Friday, December 19, 2014

Traveling Gluten-Free

Whether it’s by plane, train or automobile, gluten-free traveling takes a great deal of preparation and organization. Researching restaurant options, prepping travel snacks and studying up on the food and accommodations of your destination are all necessary when planning a trip.  Here is some helpful advice that you can refer to while planning your g-free journey:

Road - Trip
  • Shop ahead of time for gluten-free snacks that travel well – here are a few ideas
  • Bring a large cooler or insulated lunch bags for long car trips – store non-perishables in the trunk.
  • Physically map out your road trip route – circle the pit-stops you plan on making and research gluten-free restaurants in the area, but ensure you have back-ups in case the restaurant is closed or no longer offers gluten-free options.

Traveling by Plane
  • Request a gluten-free airline meal at least three days in advance – follow up on your request closer to your flight time!  Find out which airlines serve meals to meet your dietary needs, here
  • Ensure flight attendants know where you’re seated to avoid your meal being delivered to the wrong passenger.
  • Ship ahead – extra baggage can be an expensive nuisance; consider ordering your g-free items online and shipping them directly to where you’re staying before you arrive.

Going International  
  • Don’t let your dietary needs get lost in translation. “Restaurant cards” are available in several languages for international travel – find downloadable cards here
  • Find out how traditional dishes of your destination are prepared. Knowing what ingredients are used will help you avoid hidden allergens.

Unfortunately, despite all of this careful preparation, things don’t always go according to plan. Traveling is all about adventure and exploring the unknown – so perhaps the most important piece of advice is to be flexible and accept that unexpected challenges will most likely occur.  And for those of us with a medical sensitivity to gluten, remember, it never hurts to bring along plenty of the appropriate medication just in case of unexpected exposure.   

Safe and happy travels!

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