You’ve decided to make the plunge and plan a trip. Whether this trip will keep you in the country or outside of it being gluten-free does bring a bit of worry. As someone who is gluten-intolerant, leaving home can be a struggle, as I love having control of what food I put into my body. However, I love traveling and have had the opportunity to travel recently and in the future.
Through my traveling I have found ways to prepare myself before actually leaving for my destination. You do not want to end up somewhere without knowing any options for food or more importantly take a risk and get sick. Nothing is worse than being gluten-fied on your supposed to be fun trip.
Now I will say here in the United States it is not too difficult finding gluten-free options when you travel, so these tips are more for when you leave the country. But they can still apply to truly any trip you take for it never hurts to be prepared.
Learn a little of the language
Knowing how to say “wheat” “barley” “oats” “gluten-free” “gluten intolerant” or even “Celiac” will not only help your waiter, but show them you’re trying to understand their culture and language.
Research popular food
Every country and state has popular food native to the people of that country. This means you’ll probably find it on almost any menu when you are traveling around, so knowing if you can have it before you get there will give you piece of mind. With gluten-free becoming a bigger thing around the world I have found that many popular foods are now made gluten-free. Do some research to see if there are any gluten-free restaurants around or if the restaurants you want to eat at have gluten-free options.
Have a Gluten-free card in the country’s language
Just as an extra precaution I would recommend that you download one of those cards off the internet that talks about what gluten-free is in the country’s language. Let’s be honest, until you really know the language and personally I don’t know all the languages of the world so I find that it gives me extra piece of mind to have the card with me. I do recommend laminating it so it can make it through the many hardships of traveling.
Being Spontaneous if harder if you’re gluten-free
I always dreamed about just walking around Europe and popping in and out of cafes eating what the locals eat. Unfortunately, when you’re gluten-free if you don’t want to be stuck dissecting each item on the menu in a different language or silently crying about the fresh baked croissants in the window then you might want to reign in the spontaneity. Don’t get me wrong I love a good adventure, but I love eating even more! The best way to have the best of both worlds is to be prepared. You can be spontaneous by not planning out a lunch stop, but having a high protein snack in your day bag. This way if you reach the state of hangry you have something to satisfy yourself while you’re hunting for a gluten-free option.
Be ready for anything
The best thing you can do is just relax and take life as it is. I do understand that I am gluten intolerant and not Celiac, which is more severe. However, I’ve learned you can’t live life in fear of it. Yes, I’ve gotten sick from gluten on a trip and it was nothing short of terrible. To be prepared I always over pack on high protein and carb snacks just incase. When I do end up getting sick I don’t hold it against the place as everyone makes mistakes. But if you sit at home and never travel you’re missing out on a whole world of opportunities. It is possible to travel and be gluten-free.