Travel tips: How to travel well as a coeliac

ANGIE KENT

Diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2015, reality TV star Angie Kent is an ambassador for Coeliac Awareness Week, which runs from March 13-20. She rates Vietnam and Bali good for travels without gluten, but still calls Australia the most coeliac-friendly destination, coeliac.org.au

STEP ONE

Pack snacks for the road. Fruit and veg are simple and obvious, and hummus is also easy (remember that you can't take fresh produce over state borders). I love the Happy Snack Co's chocolate-coated chickpeas and Alter Ego's organic chocolates. The Good Crisp Co's chips are essentially Pringles, but gluten-free.

STEP TWO

Booking an Airbnb with a kitchen is my go-to to ensure I'm eating food free from glutens, otherwise I book short-stay apartments with a kitchen. We can sometimes get away with staying at hotels, but buffet breakfasts, as tempting as they are, aren't always the safest option, especially in non-English speaking countries. I definitely do not recommend eating street food.

STEP THREE

Mexican and Japanese cuisines are always pretty good for coeliacs and have the most options for me: I just make sure to get the gluten-free soy sauce, plus I LOVE sushi, so I don't have to order just a salad or eat plain rice. Recently, I went to Vietnam and The Anam had some of the best gluten-free food and seafood I have ever had. They also have a lot of vegetarian options, which is super handy for me as a pescatarian. See theanam.com

STEP FOUR

I fly Qantas for work a lot, and if you request in advance, Qantas and Virgin Australia are pretty good, though it's hard to find meals that are both gluten-free and vegetarian/pescatarian. Qantas is the best for gluten-free awareness, and the meals are as good as plane food can be. I have really struggled with Asian airlines – usually, they have nothing. I once spent a whole flight eating M&Ms because the airline didn't have a gluten-free friendly meal for me or any snacks, so I didn't eat on the way to my destination or on the way back. I have to be super vigilant about packing snacks for the plane, otherwise, I get REAL hangry.

STEP FIVE

Sauces are definitely the most difficult thing (especially in stir-frys) - you don't even realise how many of them have gluten as an ingredient until you have to go gluten-free. I always call and double-check with restaurants before eating out, check the gluten-free options online, then confirm that they have food that is suitable for a coeliac. A lot of wait staff don't know what coeliac disease is so you have to explain it. I find it best to have the translation of "no gluten", "gluten free" or "coeliac disease" written down or on my phone so I can explain it better.

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