Travel

You've probably heard of the Seychelles Islands. Their pristine, unspoiled beaches are often mentioned among the world's best. Located off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, this archipelago is made up of 115 islands. Many of the Seychelles islands are uninhabited and are nature reserves. Ellen Morse, one of our gluten free travel specialist partners (and who is gluten free herself) just had some clients return from a trip she planned for them to this exciting and exotic destination. They absolutely raved about the experience, and Ellen is eager to share the itinerary she planned for them with more clients. On this journey, which is not a group tour and can be taken at any time, you'll visit three of the main islands: Mahe, Praslin, and La Digue. She has worked with local tour companies who do business in the Seychelles to ensure all meals will be safely gluten free. Imagine seeing this beautiful part of the world while relaxing and having all your dietary needs taken seriously! Like many island nations, the people of the Seychelles enjoy a wide variety of fresh fish, seafood, and fruits. Rice flavored with curry, coconut, or saffron is another common... Read more →


If you're a lover of Italy but have already visited some of the bustling cities like Rome, Florence, Venice, or Milan, you owe it to yourself to consider a trip that's more "off the beaten path," but still just as enjoyable and fascinating. Some of you may remember me mentioning a travel opportunity to the Umbria region of Italy a few months ago. A yoga instructor ( http://goyogichef.com ) who is also a Le Cordon Bleu classically trained chef (and gluten free herself) had organized a group for a Food and Wine Tour of Umbria, escorted by Marcello and Raffaella, owners of Bluone Tours. Although I didn't initially think I could swing the trip, given various commitments with my kids and their busy school schedules, my husband graciously offered to "hold down the fort" at home, which allow an old college friend and me to embark on this unforgettable journey. Italy already held the title of "absolute favorite destination" in my mind, but I had never had the opportunity to explore the beautiful countryside made famous by films such as Under the Tuscan Sun. It was the prospect of exploring medieval hilltop towns frozen in time that appealed to me...getting... Read more →


I'm often asked about best destinations for gluten free travelers. In fact, just yesterday, I responded to someone's inquiry about finding a GF-friendly all-inclusive resort in a warm climate. It used to be that answering these questions was difficult...or at least, it was a short answer! Now, however, our family's own Bucket List of where we want to travel is incredibly long. That's because, from a gluten free perspective, we now can travel safely to so many places. The choices are almost endless. So whatever your type of travel, I have recommendations for you. 1.) Favorite stand-by: All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean or Mexico have been forever popular with travelers. It probably has something to do with the warm climate, endless food, and no worries about being nickeled-and-dimed for everything you eat, drink, or do. We get a good number of reviews coming in for resorts on our website, and one that recently stands out is Dreams Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. In fact, after getting back-to-back favorable reviews from families that spent the holidays there last year, we decided to showcase this resort on our Featured Review page back in February. I always recommend calling Lesley Hayden-Hock first,... Read more →


If you asked me to combine three of my favorite things (Italy, good gluten free food, and yoga), what you'd have is this incredible journey that recently came to my attention. Janice Veech (a.k.a. Go Yogi Chef) is a classically trained chef and certified yoga instructor who is leading her second gluten free journey to Umbria, Italy, an incredibly beautiful area of northern Italy known for its medieval villages, vineyards, and rich history. She partners with a local guide to deliver an authentic Italian experience. This gluten free Culinary Travel Adventure , scheduled for October 14-21, 2017, takes advantage of a time when there will be fewer crowds and ideal weather. Umbria's authentic Italian culture gives it a "frozen in time" appeal, and you'll stay in a private agriturismo in the countryside overlooking Assisi for the seven-day trip. Each morning, you'll have the opportunity to start your day with yoga (which, at the very least, will allow you to give yourself permission to enjoy all the glorious food later in the day!). Each day will be a journey to explore the region's history during Etruscan and Roman times, as well as its modern day culture. Activities include trips to charming... Read more →


Machu Picchu is high on many people's "Bucket Lists." The problem is...traveling to other countries, especially remote areas, can leave you feeling vulnerable from a dietary perspective. Will you be able to communicate your gluten free needs in another language? Will locals even understand what "gluten free" means? Even if they can offer a meal with gluten free ingredients, will they have the ability to keep your meal from getting cross contaminated during preparation? Will the tours you take even be able to accommodate special dietary needs? Will you be stuck eating fruit and snack bars brought from home for many of your meals? These are the questions that swirl through our minds as we dream of those exotic destinations we want to visit someday. Well, now "someday" is here. Our latest "gluten free getaway," designed by gluten free travel specialist Ellen Morse, covers the highlights of Peru, along with Machu Picchu. You'll spend a week touring Cuzco, Lima, UNESCO World Heritage Site Machu Picchu -- along with other ancient and colonial towns in Peru. This is a spectacular itinerary! Best of all, Ellen and her local partners in Peru have vetted the hotels and restaurants where you will stay... Read more →


