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Gluten Free Diet and Travel – When It Doesn’t Quite Happen…

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People like myself just take for granted that we’re able to eat pretty much anything we want, and it won’t leave us sitting on the toilet for a week. This gives me the luxury of allowing me to eat all sorts of weird stuff like Cow’s Nose and Guinea Pig.

However there are many people out there who have to watch everything they chuck in their mouth, but that can be a bit hard when food standards differ (or aren’t there altogether) in other countries!

Today I have a story from Megan who runs Forks and Footprints, who has to go gluten free to avoid placing her mouth over the porcelain altar!

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Here is just one practical example of how travel doesn’t always mix with things like gluten intolerances!

The Gluten Free Diet and Travel – Doesn’t Always Happen!

I travel gluten free, and when I have to do long, 8+ hour flights where meals are included I typically spend hours upon hours with the customer service departments in Taiwan or beyond trying to explain that I can’t eat gluten and then what gluten is, as well as eggs and nuts.

Typically this results in them telling me to pick one that I can’t have. Like choose whether you want to stick yourself with an epipen from eating nuts or be stuck in the bathroom for the entire trip from eating gluten or eggs.

Typically in the 5th or 6th hour of negotiations I get my point across and am assured that there will be a safe meal or two for me.

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On a recent flight with Norwegian Airlines, I unfortunately did not have the time to pack many snacks and was relying almost solely on the meals they were providing for a 13+ hour flight.

I got my first meal and in it was a measly cup of fruit, some broth they called soup and a sandwich.

The sandwich seemed a little weird. The entire meal was labeled gluten free, but the sandwich was individually wrapped and had no gluten free marking. I called an attendant over and was like is this definitely gluten free, and his response was, “Funny, we were actually all just discussing that. Honestly, I wouldn’t eat it if I were you.” And walked away.

I thought, well, I’ll just eat the meat and cheese from the center to have something. I opened the sandwich up to only find this: two tiny triangles of cheese and one pickle.

Gluten Free Diet Intolerance Travel


Looks like I was fasting for the remainder of the flight!

(The Travel Tart). Oh well! I learnt something new today!

Considering I have an Italian background and love pasta, this gluten intolerance sounds like my kind of eating hell!

How about you? What dietary requirements and challenges have you come across on the road?

Let us know, especially if you’ve been some left of centre situations!

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4 thoughts on “Gluten Free Diet and Travel – When It Doesn’t Quite Happen…”

  1. Avatar Of Erin Smith

    You can NEVER rely on airplane food if you have celiac disease (which I have too!) because there is no way to confirm ingredients on things like sandwiches. I wouldn’t have eaten that unlabeled sandwich either and I always travel with plenty of GF good.

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