Traveling Gluten Free Requires Planning ....
Airports and Airlines
As many airports remodel, they are including healthier options for travelers. These remodeled locations may have gluten free granola bars, nuts, seeds, and fruits. Some airports also include a "deli" like experience which provides travelers with the opportunity to pick up fresh food and take it on the go!
Since gluten free food is not a guarantee at the airport, I make sure to pack food to take with me. I always pack PEANUT FREE foods just in case there is a peanut allergy on my flight and I am not able to eat the food that I need to eat.
When you book your flight, call the airline to find out if a GLUTEN FREE meal option is available. Many airlines have food for purchase on domestic flights but provide meals on international flights. Call the airline to find out if/how they can accommodate you!
Research the Language
Visiting a foreign country and needing to eat a special diet can be stressful. Before you go, download Gluten Free Travel Cards that are available in multiple languages. (Other Options include Gluten Free Passport and Celiac Travel Cards). These cards are great. You can hand them to a restaurant employee or employee in a market and they will be able to help you find what you are looking for if they have them.
Plan Your Lodging
I have found that it is more economical and easier to travel with a food allergy if you can COOK some of your meals. My husband and I look for vacation rentals when we travel. This affords us the opportunity to limit allergens and be adventurous and try local cuisine when we know we are making a good choice. If you stay in a hotel, I suggest trying to get a refrigerator so you can have some food available.
We did stay in a hotel for ONE night. Hotel Clement is located near the river and Old Town Square. The provide a breakfast in the morning and have signs to ask if you need gluten free or lactose free items. The employees were very helpful! Below is a stunning view of Prague from the 9th floor of Hotel Clement. The churches in Old Town Square are evident in the distance.
When in ... Prague
I have traveled to Prague a few times. I have always found the food to be EXCELLENT. Although, I have not always had success finding a plethora of choices. Traditional cuisine involves meat that is dredged in flour and fried. Beer is a staple in most restaurants. Beer is so plentiful, it is more reasonable than water! Needless to say, I keep going back. I love the city ... the scenery, the people, the sense of community. I do not let my diet stop me. Yes, I have restrictions but I focus on the CAN. I find what I can eat and make it work.
One place my husband and I enjoyed eating at while in Prague was Modry Zub Long Street Food on Dlouha Street. This Thai Restaurant has a waitstaff that was aware of the needs of a gluten free patron and had menu options that were gluten free. The waitstaff even offered to customize recipes that were not gluten free to make them gluten free if that was of more interest to us. They made superior food and offered vegan and vegetarian options. The menu was in Czech and English which made ordering simple! The presentation was beautiful, the food tasted great, and the price was reasonable. This is a great restaurant very close to the city center (Old Town Square).
Another restaurant we enjoyed was El Emir Lebanese Restaurant in New Town. Unfortunately, the lighting was dim in the restaurant and pictures did not show off the meal. The food tasted great but the restaurant was a bit pricey. We ordered a few appetizers and made a meal from them as we were not famished when we arrived.
We made a handful of meals in the vacation rental that we had. There are numerous mini markets where you can pick up what you need to prepare a meal. I found excellent gluten free bread and fresh vegetables at the mini market a few blocks from our apartment.
What to Pack:
- Ziplock Baggies so that you can make a snack mix of nuts, dried fruit, and seeds to curb your appetite. I always carry snacks with me in my pocket/purse. You can packs nuts, seeds, and dried fruits or get them at almost any store.
- Gluten Free Bars in case it takes you a few trips to the store to find some to purchase.