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Type 1, Celiac and Travel - Ugh!

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Nicole N, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. Nicole N

    Nicole N Approved members

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    I am hoping that someone knows how to travel with Celiac. We would really like to travel again (since diagnosis), but I don't know how. You can't be sure there are safe, chain restaurants that have a GF menu and will not cross contaminate. Any ideas or resources?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    Disney is very good about GF. They don't want to contaminate a future return guest!
    Tons of places in NYC.
    Longhorn Steakhouse has never contaminated any of my family or friends yet!

    This is a good resource, my cousin uses it as he lives in NYC.
    http://glutenfreemom.com/travel_gluten_free/#.VMoZZMZxufQ
    I think if you just start googling "gluten free travel" you'll be happy to see many resources.
     
  3. michtroy

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    We are going to Disney the end of February. It will be our second trip with diabetes, but our first with celiac. I have done a lot of reading about the different restaurants in Disney and which ones are the best choices for gluten free. Online the consensus is that if you are going to travel with celiac Disney is the place to go. I would recommend getting Find Me Gluten Free App. on your phone, or contacting a local Celiac group where you plan to travel. I understand the nervousness! I'm right there with you.

    Michelle
     
  4. Snowflake

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    Where do you live and what kinds of travel did you do pre-celiac?

    I'll offer a different perspective to the prior posters. For vacations, we are a road-tripping family. We only fly to visit relatives in various parts of Texas, so Disney is off our list for the foreseeable future.

    We have road tripped extensively across Colorado and the West since our daughter's diagnosis. Most decent-size cities should have at least a few options, but I won't lie: travel with celiac is HARD in rural or remote areas. We live in a bit of a GF paradise near Boulder, but that changes quickly once we leave our little coccoon.

    We've found that local restaurants in smaller towns are very hit or miss, although we have had a few surprisingly good experiences in some mountain/resort towns. And, of course, there's a dearth of chains with GF protocols in rural areas, although we hit them if we find them. When we're going to a new place, we do searches in advance on websites like "find me gluten free," but we don't let that give us a false sense of security; I can think of at least one restaurant that we pulled from that site that sent my dd's food to the table with croutons on the plate.

    When eating at local places while traveling, we tend to order our dd the very simplest items, like grilled chicken, burgers with no bun, white rice, fruit cups, and quesadillas with corn tortillas, with a request to make them in a clean pan. We also pack a ton of snacks, including fresh fruit, shelf-stable fruit cups and applesauce, nuts, and GF snacky things; we've rounded off many a bolus that way at questionable restaurants. When my mom, also a celiac, goes on roadtrips, she brings a cooler with sandwiches on GF bread to at least get her through the drive so she won't have to take her chances stopping at places on the highway.
     
  5. Cheetah-cub

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    I see that you are only diagnosed with celiac a few months ago, so you are new to this.

    Where do you want to travel to? Some destinations can be very celiac friends, some destinations are less so.

    We are still kind of new at this too. We love to travel before our diagnosis, and we continue to travel with our new diet. It definitely adds a new layer of challenge to it, and we need to plan ahead. But you can definitely still travel, and lots of celiacs do.

    I find that in addition to researching lodging options and activities, I now research restaurants and food options.

    Find me GF is a good website for a starting point. If it is domestic travel, I will even call ahead and talk to the restaurants.

    We were diagnosed in Feb of 2014. We have been to Hawaii last summer, and will go on a cruise this April. I already contacted Norwegian cruise about GF diet, it sounds like they have no problem accommodating us. They don't provide carb infor though.

    We are planning our first oversea's trip since celiac (and T1D) for the coming summer. For oversea's travel, I go to Tripadvisor's specific location travel forums. You will find lots of existing threads about GF dining options in a lot of cities, and you can start your own question, and lots of people reply with helpful information.
     
  6. Nicole N

    Nicole N Approved members

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    Thank you for all the responses. We like to travel...in the past year and a half we've been to NYC, Disney, California and Tennessee (we live in Ohio). I have the Find Me GF app, but I don't find that it is inclusive and sometimes even incorrect. The difficulty with travel is that you don't always know where you'll end up for a meal...on the road...or in a city. It is really hard to plan restaurant meals that precisely. I know many restaurants have a GF menu...but I'm worried about contamination. Having a child with both of these diseases sucks...and makes life really tough. I can't even imagine traveling abroad (as much as I'd love to)!!
     
  7. Megnyc

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    This is a bit different but my family has traveled extensively internationally due to my father's job (most countries in Europe, 10 countries in Africa, Hong Kong, Thailand, Sri Lanka, UAE, Egypt, Israel etc.) and I have diabetes and a life threatening food allergy. It is super doable. The key in my experience is to be able to explain the need to use clean cooking tools and clean cooking surfaces and to order simple food. There are very few places in the world where you can't get plain grilled meat or fish and rice. We also used to carry cards that explained in the local language what I couldn't eat to give to servers and the chef. My parents don't like cooking at home let alone while traveling so we would eat all meals out :) And the only time I ever experienced a reaction was a restaurant 2 blocks from our apartment at home that is known for being allergy friendly. It is my experience that local places really do go above and beyond. I have spent part of 2 summers in Saudi Arabia and we would often go to a small restaurant in Bahrain. They never had safe desserts for me which I didn't make a big deal about. Well, the chef realized this and made me a special sorbet with ingredients he ran out to the store to get. From that night on he would always present me with my own special safe dessert. So, you can certainly travel overseas with just a bit of planning. I think you will find it a very worthwhile experience!
     
  8. Beach bum

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    Meg hit it right on the head. Being able to explain exactly how you need things is key. So maybe saying "celiac disease, her food cannot come into contact with any type of wheat/grain product or utensils that touch it will cause illness" may be more precise than just saying "gluten free." Some places completely get gluten free, while others think it's a diet fad where you exclude gluten.
     

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