10 Tips for Travelling With a Food Intolerance

Last Updated on 6th May 2021

For individuals suffering from lactose, soy, gluten, peanut and other food intolerances, finding food when travelling can range from annoying to frightening. Here are ten effective ways to reduce risks and enjoy the journey.

Learn Some Key Phrases

It’s important that you can communicate your needs to any waiter or chef you might come across on your travels. Learning key phrases such as ‘which meals contain no gluten?’ Or ‘does this contain eggs?’ in the appropriate language(s), will ensure you’re understood while travelling. It’s also a show of courtesy to take the time to learn their language, instead of assuming they’ll speak English. Having a translation app on hand is great for situations when communication is tricky.

Research the Country’s Cuisine

It helps a lot to know what to expect when you arrive. If you have a dairy intolerance, it’ll be easier to find dairy-free food in countries like Spain and Italy (who primarily use oil as a basis for cooking, not butter) and most Asian countries. Countries such as France may prove difficult, as they love their butter! Gluten is found all over Europe, with bread served with every meal. In Asia, where rice is more prevalent, this can be a bit easier. While these should in no way dictate where you travel to, it’s good to have an idea of the cuisine you’ll be enjoying, and your options while there.

10 Tips for Travelling With a Food Intolerance

Find  Specific Stores Catering for Your Need

There’re emerging stores around Europe that cater specifically for dietary requirements. These little gems are a great way to give your body a break or indulge in a treat. There are dedicated gluten-free bakeries and cafes in Paris, dairy. It’s taking a while for these companies to emerge, but they are, and it’s wonderful news. Knowing these stores can be very uplifting, and they are perfect for return trips.

Have an Open Mind About Your Body’s Reactions 

This one is interesting as it can be very hard to predict how your body will react to triggers overseas, so keep an open mind. Your reactions may be more or less severe (hopefully less!) and the actual symptoms may be very different to what you are used to.

Monitor What Affects Your Body

If you are in a certain country for an extended period of time (around a week or more) you may start to understand what your body can and can’t cope with there. Especially if the reactions are different to what you experience at home, it is important to notice how your body is behaving. Understanding these differences may open up more options for you, or help you be more comfortable.

Take Medication

It is always good to be prepared, so if you have any medications or tricks that help get you through mild to moderate reactions, bring them along with you.

Cannabis products like CBD and Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds at Zamnesia have been shown to play a significant role in decreasing inflammation and helping regulate your immune system. 

Recent studies show that cannabis aids in preventing cells from freeing histamines. This means reducing sneezing, itching and other allergy-related signs. Researchers also found that cannabinoids impaired T-cells’ activation, white blood cells that boost antibody reaction and activation. Active T-cells lead to a rise in histamines, and blocking this process can help ease food intolerances.

Occasionally, Your Options Won’t Be Great.

Sometimes, you just won’t be able to find anything delicious that you can safely eat. Particularly in confined zones, such as airports, your options can be limited.

Confirm That Your Airline is Catering For Your Dietary Requirements.

This is vital because you do NOT want to be going hungry or having a reaction on a 24-hour transit across the world. Most airlines today are great with this. Ask your travel agent to register your requirements, and confirm these are being catered for when you check-in. Becoming a member of the airline and registering your meal requirements is also another way of ensuring you will get food that you can eat. The actual meals should be clearly labelled so you know what you are eating.

Ensure That Whoever You Are Travelling With Understands Your Dietary Requirements.

Travelling with dietary restrictions can be hard work. It’s important that whoever you are travelling with understands what your dietary requirements are, their severity, and the consequences if you eat something with a trigger in it. People who don’t suffer from allergies or intolerances might not quite ‘get it’ but do your best to make it clear before you leave. The last thing you want is them rolling their eyes when you reject yet another restaurant because you can’t find any suitable options. What you do want is them trying their hardest to be patient and understanding.

Rent an Apartment

Renting an apartment with a kitchen allows you the option of cooking meals while travelling. This gives you much more control over what you are eating, and can be a good chance to give your body a break. It’s also cheaper than eating out, which is never a bad thing!


There is nothing much better than tasting something amazing that you have never tasted before. It’s more than possible to eat beautiful food while overseas with food intolerance, and there is no reason you should miss out on some incredible experiences. Stay positive, have fun, and try new things.