Tips for gluten free travellers – the best cruises to go on, the most accommodating all-inclusive resorts and a surprise gluten-free friendly country to visit.
Do you have a medical condition such as Coeliac’s Disease that prevents you from eating gluten? Or perhaps you’re simply interested in the latest diet that promises weight loss if you cut it out? Whatever the reason for your gluten-free lifestyle, the idea of travelling whilst avoiding eating wheat can be a daunting one. But rest assured, it is perfectly possible to enjoy a fantastic holiday if you follow these tips and put a little planning into your gluten-free holiday.
Visit Gluten-Free Friendly Resorts
Package deal operators such as Sandals pride themselves on their approach to catering for gluten-free customers at all of their resorts. Typically, their culinary teams would meet with guests upon arrival to discuss their individual dietary needs for their entire vacation. Similarly, Disney World is extremely accommodating towards those with a gluten intolerance. They even have a Special Dietary Requests team that you can call or email to request information about menus either in advance of your stay, or after you’ve arrived.
Of course the obvious choice when choosing to eat a gluten-free diet on your travels is to book self-catering accommodation such as a villa, cottage or city apartment. This way you can visit the local supermarket and prepare all your meals yourself to be absolutely sure that none of your ingredients have become cross-contaminated.
However, if you would understandably prefer to dine out on your vacation, then you’ll need to know the whereabouts of some decent gluten-free restaurants. Zomato lists restaurants in 10,000 cities across 23 countries and has a mission to ensure that nobody ever has a bad meal. You’ll find a wide range of global gluten-free dining on their site.
If you’re travelling in a non-speaking country, then it’s a good idea to have printed out a dining card in the native language listing what you can and cannot eat. You can show this to the staff at your restaurant and they’ll be able to better assist you.
Many lines cater for passengers who are cruising with gluten-free dietary requirements. Carnival Cruise Lines offer gluten-free bread, pasta, cake and pizza on request. Celebrity Cruises clearly marks dishes on the main dining menu that are gluten-free. A little more effort is required whilst cruising with Royal Caribbean, as they request that you meet with the restaurant manager each evening to discuss menu options for the following day, but most dishes can be prepared gluten-free.
It will come as a surprise to many that a country that is synonymous with heavenly pizza and pasta dishes could be so friendly towards gluten-free travellers. Yet happily this is the case. Italians take gluten intolerance extremely seriously and even give a generous monthly food allowance to Coeliac sufferers so that they’re able to purchase gluten-free food. So Italy is actually extremely tolerant towards this particular dietary request and many restaurants will list dishes ‘per celiaci’ on their main menus.
So long as you’re prepared to put in a little background research, there’s no reason why your gluten-free diet needs to prevent you from travelling extensively and seeing the world. However, if you do have a medical condition such as Coeliac disease, it is imperative that you take out some annual multi trip insurance to ensure that you’re covered for medical bills in the event that you have a reaction and need to see an emergency doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry where your health is concerned.
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