Have you ever planned the greatest vacation ever but felt so stressed out about the whole “eating out” process? You know, those moments where you feel so discourage and worried that you won’t be able to find a suitable restaurant for you (or your gluten free or Celiac loved one) that you almost don’t even want to take the trip because it would be too much for you to handle?
If this has ever happened to you, then you’re in the same boat with a majority of the gluten free community.
Whether if you’re flying half way around the world, taking a train, riding the bus, etc, traveling gluten free may seem impossible for some. Like seriously, how many of you have found yourself asking yourself questions like:
“I have a 6 hour layover, what am I going to eat at the airport?”
“My flight to Australia is 14 hours long, will the airline be able to serve me a gluten free meal?”
“Are there any gluten free snacks that I can buy at the airport?”
“Will I be able to communicate with my server in Italy that I’m gluten-free?”
“Will I be able to find something to eat at my hotel?”
“Are there any gluten free restaruants near where I’m traveling”
And countless other questions related to your travels.
But what if I told you that this process doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.
Traveling while on a gluten free or wheat free diet is actually a pretty simple and stress free process, IF you know how to do it correctly.
Although many people may feel that gluten free travel is a very stressful part of their trip, there are a few things that you can do to truly ensure that your trip is a safe, healthy, flawless, and stress-free as possible.
Well I’m glad to say you’re in good hands!
Below is a in-depth guide to truly help you simplify your gluten free travels making it as stress-free, healthy, and delicious as possible.
The Ultimate Gluten Free Travel Guide
This gluten free survival travel guide will be broken down into 5 in-depth sections, which you can click to learn even more in-depth information about it.
1. Airline and Airports
2. Gluten Free Destinations
3. Staying G-Free in Hotels
4. Find the Best GF Restaurant Possible in Any City in the “World”
5. Gluten Free Cruising 101
Whether if you’re traveling 4 hours down the road, or 21 hours across the world, this gluten free travel guide will help you make the most of your trip while allowing you to not sweat over your dietary restrictions. Essentially, this guide is here to help you enjoy your trip without the hassle of trying to deal with your gluten free diet.
So with that being said, let’s get started!
Gluten Free Airport and Airline Travel
This is possibly one of the most stressful parts of traveling in general. From the strict security restrictions to the inability to bring any liquids into the terminal, this process can sometimes be a nightmare for all travelers, including those who are gluten free.
And I mean seriously, there is gluten everywhere in the airport, no matter where you look. That’s why it’s super important to have gluten free snacks and other goodies on hand just in case your stomach starts rumbling. Because eating 20 backs of salted peanuts will not do. Trust me…
But there is a way to survive the airports and airlines – here’s how!
1. Bring Your Own Gluten Free Travel Snacks
Whether if you make them yourself or go ahead and by them ahead of time, this is the perfect way to curve your appetite during your flight, as well as serve as a better alternate to having to go to a little shop in the airport scouring the shelves for something edible.
If you’re making your own gluten free travel snacks then I recommend that you check out this resource below. It will help you discover some incredibly simple to make delicious gluten free snacks that are just perfect for travel in general. This is also perfect if you’re looking to buying your own gluten free travel foods and goodies, then I also recommend you check out this awesome guide I put together.
2. Research the Airports Dining Options Before-Hand
This is a great thing to do if you know that you are going to either a) have a layover at this airport or b) be traveling during a time where you know you’re going to eat.
You see, every airport offers a directory or map of all their dining restaurants on their website. All you need to do is check out your airports directory and look for a restaurant that you know you’ll want to eat at. Then from there, all you have to do is look to see if they have a gluten free menu. And thankfully, you have this wonderful resource in the palm of your hands. Just find a restaurant and search for it’s menu on this site and you’ll be good to go.
BOOM, you can now eating something delicious at the airport.
3. Order a Gluten Free Airline Meal
Did you know that almost every major global airline offers a gluten free meal on their long-haul flights?
Yep, it’s true and it’s pretty amazing. The first thing you need to know is to see if your flight is long enough to qualify for a complimentary meal. If it is, then you will need to request a gluten free meal while booking your flight.
I go into a heck of a lot more detail in this guide below which will show you exactly how to order a gluten free meal (GFML) on a majority of the major global airlines. Check it out by clicking the link below!
Okay now that you conquered the flying aspect of gluten free traveling, let’s jump straight into gluten free destinations.
Gluten Free Destinations 101
Whether if you’re traveling for fun or business, it’s always great to know a little about the gluten free restaurant scene of your destination before you actually arrive.
This will allow you to get a feel of what kind of gluten free restaurants you’ll be able to check out once you’re there. This will also give you time to check out a restaurants gluten free track record, because that’s very very important especially if you’re going to a completely new destination.
I put together a couple resources that will help you find something delicious and gluten free to eat if you’re traveling within the United States. I’ve even included a resource of 100% gluten free restaurants, which are restaurants that only serve gluten free goods (meaning, there’s no cross contamination, whatsoever!)
Once you get a feel for the gluten free dining scene, now it’s time to get a feel for the hotels that you’re going to want to stay at. Because believe it or not, the hotel does have an effect on your gluten free diet. I’ll explain below.
Staying Gluten Free in Hotels
Okay, so there isn’t truly a “gluten free hotel” (well there may be, I just never heard of it). However, finding the right hotel is very important for anyone on a gluten free diet.
First of all, most major hotels offer a few dining options within the hotel. So when choosing a hotel be sure to check to see if those restaurants do offer a gluten free menu.
For example, I stayed at an Embassy Suites in St. Louis and I went to a little cafe within the hotel and boom, their menu had a little “GF” marked on menu options that were gluten free. Who knew?
