Going on holiday or vacation is you are gluten-free and vegan can be challenging. I’ve travelled to lots of countries as a gluten-free, vegan (I’ve just come back form Greece) and have pulled together my Top 10 Considerations For Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays And Vacations.
It really doesn’t need to be hard or challenging. Planning and making informed decisions works really well. Be prepared!!!
Why is it So Hard to be Gluten-Free and Vegan on Holiday???
It can be a little daunting going somewhere unfamiliar if you’re gluten-free and vegan (or just gluten-free, or just vegan). With a language or cultural difference it can feel ten-times harder. And, we’ve all had bad experiences (not just on holiday!). It really doesn’t need to be hard or daunting. There are loads of resources out there (and helpful people!) who can make your holiday relaxing and you can enjoy food!
Top 10 Considerations for Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays and Vacations
Unless I am going somewhere for just a day or two I always go self catering. I find ‘dining out’ a bit boring sometimes and honestly, it can be hard work trying to find out the ingredients in dishes. I enjoy cooking with local produce and I like the flexibility.
That said I always do my research. I find out what the local food and traditional dishes are. Are they usually vegan or gluten-free? Briam in Greece is usually both! I find a phrase book and research key phrases. I research how gluten-free and vegan friendly where I am going is e.g. local GF and vegan groups. I also use websites such as Happy Cow which lists vegan restaurants – most vegan restaurants are aware of allergens and especially gluten.
I recently visited New Zealand and the GFV food was incredible everywhere. Awareness of GF was superb and every small town had somewhere I could eat. I had the best time. There’s limited info on apps such as Happy Cow as it just isn’t that popular in NZ and this shows the importance of using more than one source of info and doing reseach. I’ve just come back from Greece and the awareness is different but by no means impossible, supermarkets are pretty good for GFV in almost every country I’ve visited.
I’m currently planning trips to Japan, Germany and Norway and am super excited. I’m also looking forward to revisiting a few other countries and who knows where else. Travelling has some challenges but they don’t have to rule your travel.
These are my Top 10 Considerations For Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays And Vacations. Depending upon where you are going, how you are travelling and where you are staying the list may get longer… or shorter… or the bullets may move up or down the list.
If you’re going on a self catering holiday (or do a little bit of cooking on your holidays!) and want to plan and research local food and ingredients you can use my fabulous FREE Meal Planner And Shopping List. A template where you can plan your meals and prepare your shopping list. Make your down-time as stress-less as possible with a little bit of planning! Download my FREE Meal Planner And Shopping List Template by clicking the button below.
- Do your research before you book – research your options: countries, when to go, which town or village, hotel or self catering
- Make an informed decision on where to go. Some countries and cities are more gluten-free, vegan friendly than others e.g Italy is really switched on the gluten-free and London is amazing for vegan and gluten-free
- Go self catering – much more flexible and less likely to be disappointed than dealing with hotel food. You can still eat out but have the flexibility of being able to make snacks
- Research where you will be staying. Find out your eating-out options and local shops. Happy Cow is brilliant for this. I use Happy Cow a lot
- Supermarkets and local markets in foreign countries are your friend. I have never-not-found a ‘free from’ section in any supermarket. Make the most of fresh local ingredients from local markets. I ate so well in Sicily a few years ago with the amazing local produce from markets
- If you are going to be somewhere for a while connect with local gluten-free vegans via social media. There are a huge number of people out there who can help
- Learn a little bit of the language but especially key phrases such as ‘I cannot eat gluten’ or ‘does this contain gluten’ and write them down. It can be easier to point to something if language is a big barrier (you can also buy prompt cards in most languages)
- Pack some food essentials – gluten-free pasta, nuts, seeds, Crunchy Cranberry and Cinnamon Granola, breakfast bars. Emergency rations for your flight and your stay
- Take your medication with you – and take something with you for an upset tummy (just in case) and double check it is legal where you are going
- Relax and enjoy yourself.
If you’re flying you can make a request for a ‘special meal’ BUT you can only ever get a gluten-free or a vegan meal. You cannot combine diets, any diets. This is the same for all airlines. So, forget plane food. ALWAYS take your own!!!
(I’ve heard rumours that some airlines are considering changes but I can’t imagine it will be anytime soon.)
How Do You Plan for Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays and Vacations?
There are lots of tips and tricks to plan For Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays And Vacations – this is my tiny selection of thoughts…
What do you do to make sure you plan For Gluten-Free, Vegan Holidays And Vacations? Drop a comment below or ping me on social media! 🙂