Travelling with Food Intolerance

Travelling with Food Intolerance

Like most things in life, a bit of preparation when travelling with food intolerance is key.

Minimise your stress and enjoy your trip as much as possible by planning a few things prior to leaving – Trust us, it will be worth it!

If you’ll be travelling with food intolerance, here are some handy tips that can assist with you having the best, and gut friendly trip possible:

  • Have food intolerance cards ready or download a language app. Choose whichever option suits you best but bear in mind, will the app work if you don’t have wifi? The pros of food intolerance cards is you can carry them with you everywhere and don’t need wifi to access them. They also can’t run out of battery.
  • Book accommodation with a kitchen and prepare some quick and easy meals yourself.
  • Take packaged food items overseas with you e.g. sauces and marinades. This way at least you have staple items in the fridge for the days and nights you stay at home.  This also means you can skip that dreaded grocery shop, reading labels in a language you don’t understand.
  • Make a mental note of some go-to meals you can ask for in a restaurant for example, grilled meat and rice or plain fish and veg. Having these organised in your mind beforehand really will reduce your anxiety about eating out.
  • Do some research online and find restaurants or cafes who cater to your needs. There are many forums out there so get in touch with locals to find out what they know and how they can help you on your trip.
  • Pre-book your evenings out and discuss your needs with the restaurants directly. This allows them time to prepare a meal you can eat and ensure your safety by checking ingredients etc with you prior to your arrival.
  • Don’t panic if you face a waiter who doesn’t understand – You can simply ask if there is someone who speaks English (always a good term to know for where you go) and if that fails, go somewhere else. There is no doubt that something will go wrong on holiday but don’t let that ruin your day. Find an alternative solution to the problem and keep having fun!
  • If you know you want to have picnics in the park or sandwiches by the sea, pack a foldable esky lunchbox for yourself so you can travel with food more easily and safely. This means fresh food, chilled wine and spectacular views, stress free!
  • If all fails and you have an upset stomach, rash or worse, make sure you pack what you need to treat your symptoms. Whether these are anti-diarrhea tablets, cooling cream, antihistamines, an Epi-pen or prescribed medication…have it on you at all times.
  • Talk about your food intolerance with the airline. Some will prepare meals for you, others will give you food vouchers and/or allow you to bring your own food on the plane.  Check with your airline what they allow and put a plan in place.  This is essential for long flights otherwise, you may have a very bad and “hangry” start to your holiday!

Here are some helpful catchphrases for some of the most visited countries around the world:

FYI – As Chinese and Japanese languages are symbols, we have also included the pronunciations for these terms should you want to ask for help instead of using cards!

Country – Term Gluten Free Coeliac Dairy Free Nut Allergy
France Sans gluten Coeliaque Sans produits laitier Allergie aux noix
Spain Sin gluten Celiaco Libre de lacteos Allergia a las nueles
Germany Gluten-frei Zoliakie Milchfrei Nuss allergie
Italy Senza glutine Celiaco Senza lattosio Allergia alle noci
China 不含麸质

Bù hán fū zhí


Fùqiāng de


Wú rǔ zhìpǐn


Jiānguǒ guòmǐn

Japan 無グルテンの

Mu guruten no




Nyūseihin furī



However you choose to holiday, peace of mind about what you can do and where you can eat are essential to having a good time.  Take your time and plan it out so you know what’s happening when you get there.  And remember, eat well, stay safe and have fun!

Got questions?  Why not call us on 1300 819 888 or send us an email