Gluten Free Travel Tips - All-Inclusive Resorts
PHOTO: Gluten Free Travel Tips | Vacation Pros | YYZ Toronto International Airport
YYZ - Terminal 3 Food Suggestions
Starbucks has a good selection of packaged gluten free options:
Moon Cheese | Apple Chips | Marshmallow Krispie bars (delicious!) and more.
The central restaurant has a cold fridge where you can get fresh items to take on the plane:
Cheese | Hard boiled eggs | Fresh Fruit | Yogurt | Assorted drinks and snacks
Always grab a few things for the plane! Gluten free food is not guaranteed on the flight unless you pre-order your meal at time of booking.
PHOTO: Gluten Free Options | Travelling Gluten Free | Terminal Three Pearson International
Gluten Free Options: What to Pack for the flight to destination.
PHOTO: Gluten Free Travel Tips | All-Inclusive | Interior of an aircraft
From sandwiches to protein bars, you can take most food on a plane that is not a liquid. If it is solid and doesn't have seeds (like oranges) you can safely pack any favourites from home.
Check out this LINK for some useful ideas!
Guide to Eating Gluten Free | Resort Eating
A La Carte's
Make your reservations and speak with the hostess & waiter - showing them your Dietary Restrictions letter or card. If the person taking your order is not fluent in English and may not understand, always ask to speak to the manager or the chef. Make sure you feel comfortable - and always ask questions. Remember, they want to make you happy!
Bring your Dietary Restrictions card or letter with you every time!
You don't know who is on staff each day, so better to keep it with you. Ask for the chef on duty. Here you have 3 different choices.
They can make your food 100% in the back kitchen.
This is the safest way as the risk for cross contamination is the lowest. This does take more time as it is prepared fresh - so I suggest going to do your food order first, then going to sit and enjoy a drink while you wait. Don't hesitate to ask for a salad or dessert as well! Ask for your dessert at the beginning of your meal and it will be ready for you by the time you are done.
The chef can take you around the buffet and show you the gluten free options.
A buffet is a high risk for cross contamination, but can be eaten from with some precautions and common sense. Once done the tour, I would grab 2 soup spoons as your serving utensils so as not to use the shared ladles and serve yourself from the portion that has been untouched. This one involves using your common sense and if your spidey sense goes off - pass on it!
A combo - my favourite option!
Take the buffet tour with the chef and ask him to make your main plate in the back (the tour should help give you ideas, and ask for dessert too!). Then serve yourself a safe starter plate while you wait for the main. I find this way of dining easiest when with others as they can do it in courses with you, so you are not the last one to eat.
PHOTO: Eating Gluten Free | A La Carte and Buffet options | Vacation Pros
Go Early! If you want to eat from the buffet, try to show up at the beginning of the meal service. Fewer people have been through and you will have the more food options, with the lowest risk for cross contamination. If you like to eat later - stick with the custom orders in the back. Mimosas always help with the wait!
Use your best judgement! If the swim-up bartender is non-stop pouring draft beer, ask him to wash his hands before making your drink or get a server to bring it for you from another bar. You can use a travel mug from home and get the best drinks from the lobby bar, where there is usually less beer being poured. I find tipping gets me great service - if another $10-20 a day makes my stay exceptional, instead of average - that is money well spent in my opinion!
Destination Airport eats!
Airports are always hit and miss for their safe gluten free options. Below is a fabulous meal from Bubba Gump Shrimp in the Cancun Airport! In other airports, you may not be so lucky and have to eat only what you bring with you. Plan some snacks for your return home voyage and flight. Bring containers so you can pack some safe goods from the resort in case options are limited. Most airports have a listing on their website of where you can find gluten free products, best to check and pack ahead.
Last But Not Least!
Each resort is different - it never hurts to ask!
It is usually harder to get gluten free service, as the selection is limited. Try the first day and if not, plan to go to the full buffet for lunch - better to be safe and well fed!
Eating off the resort can be done but it is tricky to arrange and there is no guarantee you will be understood. Ask the chef the day before if he can prepare you a gluten free picnic (sandwiches, fruit etc.) to take on your excursions. You'll find the majority of people want to help you have a great time.
Bring some resealable bags. This may not be your thing, but if you can get gluten free baked goods or snacks you like, pack some to go. They don't usually mind when it's for Dietary Restrictions. I always get a few things to take to the airport! You never know when a flight delay can happen.
Most importantly - have a wonderful vacation!
PHOTO: Rachel Stewart - your friendly neighbourhood celiac travel agent! | Vacation Pros