Even though 3.1 million people across the United States alone follow a gluten-free diet, traveling with celiac disease or related conditions can often cause worry. After all, nobody wants to feel sick when traveling - as it is an easy way to turn a great trip into the worst week of your life stuck in a hotel bathroom that you can’t wait to escape from. Whether you are heading out on a family road trip or planning a luxury hotel visit for yourself and your family, one of the easiest ways to go on a gluten-free travel adventure is to head to a destination that will be gluten-free friendly!
With that in mind, here are some of the best travel destinations for Gluten-Free travelers and, of course, fun things to do in each destination! Remember that you can listen to the Travel Gluten Free podcast to find specific episodes on many of these top gluten-free destinations.
Gluten Free Mexico
Guanajuato, Mexico, is a wonderful travel destination for those who live a gluten-free lifestyle. Mexican food is mostly naturally gluten-free as many of their dishes are corn-based. This means that you can easily walk into any restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal with several options to eat. This gives you the excuse to eat as many tacos as humanly possible!
Another reason why Guanajuato is a great travel destination as there are many different things to do, see and visit during your time there, including spending your entire vacation in the sunshine! Do you love taking pictures as I do? Guanajuato is known to be one the most picturesque places in the entirety of Mexico - due to its brightly colored buildings, natural greenery, and proximity to the beautiful Cerro del Cubilete mountain.
Gluten Free London
England’s capital city is home to a wealth of culture, history, and fun activities to participate in. In fact, there are plenty of fun things to do in London that won’t cost you a single penny! For example, you can visit one of the many inner-city parks or explore London’s history in a local museum.
Furthermore, thanks to a wealth of fresh-food markets and pop-up restaurants, London is a great gluten-free destination - whether you fancy delicious burgers or Asian cuisine - there is truly something for everyone to enjoy. If you have a sweet tooth, you should definitely check out the Duck & Waffle in Bishopsgate, which serves delicious gluten-free waffles late into the night - perfect for a midnight snack after a busy day of exploring!
Gluten Free Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, Utah, is another destination that makes real strides towards being more accessible for all, especially when providing foodie food gluten-free. In fact, there are plenty of gluten-free restaurants in Salt Lake City for you to choose from - whether you are looking for fast food or a sit-down dining experience. Furthermore, there are plenty of fun, family-friendly things to do in the city - such as visiting the Hogle Zoo!
However, it is essential to remember that if you visit the US as a non-national, you may need to obtain a VISA or ESTA ahead of time. An ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is a legal alternative to a VISA, which will allow you to stay in the states for up to 90 days - whether you are visiting as a tourist or as part of a work trip. Click here for Esta help and guidance or to begin your application.
Gluten Free Moab, Utah
In 2020, Moab was named as one of the best holiday destinations by Trip Advisor - and it’s clear why. There are plenty of fun things to do in Moab, whether you visit one of its many national parks such as Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, or Dead Horse Point State Park or visiting a local museum to learn more about the local history and culture. Furthermore, plenty of restaurants, cafes, and take-out services cater to those with special dietary requirements, including gluten-free diets. They also have an exciting array of vegetarian and vegan options available.
Gluten Free Kefalonia, Greece
Kefalonia is the perfect holiday destination for those who love small, intimate places to travel and are ready for adventure, exploration or relaxing on white-sand beaches. There are plenty of travel guides for Kefalonia available online that can help you uncover the island’s hidden gems, such as beachside caves or the historic Kefalonia Agios Gerasimos Monastery.
Furthermore, most Mediterranean food is gluten-free, as the Mediterranean diet is based on fresh fruit, veg, and meats with lots of fish - meaning that you can easily find something to enjoy on the menu. Furthermore, while Greek food includes wheat-based pastries, many restaurants now offer gluten-free alternatives so that you don’t have to miss out on any of the fun. Remember, if you are unsure whether or not any dishes are gluten-free, always consult with the chef or wait staff for further guidance. If you are looking for more guidance on how to eat out gluten-free, check out my book The Guide to Traveling Gluten Free for advice on how to choose a safe, gluten-free restaurant.
Gluten Free Saigon
Vietnam’s capital, also known as Saigon, is another excellent destination for those that follow a gluten-free diet. This is due partly since the vast majority of Vietnamese food is gluten-free. For example, the noodles used in traditional Vietnamese dishes such as Pho are usually made from rice flour - which is gluten-free. Other popular gluten-free Vietnamese dishes include Bun Bo and Rice Cakes. As always, check with your server to find out if the noodles in your dish are safe to eat!
On the activity side of visiting Saigon, you’ll find plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Ho Chi Minh City - whether that means you pay a visit to Giac Lam Pagoda - a stunning and historic temple, or explore the natural beauty of the area. You should also make sure you hop on board a Bonsai River Cruise for unique views of the city and surrounding areas!
While the above list is by no means exhaustive, it can be used as a useful guide when planning your first post-pandemic trip. By choosing destinations ahead of time that you know to be gluten-free friendly, you are saving yourself plenty of time, worry, and hassle - meaning that you can focus on making the most out of your holiday without having to spend hours scanning over menus or planning your next meal.
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