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Best International Choices for Gluten Free Travelers

10-days-of-gluten-free-square[1] BLOG HOP, DAY 6: Having wanderlust but wondering if you can successfully venture overseas while maintaining your gluten-free diet? Leaving the relative comfort of the U.S., with its growing awareness of Celiac, to travel into uncharted territory can spook even the most seasoned travelers. And it's no wonder...there are international destinations that consistently get high marks from gluten-free travelers -- and there are those you probably want to shy away from. Do some more detailed online research, and you'll see that...

Ireland gets top marks, due to its higher incidence (2%, vs. 1% for the U.S) of Celiac Disease. And Italy — ironically the land of pasta! -- has a high awareness and therefore a higher rate of diagnosis, even though their overall rate of Celiac is equivalent to ours (1%). Reviews are mixed, but it seems many restaurants understand the needs of their gluten-free diners and are able to offer plenty of gluten-free options, including GF pasta. 

Screen Shot 2012-05-06 at 11.53.37 PMAustralia and New Zealand are very aware and accommodating to people on gluten-free diets, and the many GF-friendly choices there make finding a “safe” restaurant easy. We have a good number of reviews from this part of the world on our website, so check them just might inspire you to plan a trip "down under."Other areas of the world — like Latin America and Africa — have less of a reliance on wheat and rely more on gluten-free grains like quinoa, rice, teff, and amaranth. Meals prepared with some of these grains can expose you to new tastes. In fact, many of these grains are gaining quite a following here in the U.S. (and not just in the GF community) for their wonderful taste and superior nutritional content. 

One place our family traveled last year -- which we admittedly found very difficult (although incredibly beautiful) -- was Paris. There was only one restaurant in the entire city that was gluten-free, and it was owned by a gentleman with Celiac who got so frustrated with the lack of "safe" places to eat in Paris that he opened his own restaurant. We had two wonderful dinners there, but unfortunately, the restaurant recently closed (I sent him an email to inquire as to where he is eating now...will let you know when I hear back if he has any recommendations!). You can read more about Paris in my comprehensive Blog post.

If you want to hear about favorite domestic OR international travel spots recommended by others on gluten-free diets, be sure to sign up for our free monthly e-letter. We always feature top-rated places, so it's a great way to get inspired to plan a trip of your own!

Have YOU had any good -- or bad -- experiences traveling gluten-free outside of the United States?  If so, leave a comment below and you'll receive one entry into our giveaway of a $25 P.F. Chang's gift card, to be selected at random from all entries received by May 18, 2012, the last day of our Blog hop. Each person is allowed one entry/comment per day for each of the 10 days of posts (May 7-11 and May 14-18), for a total of 10 entries on THIS Blog. You have the same opportunity for entering a total of 10 times for the giveaways on the other 9 Blogs listed below. The giveaway is limited to U.S. residents who are 18 years or older. The Giveaway begins May 7, 2012, and ends at 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 18, 2012. No purchse is necessary. Odds of winning are based on the number of entries. The winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be randomly chosen. 

Would you like to get more great gluten-free tips on baking, dining out, and kitchen tips? Check out today's posts from other Blog Hop participants

Getting Started - Linda at The Gluten-Free Homemaker 
Resources – Wendy at Celiacs in the House
Eating Out – Heather at Gluten-Free Cat
Frugal Tips – Janelle at Gluten Freely Frugal
Cooking – Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl
Baking – Jules at Jules Gluten Free
Kids – Lynn at Lynn’s Recipe Adventures
Lunch Boxes – Tessa at Tessa the Domestic Diva
Shopping – Laura at Gluten Free Pantry