Every couple months, we work with Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us to bring you a new gluten free itinerary. We try to offer something for every type of traveler: ever-popular destinations like Italy...newer "hot spots" like Cuba...once-in-a-lifetime experiences like The Galapagos...and "up-and-coming" destinations that have been gaining favor. Chile is one of those destinations. Due to the stable nature of its government, its unique history, and its gorgeous topography sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Chile is a destination you'll want to consider. And because its seasons are opposite ours in the northern hemisphere, it's an especially great place to visit during October through April, when average temperatures in Chile are in the 60s. Near-perfect weather, in my opinion! Chile offers incredible scenery and natural beauty. You'll fall in love with its awe-inspiring topography of forests, mountains, beaches, lakes, volcanoes, fjords, canals, and islands. Plus, its history -- dating from the native Incans to the Spanish Colonial period to a thriving modern country -- offers a fascinating blend of cultures. Increasingly recognized for its vineyards, Chile is also the perfect destination for oenophiles who enjoy tours and tastings at scenic wineries. For travelers with safety top-of-mind,... Read more →


You probably remember my Blog post detailing my family's trip to Italy this past summer. It was so fantastic, from a gluten free dining perspective, that I wrote a book about it (Gluten-Free in ITALY : Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Travel Guide to Italy), available on Amazon. But I'm often asked...of all the places we dined in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which was our favorite spot? Who had the best (and safest) gluten free offerings? In Rome, at least, I'd have to say it was a small chain of restaurants known as Mama Eat and Mama Frites. It was pure serendipity that we ended up eating at these two restaurants while in Rome. I'd heard about both restaurants and had included them on our list of places to potentially try while in Rome. However, I wasn't sure if it would work out, based on where we planned to be sightseeing each day. As luck would have it, after touring the Vatican for several hours one morning, a nearby gluten-free friendly restaurant where we'd planned to have lunch closed for renovation. We were starving, but we decided to continue with our day's plans and head south to Trastevere, an ancient and... 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 →


As some of you may remember, each January we tally the prior year's gluten-free dining and travel reviews submitted to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite. We then name the location with the most reviews from the prior year the "World's Most Celiac-Friendly Destination." In 2009, when we first started the contest, the winner came as no surprise: New York. As most of us know -- whether we've visited the Big Apple or not -- New York City is fast to embrace food trends, although using that word sometimes makes me shudder, since we all know that gluten-free diets are not a choice -- and a lot more than a "trend" -- for many of us. Nonetheless, New York City was among the first cities to give gluten-free diners dozens of safe restaurant options. Many of these restaurants are NON-chain restaurants...independent, neighborhood restaurants who may have initially been motivated to create gluten-free choices (and safe practices) for a family member, employee, or regular customer who was suddenly diagnosed with Celiac. In the contest's second year, Florida was bestowed with the honor, due to the Disney theme parks and resorts -- and the surrounding Orlando area -- emerging as a gluten-free diner's magical paradise.... Read more →


We just finished expanding and updating our Resources page on GlutenFreeTravelSite, and we think you'll like the result. It's a treasure trove of links to helpful sites and products that make living gluten-free -- and especially traveling and dining out -- easier and more enjoyable. You'll find links to all the major Celiac associations, both U.S.-based and international, including direct links to their pages with local chapter contact information. This is helpful to have when planning a trip, since a quick call to the local support group at your destination can often yield great advice. I'd especially recommend doing this when traveling internationally. Our Resources page also contains a complete guide to Cruising gluten-free, with contact information and the gluten-free policies of all major cruise lines included. Fortunately, most cruise ships now have at least basic gluten-free foods available, and some cruise lines go the extra mile to make their GF guests feel special with all sorts of wonderful GF treats. If a cruise vacation is something you're considering, you can also visit our Caribbean page of reviews, which contains user-submitted reviews of all the major cruise lines. Other helpful sections of our Resources page include information on handy travel... Read more →