International Destinations

This week, we are sharing a post from the mom of two kids (and wife of hubby) with Celiac and gluten sensitivity. You'll get a chuckle out of her all-too-familiar trials and tribulations as she and her family fly across the world on a somewhat regular basis. She has some great tips that you may not have thought about...and others that are definitely great reminders as we all begin the summer travel season. An expat living in Singapore now, you can find Karen Horan's contributions to the Celiac community in southeast Asia on the websites listed at the bottom of this post. Enjoy...and send us your own stories of gluten free travel! My official title is “Global Domestic Engineer, specialty ‘Human Development’. I have two full time clients who are currently 10 and 13 years old. By my calculations I have roughly 10 years left of full time work, then I can become a consultant on an ad hoc basis. My teenage client was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when she was just 3 years old and her younger brother and father are both gluten intolerant. After many years in my job, I was feeling pretty good at handling a medically... Read more →


Today, we share another guest post from an experienced world traveler...this time it's Celiac blogger Gail from 50 Beds and Counting, a blog in which she discusses transitioning to retirement, travel adventures, learning how to build an active retirement life, and living with Celiac as well as heart disease. She shares her latest adventure, a 5-week trip beginning in Hong Kong and traveling to Sydney, Australia aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship. When I was diagnosed with Celiac more than eight years ago, I was concerned how this illness would impact traveling. I worried my travel dreams would be curtailed by my fear of finding healthy, safe food away from home. As it turned out, mostly I didn't need to worry. When I retired in 2014 (PhD clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and educator), my initial plan was to ramp up my travel schedule -- and I did. My husband and I have enjoyed international and domestic cycling trips, hiking tours, regular old walking around and sightseeing vacations, and cruises to far flung locales like Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, South America and more. Many of these experiences I've chronicled in my blog 50 Beds and Counting. One of the many advantages... Read more →


In this post, we welcome Katherine Tolley, a Celiac currently living in Barcelona, Spain... In the fall of 2013, after a year of reoccurring mononucleosis, an aggressive case of pneumonia, and a constant, unexplained fever and feeling of vertigo, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I was somewhere between my junior and senior year of college, living at home, and doing everything possible to help heal my body – especially my digestive system. A semester abroad studying the arts was a requirement for my design degree, and I was terrified after my diagnosis to even leave the house for fear of cross-contaminated food and more illnesses. I had been planning on studying in Barcelona, Spain, but as the time drew nearer and I read more about their cuisine (Tapas! Fried calamari! Churros! Toasted bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and olive oil!), I become increasingly nervous. After months of research and printing gluten-free dining cards in various foreign languages, I packed my suitcase full of gluten-free oatmeal packets and set off for the unknown. And to my never-ending delight, what I found across the Atlantic was a country that understood my needs far better than almost every place I had been... Read more →


Today, we are featuring a guest post from Zoë, who is currently living in Tel Aviv. She found out about five years ago that she is allergic to wheat, soy, and nuts (what she considers the worst combination of allergies for Israel!). Zoë started the Gluten Free Tel Aviv website when she realized that there was a big hole that needed to be filled. Although there are many Hebrew resources for the gluten free, information in English is much more difficult to find! So she created Gluten Free Tel Aviv to be the English language resource and community for travelers and residents alike. Here, she shares a very thorough list of Israeli specialties that are typically gluten free, along with some of her favorite dining spots where you can find them. Hello from Tel Aviv, Israel! I moved here only a few months ago and was overwhelmed with the whole new ALPHABET I had to learn! When I lived in Germany last year, at least it was easy to recognize “Gluten Frei” on the packaging, while here I had to memorize ללא גלוטן. To make things even more challenging, there are also two types of font here (kind of like... Read more →


As you may know, my husband and I love to travel as much as our busy schedule allows, and we almost always include our kids. Writing this Blog and managing GlutenFreeTravelSite and the Dine Gluten Free mobile app have given me the opportunity to share two of my greatest passions...traveling and finding safe and wonderful places to dine gluten free wherever we go. Our son's diagnosis with Celiac 11 years ago has made things a little more challenging when traveling, to be sure, but this post I'm sharing today, written by gluten free travel agent Ellen Morse and the 2016 Family Friendly Cruise Travel Planner, reminded me that including our kids on all our journeys is worth every bit of extra effort. Not only does it create memories and quality family time, but it teaches our kids valuable life lessons. I loved reading this wonderful post, and I wanted to share it with you. Seven Valuable Life Lessons and Skills Taught by Travel: 1. Travel helps children develop decision-making, and builds confidence – As you travel, a wide variety of choices present themselves. Gone are the routines of home; instead, children have the opportunity to make choices about which new... Read more →


In her quest to present a world of travel opportunities to her gluten-free clients, travel agent Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us has just developed a gluten-free, worry-free itinerary for the Galapagos Islands, with a chance to explore the treasures of Quito, Ecuador en route. Ellen was diagnosed with Celiac herself decades ago, so she is more familiar than anyone I know with the challenges that travel can bring. As more people have gotten diagnosed with Celiac -- and as they've become more comfortable with the thought of traveling -- Ellen has found her niche. She has used her worldwide knowledge and contacts developed as a travel agent to make travel safe even for Celiacs like herself. Ellen has shared many of the itineraries with us on our Gluten Free Getaways page...opportunities for travel to Prague, Croatia, China, Japan, India, and Costa Rica. She even has two itineraries (one leisure and one more adventurous) for biking through the Tuscan and Piedmont countryside of Italy. Of course, she is also extremely well-versed in helping gluten-free clients plan trips to other popular cities throughout Europe. Her newest itinerary, probably the most spectacular, is an opportunity for travel to the Galapagos Islands --... Read more →


