Tips on Dietary Restrictions and Travel

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For most people, vacations are an excuse to leave behind responsibilities, including their diet, but for some, this is an unobtainable luxury. There are many reasons that people must abide by dietary restrictions, from those who voluntarily abstain from foods for religious or personal reasons, to those who have medical conditions like celiac disease, food allergies, or diabetes. Not only can dietary restrictions put a damper on enjoying local delicacies and regional cuisines, it can make travel itself seem difficult, even domestically. Thankfully, travelers from all walks of life have discovered a variety of ways to stay healthy and eat well while traveling, no matter their dietary needs.

For Royal Holiday members, the easiest way to eat well is often provided as part of a destination’s accommodations: a kitchen or kitchenette. Cooking for yourself is always the easiest way to ensure that every ingredient and preparation method is consistent with your particular diet. Naturally, it’s also helpful to do some research before traveling, especially for those who follow strict diets; vegans, for example, may find a trip to South America quite difficult, while kosher cuisine may be hard to find in Asia. Calling ahead is often the best way to avoid difficulties, even on airlines. Many airlines post their allergy policies and other information on their websites as well.

If you have severe food allergies, consider bringing a card with this information printed in the local language, to make communicating with waiters and chefs easier. Hotel concierges are also a vital asset, as they usually can assist any diner with finding a restaurant that will cater to their dietary needs. Of course, for many people, the easiest solution is to travel with food, ideally shelf-stable provisions, though certain situations will make this difficult, such as cruises. Travel by car is almost certainly the easiest way to transport plenty of diet-specific food, although it’s also possible to ship food ahead of time to your destination. Finally, remember that no one is alone in having a dietary restriction, and the internet is filled with the tips and tricks of others who share your particular concern.

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