Travelling with special dietary needs should not prevent you from enjoying your holidays and travel experiences, especially now with so many restaurants and hotels offering a variety of nutritional options. It certainly has come on leaps and bounds since I was first diagnosed with IBS and a wheat intolerance over 10 years ago.
The key to a successful holiday is planning and preparation.
See my top travel tips below.
- Airline travel
This can be difficult, although most airlines now offer special dietary meals. Pre order in advance of your trip and ring the airline a few days ahead of the date of travel to ensure that they have received your order.
- Carry suitable snacks
Take non perishable snacks such as crackers, nuts, seeds or make your own baked goods such as muffins or cornbreads. Where possible avoid the plane snacks which can be laden with salt and flavourings.
- Learn the lingo
Learn some phrases or get someone to write these down for you, explaining your dietary needs in the languages of the countries in which you will be travelling. You will then be able to easily show or explain your nutritional needs.
- Look ahead and find friendly places to dine.
Most establishments now cater for special dietary requirements, so search these out online, ring the restaurants beforehand to check or ask for recommendations.
Try to learn the words or phrases you need to look out for on packaging e.g. ‘Gluten free’. Better still try to avoid packaged foods and opt for the whole foods, fruit and veg. Use this as an opportunity to try the new exotic foods and cuisines.
Probiotics can help repair and heal the digestive tract, which is why they are encouraged to be consumed by travellers as they have been shown to help speed up the recovery time from bouts of diarrhoea. Try incorporating, sauerkraut, kefir or miso into your diet leading up to your travels.
Most importantly, try not to worry and enjoy every second.