Have you been on wonderful vacation recently? Perhaps you relaxed at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean...took a fun cruise...enjoyed a European adventure...or something else even more exotic. We'd love to feature YOUR gluten-free travel experience with the followers of this Blog. If it was a positive experience, it's great inspiration for fellow gluten-free travelers! Too many gluten-free folks still believe they can't travel while safely following their gluten-free diet. I've made it my mission for the past 8 years to prove them wrong! Let's show them how many amazing (and safe) options there are available now! Of course, we always welcome you to submit your travel reviews to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite.com...whether it's a restaurant you dined at on vacation, market or bakery where you found exciting gluten-free offerings, a hotel or resort that offered delicious gluten-free fare, or a cruise line that treated you like royalty. However, we'd love to give you, our followers, an opportunity to have a "guest post" on this blog, in which you can lay out your entire vacation experience. We welcome as many details as you'd like to share: where you stayed, where you dined, what you might do differently, and how this vacation... Read more →


These days, with so many travel portals offering thousands of reviews (including ours for the GF community -- GlutenFreeTravelSite), many people don't see the need to use a travel agent. Our culture has become very do-it-yourself, with people going online to read reviews and then booking their own travel arrangements, thinking they're saving time or money. But I'm here to advocate the opposite. While there's certainly a great need for sites like ours (and the more "mainstream" -- not GF focused -- sites like TripAdvisor), they are still just part of planning a great trip. I always recommend people go online to read reviews and get a feel for the most GF-friendly destinations, properties, and restaurants as a first step as they begin to consider different travel options. But speaking from much personal experience, travel agents can also be an enormous help. I have used them to help plan many trips for our own family, I wouldn't have it any other way. Here are my TOP 10 REASONS TO CONSIDER USING A TRAVEL AGENT: 1.) They have YEARS of expertise, something none of us can match even after spending hours or days trolling travel websites like GlutenFreeTravelSite, TripAdvisor, or Airbnb.... Read more →


You may be familiar with Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us and her amazing gluten free travel itineraries. Every few months, she unveils a new itinerary, and this time...it's Costa Rica. If some of her other recent gluten free itineraries (Prague, Croatia, China, Japan, India, and two bike tours through northern Italy) haven't been high on your own bucket list, perhaps Costa Rica is just what you're looking for. It offers a good value, close proximity, and little in the way of a language barrier (most people speak very good English). It's a great alternative to Europe for anyone concerned about security and safety. Plus, Costa Rica has had more than a century of democratic tradition and a high quality of life. Best of all, it presents a unique blend of relaxation and adventure...all while enjoying some of the most spectacular natural beauty on earth. As with all of Ellen's itineraries, it's not a group tour. You travel when you want...and with whom you want. Your trip to Costa Rica can be customized based on your desired dates of travel, length of stay, interests, and budget. The day-by-day itinerary laid out on our Costa Rica page is just a suggestion,... Read more →


As you know, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us specializes in putting together gluten free travel itineraries that can be customized for her clients. She finds the best gluten free friendly hotels and restaurants in a particular destination, works with local travel experts, vets the chefs at the places she recommends, and lines up tours and transportation -- all so you can travel gluten-free and worry free! These aren't group tours (unless you happen to want to pull together a group of your family or friends to travel together). Everything is customizable, according to your budget and preferences. You decide WHEN you want to travel, for HOW LONG you want to travel, and what you want to SEE of the places Ellen recommends. Ellen's latest itinerary, which she's been hard at work on for a while, is for PRAGUE. I was particularly excited to hear about this myself, as I'd love to visit there with my family some day. It's really so encouraging that virtually any destination is within the reach of gluten free travelers these days...if you take advantage of the resources available to you (like Ellen!). If you've missed some of my past posts, she's also put together... Read more →


Today we welcome Valerie Bowden as our guest blogger. Valerie has traveled extensively to Ethiopia and experienced the creative ways they use teff, Ethiopia's indigenous grain, which just happens to be gluten free -- and loaded with nutrition! She recently launched Eat Dirkosh, a teff-based snack chip company. She'll share some advice on eating Ethiopian food anywhere, including tips for gluten free diners...and she even shares some restaurant recommendations for dining in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Almost everyone has dreamed of going on an African vacation filled of safari animals, exotic cultures, and beautiful people. While it may seem overwhelming deciding which country to visit on the continent, one of the best ones to choose is Ethiopia. This beautiful and very safe East African country is known for its hospitable locals, gorgeous landscapes, and its delicious coffee. Often referred to as “The Land of 13 Months of Sunshine,” Ethiopia boasts more than just great weather though. It's also a gluten-free paradise. Teff Grain Ethiopia's gluten-free pride and joy is teff grain, which is native only to Ethiopia and its neighbor, Eritrea. While teff is the tiniest grain in the world, it's a nutritional powerhouse. It boasts an impressive amount of... Read more →


We're always adding helpful content, updating resources, and improving the functionality of GlutenFreeTravelSite and our free companion mobile app, Dine Gluten Free. But for those of you who haven't visited for a while -- or may not be aware of all the ways these valuable resources can help you DINE & TRAVEL gluten free more easily, we thought it might be time for a reminder... First Stop (if you need it): An Overview Under the RESOURCES tab within the navigation bar on our website, there's a section of the site called About Celiac & Gluten Sensitivity that contains 12 "chapters" of information that are helpful to both new and veteran gluten free folks. And if you have friends or family members that need to understand your diet better, send them a link to this page for answers to the questions they may have (sometimes it's easier when it comes from an impartial source!). Also, if you have a friend that suspects gluten may be adversely affecting their health, by all means, pass along this information to them. It could provide the spark that leads them to get tested. We've tried to make the explanations about Celiac, gluten sensitivity, and a... Read more →