When you’re a frequent flyer who is on a diet because you are allergic to certain foods, it can be difficult dining out while away from home. It may be a bit of a challenge, but it’s not impossible to find the foods you can eat starting in the airport, on the airplane, and at your destination.
Researching Your Options
The good thing is that most restaurants, and nearly all commercially available food products now label their foods to alert diners of the ingredients. People who are allergic to nuts or wheat, for instance, should be able to see at a glance whether or not the foods they buy in a store contain ingredients to which they are allergic.
If you travel with a smartphone (and who doesn’t these days?), there are plenty of apps both free and paid that typically list restaurants and the nutritional details of their most popular dishes.
You can do a bit of research at home, too. Before you depart, do a quick search online to find out what dining options you’ll have in transport, and at your final destination. You can then cross-reference this list with your smartphone app to find all the details such as ingredients, calories, fat grams, etc.
Social media is the newest way to find good dining options all along your trip as well. Tweet that you are seeking a vegan restaurant in Tahiti, for instance, and there’s bound to be several users online who can point you in the right direction. There are plenty of group pages on Facebook that are comprised of members with allergies, or other dietary restrictions and those members are also bound to offer prompt support too.
Away From Home
Although many flights no longer serve food, there are still instances when you may have to eat on the plane, especially if you are taking a long, international trip. The best thing to do in this instance is to contact the airline ahead of time and ask what options you have. The same holds true if you are going to be on a cruise ship for any length of time; inform the cruise line ahead of time of any dietary needs so they can plan to make your meals according to your needs.
If you’re going to be in a foreign country, chances are you won’t have access to familiar restaurants or food. Before you depart, make sure you know enough about the language to ask a server or market clerk about specific ingredients. They may not understand or may have a different definition of terms such as “vegan” or “vegetarian, so ensure you know a variety of ways to ask important questions.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to travel with your own private stash of snacks. That way you’re never in a position where you’re starving and might make the wrong choice.
If you’ve got a choice about where you stay during your trip, try to find accommodations that are healthy for your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re dieting to get into a bikini this summer, try staying at a spa rather than a regular hotel. If you are a vegan, you should be able to find a bed and breakfast that serves food from an on-site garden. Conversely, if you’re allergic to dairy products, staying on a guest farm that raises cows probably isn’t a good choice.
Just because you must watch what you eat doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a trip away from home and your comfort zone. Do your research before and be prepared to handle your dining options everywhere from the airport to your destination so you can truly enjoy your trip.