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Holiday travel tips for people with celiac disease

Lana Bandoim's picture

The holiday season is often a difficult time for people with celiac disease because traveling while on a restricted diet has multiple challenges. From searching for gluten-free restaurants to avoiding contamination on flights, taking a trip requires careful planning and preparation. The following holiday travel tips will help you stay organized and avoid gluten


Gluten can lurk in many places, so it is important to plan ahead as you make travel arrangements. If you are driving, you can easily control your car, snacks or beverages and avoid gluten. However, problems are more likely to appear if you are flying. First, you must contact the airline ahead of time to make sure you will receive a gluten-free meal during the flight and ask about avoiding cross-contamination. Second, you should be prepared for delays, so you may need to bring your own safe gluten-free foods after checking to see if the airport has restaurants or fast food chains that offer items without the protein. There are free restaurant cards in multiple languages that you can use to inform people about your diet.

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Eating out may not always be an option during a trip, so it is important to consider where you are staying and how it will affect your ability to maintain a gluten-free diet. People with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities may need to discuss their diets with hotel management prior to booking to avoid contamination. However, hotels and motels are not the only options available for travelers. You may want to consider short-term vacation rentals because you will have the ability to control the rooms better and have your own kitchen. For example, WorldEscape offers the ability to choose from apartments, homes or houseboats for rent for one night to several weeks. From London to Seattle, you can find a short-term rental that will allow you to cook your own meals.

Read more about celiac disease:
Celiac disease tips for handling gluten on Thanksgiving
Gluten-free gravy shopping and cooking tips for celiac disease
Gluten-free pie ideas for the holidays safe for celiac disease