How to Easily Find Gluten or Dairy Free Treats While Traveling
BY JANE SANDWOOD
Travel can cause stress when unsafe drinking water is an issue. Now make finding edible food is a challenge, too, and it can put a damper on the excitement of any trip. The good news is that it’s currently easier to find gluten-free and dairy-free snacks than it was years before. Even carb-laden countries that strike fear into those with severe Celiac, such as beautiful Italy, offer lots of gluten-free options in their grocery stores nowadays.
Planning Is Key
If you have to fly, obtain a doctor’s note so you can pass quickly through airport security, both in Canada and in places such as the United States with “medical foods.” Find packaged items like nut butter, hummus, and protein shakes in containers of 100 ml or less. As these are considered liquids, they’ll need to follow liquid airline guidelines. A doctor’s note will be required when traveling to some countries with these foods.
Having safe-to-eat foods with you can make a world of difference in your comfort level when you first arrive at your destination. Remember, it might take you a bit to find appropriate places to eat. You can also request a gluten-free in-flight meal with many airlines in advance. You can do this when purchasing your airline tickets, or often up to 48 hours before your flight.
Be Prepared to Leave the Hotel Room
Even after you arrive, always travel with portable snacks that are safe for your system. Depending on where you go, once you arrive stop by a local grocery store to pick up food for your hotel room or rental home. If you don’t speak the language, use Google Translate (you can download the app) to learn the terms “gluten-free” or “lactose-free.” As mentioned Italy, for example, offers plenty of “senza glutine” food options in stores. With the right phrases, you’ll be able to locate safe treats on menus.
Cruising Gluten-Free or Dairy-Free
If you’re taking a cruise, contact them ahead of time. Cruise lines often have specialized departments to deal with allergies. So, let them know of your condition. Ask them directly about dietary restrictions they can work around. If you don’t see a lot of options while on land excursions stick with simple, naturally gluten or dairy-free foods such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts wherever you can find them. It’s better to order plain steamed vegetables and a cup of fruit than have your evening ruined because you took a chance with a soup or thick sauce you thought might be free of wheat or butter.
Be Equipped and Enjoy Your Trip
Don’t let your dietary restrictions hold you back when it comes to travel. With more people eating gluten-free, the options continue to increase. Being prepared makes taking a trip considerably easier. Packing enzymes to help you digest your normally unfriendly foods is also a smart safety measure as a last resort, for those moments you eat something you realize may not be entirely gluten-free.