels, dried fruit or other items just in case there is a problem with promised gluten-free items or you are delayed in the plane or airport. You can also usually find fresh fruit, gluten-free snacks like chips and other items in airport stores and eateries.

For expert information on new place, contact the support group there a few weeks before you leave. You’ll usually get the best tips on where to shop and dine out for members who live in the area. National support groups can direct you to the best way to find a local group.

If you are traveling abroad, a gluten-free translation card can be very helpful. You can get these from glutenfreepassport.com and Celiac Travel. Other countries also have celiac disease support groups that can provide helpful gluten-free information. Search for these online well in advance of your departure.

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