Travelling Gluten Free - What You Need To Know

by - July 18, 2016

Love to travel but feel restricted by a gluten-free diet? Here's some handy advice for travelling gluten-free on your holidays…

Here in the UK, day to day eating gluten-free is fairly easy. We’re a first-world country, blessed with a forward-thinking food industry which has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade. Twenty years ago, gluten-free life was almost unheard of and now there are entire aisles in supermarkets offering options to people who are allergic to gluten or who want to avoid it by choice. It’s exciting to think that it’s always developing and, in another 5 years time, how many more options will be available?

Food labelling has become stricter and clearer, with allergens being listed in bold on the back of packets in order to spot anything you’re wishing to avoid at a glance.
New rules and regulations mean restaurants are required by law to provide/display ingredients for anyone that asks, as there are new allergens making it onto the list of familiar offenders, regularly. Celery, for example, is now on the list alongside nuts, gluten, eggs and lactose. More often than not, unless you are at a specialist gluten-free eatery, GF options normally constitute the minority of menu options and this is something we should be aiming to change in the future. 
Airports and train stations are slowly becoming more GF-friendly in their staple shops, yet remain expensive. Vending machines are slowly evolving from crisps, chocolate and fizzy drinks to dried fruit, nuts and other healthier options. But if you’re travelling on trains or buses regularly you’ll need to come prepared, especially if travelling outside of trading hours or overnight.
Snacks are often available, but larger meals can be more difficult to find. Here in the UK, you’ll have noticed the sandwich culture is strong, even though gluten-free bread in pre-packaged sandwiches is difficult to find, pastries are seen as an acceptable breakfast item, and pasta or couscous salads are equally prominent.
The answer? If you have access to a large supermarket, opt for a large salad with protein, fruit, yoghurts with oats, prepared vegetables and hummus, boiled eggs or packaged cooked meat or fish. It’s easier (and tastier) to buy a selection of items and see it as a picnic, rather than looking for that one ready meal that will tick all your boxes; because it’s got to be what you’re in the mood for as well as gluten-free, hasn’t it?

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