Travel and holidays

At Celiac India, we understand the challenges a gluten free traveler faces. At the same time, with adequate information and tips, one can try and plan a safe and enjoyable holiday.

We are therefore interacting with various resorts and hotel chains and providing you with a list of Celiac friendly holiday providers. There are also tips for hotel stays and ordering meals while on domestic or overseas travel.

Tips for travel and hotel stays

  • Try to plan your holiday during off-peak season as the hotel staff will have more time to accommodate your special dietary needs.
  • Whether traveling by train, road or air, always carry some gluten free snacks. Budget for any delays in travel time.
  • If travelling by air, carry your doctor’s certificate stating the dietary restrictions for your child, which you could show to the airline staff if needed.
  • Many international airlines offer gluten free meals if requested in advance. But always carry extra snacks in your bag to suffice for least one meal.
  • Talk to the hotel before making a booking. Speak to the chef and mention about your dietary requirements. Make the booking only when you are convinced that he understands and can handle this special need.
  • On reaching the hotel, meet the chef, discuss the details of the diet and plan the menu for your child in detail.
  • Regional cuisines in India offer many inherently gluten free dishes, grains, daals, vegetable and meat  preparations, rice dishes, varieties of starters and desserts  which can be easily prepared by the local staff.  Gluten free flavors are always assured in India irrespective of which region you are visiting.

However, awareness and accurate knowledge regarding celiac disease and gluten free diet is minimal in our country presently. Ensure to read our dining out section and follow all precautions while dining out.

  • The awareness of celiac disease is generally low in Asia as the prevalence of this condition is itself low in these countries presently. All precautions, especially about cross contamination, need to be taken.
  • At the same time, most of the popular holiday destinations in Asia, like Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia offer plenty of hotel options with kitchens – serviced apartments – which offer a lot of convenience to prepare your own food.
  • Travel to the countries where there is awareness about celiac disease and availability of certified gluten free food, is relatively easy. Most of these countries have a lot of information available regarding gluten free food. Find out about celiac support groups in the country you are visiting. Carry their contact numbers with you. They can guide you about where to stay, buy and eat gluten free. Here too you will find accommodation options with a kitchen.
  • Research before you travel. Travel blogs and travel experiences of other celiac travelers provide information but be prudent while using this information.
  • Use your holiday as an opportunity to help increase awareness about celiac disease.

Tips for ordering meals

  • Always remember that even in the best of hotels, there could be little or at times, imperfect knowledge about celiac disease and about gluten free diet. YOU have to take all precautions.
  • Cross contamination and hidden sources of gluten should always be explained to the hotel or restaurant. Have a detailed conversation with the staff prior to every meal that you order.
  • Try to always speak to the senior staff as they maybe more conversant with the gluten free diet.
  • Take all precautions even when food is labelled gluten free. Ask all questions even when dining in a place which seems to be aware of gluten free requirements.
  • Ask questions before EVERY meal. There could be different staff preparing meals at different times.
  • Read our Dining out section. Use the dining card and do not hesitate in asking questions.
  • Keep your dining card handy, whether eating in the hotel or outside.
  • In places or countries where English is not spoken widely, please check a few times that your order has been clearly understood. Use the tips for dining out and dining cards. Dining cards are available in many different languages and for many different cuisines on the internet. Our dining card is available in Hindi too.
  • Some countries have certified (and at times even exclusive) gluten free restaurants and bakeries. Search for them as they are the ideal dining options.
  • When shopping for gluten free products, keep in mind that different countries have different labeling rules. Check with the celiac support groups there about the labeling rules in the country you are visiting.

Celiac friendly providers

Our initiative to help ease your worries for planning holidays and dining out. Read more

What to pack

  • Always pack and keep some gluten free snacks in your bag like:
  1. Fruits
  2. Nuts – plain or roasted
  3. Gluten free milk powder
  4. Sweets like gluten ree chikki, ladoos
  5. Gluten free thepla/ parantha
  6. Gluten free cookies
  7. Gluten free cake
  • Prepare, freeze and carry some items which can be refrigerated for a few days like:
  1. Gluten free theplas / paranthas
  2. Gluten free cakes
  3. Gluten free bread
  •  Carry small packs of spices, condiments, seasonings and sauces
  • Be prepared for any unexpected delays whether traveling by air, rail or road
  • Keep in mind that at times, even some commonly used items may not be available at all holiday destinations. Carry small packs of all critical items with you to tide over the first day at least, especially when traveling with a celiac child.