So if you’re at a hotel with restaurants or dining options, be sure to give them a call or look for the restaurants menu online. However, giving them a call, especially the concierge desk at the hotel hotel, will give you your best shot of truly finding out if the restaurants are safe to eat for Celiacs and gluten free diners. And of course, you can always do your research to see if those restaurants have a good GF track record.
Another thing you should definitely consider is finding a hotel with an empty fridge. According to Amie from the Healthy Apple, she recommends that you search for local grocery stores or markets where you can stock up on goodies, fruits, and snacks during the duration of your trip.
And if you’re looking to save on your next stay, be sure to book your room with one of my partners below. You can save a bundle on your room rate, just by clicking one of the links below!
Find the Best Gluten Free Restaurant Possible in Any City
Yes, this is possible. Very possible. As long as you have the right resources 🙂
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with eating at a chain restaurant if you’re gluten free only because there are a plethora of gluten free menus from chain restaurants. Plus, these menus happen to be frequently available online or better, on this website.
The next ting you should consider when searching for a gluten free restaurant is cuisine type/restaurant type because certain restaurants will have more gluten free options than others. Plus, knowing before you go will ultimately give you the ability to find the perfect gluten free meal for yourself while also allowing you to cross out potential restaurant suitors who don’t have a good enough gluten free or wheat free selection.
When trying to find a restaurant here are 4 things you should definitely check out before you go.
1. Choose the Right Cuisine and Restaurant Type
In the mood for Chinese food? How about Mexican? No, how about burgers?
No matter what mood you’re in, you’re bound to find the perfect restaurant that has delicious gluten free options. The hardest part is finding those restaurants.
But thankfully, I decided to help you guys out by compiling lists of restaurant chains listed by cuisine. Just click on any of the lists and you’ll be taken to a full listing of all the restaurants gluten free menu, categorized by cuisine. Enjoy!
- Asian and Chinese Restaurants
- Seafood Restaurants
- Barbecue Restaurants
- Burger Joints
- Mexican and Southwest Restaurants
- Pizza Chains
- Ice Cream Shops
- Frozen Yogurt Bars
2. Gluten Free Menu Availability
This is a no brainer but it’s always great to see if a restaurant has a gluten free menu or not. And if you can’t find their official menu online, be sure to check out this resource because some restaurants will not have their gluten free menu in store. They leave that up to you to figure out for yourself. But don’t worry, I got your back. And let me tell you, you just might be surprised to find gluten free menus that you may have never even knew existed.
Just use this list as a reference and you’ll be sure to find every major restaurant chain and their GF menu.
3. Choosing the Right Dish
Now that you found a restaurant, now it’s time to choose the right dish. Now if you’re worried about cross contamination at a particular restaurant that you are unfamiliar with, here’s a resource that will help you find the 5 best dishes that you can practically eat any restaurant that’s almost guaranteed to be gluten free.
As an added bonus, here’s a resource that lists the 13 most popular foods that secretly have gluten in them. This guide will truly help you avoid gluten and any glutenous foods you may come in contact with.
Also, if you’re traveling to a foreign country and would love to still be able to communicate with the staff in their national language, be sure to check out this awesome resource which tells you how to order gluten free meals in over 20 languages. Check it out!
4. Any 100% Gluten Free Restaurants Nearby
Another great thing to do, if you’re not in the mood for having to find a normal restaurant with gluten free options, is by cutting out all the extra stuff you might hate, but instead opt for a 100% gluten free restaurant.
And in case you didn’t know, a 100% gluten free restaurant is just like the name says. It’s a restaurant that only serves gluten free food. This means that their “normal menu” is actually already gluten free. Plus, the kitchen is 100% cross contamination free, which is amazing.
So basically, all you need to do is just show up and order. There’s no need of having to explain to your server that you can’t eat this, or you can’t eat that…
The hardest part is just finding one of these GF joins, right? Actually no, because I decided to hook you up once more.
Below, you’ll find my directory of 100% GF Restaurants listed by State.
Gluten Free Cruising 101
As the gluten free diet has become growingly popular, cruises have started to learn how to properly cater to cruisers with special dietary restrictions.
Since I’m no expert in this and have not actually taken a cruise while gluten free, I’m going to point you to a pretty in depth resource that goes into detail about a majority of the major cruise liners and their gluten free cruising policies.
Here’s the resource that will help you find everything you need. Enjoy!
Also, I stumbled upon this pretty good article for any parents who are looking to take a Disney Cruise. It’s really good and in-depth
Hopefully, in the near future I’ll be able to put together a resource just for gluten free cruises that I can later send to y’all if you’re a part of Gluten Free VIP which is a 100% free.
The Best Gluten Free Travel Resources, EVER
Before we end this guide, I want to leave you with some great resources that you can reference for certain aspects of your trip. Check them out (and yes, some of them are repeats, but I just went ahead and listed them just in case you missed them previously.)
- Gluten Free Guide to Restaurant Chains
- Gluten Free Guide to Global Airlines
- Gluten Free and Wheat Free Travel Snacks and Recipes
- Best Gluten Free Travel Websites and Blogs
“I will survive!”
If you made it this far, you now have all the tools, knowledge, and resources in your arsenal to allow you to have the best gluten free traveling experience possible that free of stress, hassle, and tummy pain.
You can now travel with ease! I promise.
Whether if you’re flying halfway across the world, going out of town for 3 days, or going on a Disney Cruise, you can now enjoy your trip without having to worry about your special dietary restrictions.
Now you can focus on the things that truly matter most, and not worry about the hassles of gluten free travel food and snacks.