First up, I haven’t quite made it around the world yet. But I have learnt a lot about eating in different countries and that eating gluten-free and travelling is possible.
Having coeliac disease was a bit of worry when it came to planning our around the world trip. I was concerned that I would only be living off fruit for a year. I like fruit, but with other stuff like ice cream. Ha!
But, to me, needing to eat gluten-free was not a good enough excuse to not got travelling. To be fair, there aren’t a lot of reasons that I could think of that would be good enough to stop us from doing this.
Naturally, I did some prep before I left, but ultimately I figured I’d wing it. I’m not going to die if I have to live off rice and bananas for a couple of days.
Here are my top tips for gluten-free travel:
Take to the internet
When I arrive in a new place, I like to look at what is available in the area for me to eat. A quick Google search for “gluten-free in xxxx” will usually provide you with a list of places you can eat.
Make these places a part of your plans and make sure you know where they are on Google maps. That way when you are out and about you’ll be able to find them when you are hungry.
Learn some relevant words in that language
I’m in South America now, so everyone speaks Spanish. Therefore, my first words I translated were: gluten, wheat, barley and rye.
This gets me a long way when shopping in a supermarket because I can look for these words on the packaging. I did the same thing on our honeymoon in Iceland and it worked really well.
Yes, having someone else cook for you is nice but the best way to stay away from gluten is to cook your own meals.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t get to sample local cuisine, because the supermarkets are full of new and exciting food. Plus, if you spot something out and about you can try to recreate back in your apartment.
Print some gluten-free cards
I haven’t actually used mine on this trip yet, but mostly because with my very limited Spanish I have been able to make it clear that I need my food gluten-free.
But they are good to have. I have a selection of cards that explain in lots of language about my need to eat gluten-free and the importance of avoiding cross-contamination.
We took a holiday to Majorca a few years back and I used one of these cards then with the chef at our hotel. Every time we saw him after that he would usher me over and show me what I could eat. It made for easy dining.
You must accept that you may not be able to eat your favourite foods wherever you go. I’m not big on seafood, but a lot of seafood dishes are gluten-free. By eating them I get more choice.
It can be a great way to find new dishes or even discover some old favourites. Some countries might use different recipes to what you use back home and therefore, you are now able to eat something you haven’t had in ages.
Don’t forget that so many foods are gluten-free and most of these foods you can find all around the world. Fruit, vegetables, pulses, rice and more. Pretty much every country in the world has these.
Yeah, you might not get a good meal one day, but stay optimistic you may well find the best gluten-free dish is waiting for you around the corner.
That eating gluten-free and travelling is all part of the adventure. Yeah, yours might be different from everybody else’s but who cares you’ll enjoy it nonetheless.
Disclaimer: Remember the information you read here does not represent advice. Any ideas or suggestions are just that and may not work for you. Read the full disclaimer here.