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For travelers with celiac disease and serious allergies it can be very difficult while on the road to stay within dietary requirements. Hilary Davidson knows this all too well, she is a travel writer, blogger and cannot eat gluten. For those of you facing food choice challenges while aboard Hilary has some advice for you:
Research your options:
Planning ahead is the key to any great vacation, but when it is your health on the line it is important to take a little extra planning time. If you are allergic to common foods or items frequently used in meal basics, (such as soup stock and sauces), it is best to ask for an ingredients list when in a foreign restaurant. By researching places ahead of time it frees you from worry and wasted time while on vacation.
Understand cultural Differences:
When planning a visit to a new destination, be sure you know how to explain your allergies or diet requirements in the local language. For vegetarians and vegans beware that not all countries have the same definition as the USA. Some countries believe vegetarians eat fish and fish stock, and others believe it is just a meal that includes vegetables, but may also include meat.
Have a backup plan:
Pack safe food items, so you always have a fall-back plan. There may be times when in a foreign country that you may not be able to find a meal that meets your needs.
You can still be a foodie:
Many vegetarians have been turning to Happy Cow, a website launched in 1999 to guide travelers to vegetarian restaurants around the globe.
Sandra Beasley, a poet, an avid foodie and someone who is allergic to many things, says if travelers do their homework before visiting a place, it is possible to find a variety of dining options. Find out more about how Sandra lives with her life-threatening allergies in her memoir, Don’t Kill The Birthday Girl.
Find like-minded tourism:
There are all sorts of Vegan friendly vacation destinations popping up. Visit Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, New York which is a rescue center for farm animals. The farm provides tours and overnight stays or go to the Red Robin Son Guest House in Berkshires, New York where they serve up delicious vegan breakfasts that could fool anyone. There are plenty of other vegan bed and breakfasts throughout the country so ask your travel agent to find you one.