Ever heard about gluten? It’s a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. This means that most types of bread, biscuits, pasta – basically all flour-based products – contain this protein. Some people are sensitive to gluten if they have an autoimmune condition called celiac disease. When they eat foods with wheat, barley, and rye, they end up with diarrhea or feeling tired and nauseous.
After this little medical introduction, you can imagine how difficult it is to travel if you can’t eat gluten. No knedliky in Prague, no french fries in Belgium, no pizza and pasta in Italy! Even a random snack at a gas station can ruin your road trip! How is it even possible to travel like this? However, things are not that tragic in reality. It’s completely manageable to travel gluten-free, you just have to keep several things in mind.
Book a Gluten-Free Meal for Your Flight
Unless you want to starve on your flight, which you probably don’t, take care of your meal in advance. You have to specify your meal requests while booking your trip, so make sure that you choose a meal option that has a GFML code. There are a number of companies that guarantee gluten-free meals in all classes:
- Turkish Airlines
- Air France
- Air New Zealand
- British Airways
If you’ve forgotten to book a proper meal in advance, don’t worry, just pack some homemade sandwiches with gluten-free bread! This way, you’ll be sure to avoid being stuck in a bathroom after eating something that doesn’t fit in your diet.
Stay in Gluten-Free Hotels
It might surprise you, but celiac disease is so widespread that there are hotels that serve food without gluten. Some of them offer gluten-free meals by default (you can find a couple of examples here). In others, you will have to make your food requirement known to a manager or a chef upon arrival.
Visit Local Supermarkets
If you prefer cooking your own meals shopping in a supermarket is very easy too. You don’t need to know the local language, just go for foods that have a crossed grain symbol. Bringing with you a list of local gluten free producers can also help. For example, Beiker is a gluten-free brand that sells widely in Spain, Rudi’s Bakery – in the USA and Glutafin – in the UK. And of course, you are always on the safe side if you buy foods that naturally don’t contain gluten, such as vegetable and fruits. You can find suggestions on this list.
When it comes to cafes and restaurants, the rule is pretty much the same as with hotels. You either go to a place that claims to be gluten-free or talk to a chef and warn him/her that you are celiac. In this case, the chef should make sure that your food is cooked with separate utensils and doesn’t contain gluten. If this sounds like too much hassle, you can choose one of the restaurants that are officially gluten-free. In choosing one, GlutenfreeRoads service is your best friend – it’s a huge database that will help you to find perfect dining places during your trips. It also has an app, so you can always have the list of gluten-free restaurants, bars and ice cream places at hand.