Gluten Free Travel Guides & Translation Cards

I have celiac disease and was diagnosed in early 2000s, before awareness was as high as it is now. Knowledge of the disease is understandably low in many developing countries, but myths also abound in the West. It is an auto-immune disease that affects not just my stomach when I eat wheat, but my joints, my ability to function properly, and so much more. Gluten free travel is an added component of stress over and above the usual worries about safe and uncontaminated food.

I understand what it is like to be afraid of what you are eating, and to worry that it will make you sick. The effects of eating gluten for me last for days, and can come from something as innocuous as consuming something that was fried contaminated oil. So if I eat a spring roll made with rice paper that was fried in the same oil as a breaded product, I will still get sick.

I never wrote about having celiac disease in the early days of Legal Nomads, but since I published my book, readers have reached out asking for advice and help. For those of us who are celiac, eating gluten free is not a choice. I wanted to try and provide a resource for people seeking to travel despite the disease.

Legal Nomads Gluten Free Guides & Translations Cards

I have posted detailed gluten free guides per country, in addition to the city guides at the bottom of this page. Each of these country guides includes the foods that are safe, the foods that are unsafe, where to buy gluten free items as you travel, and an overview of my experiences eating in that country.

Gluten Free Country Guides:

Detailed Translation Cards For Purchase

I have used existing translation cards extensively, but found I still got sick because the cards, while specific, don’t use local food names or ingredients, and don’t account for sufficient cross-contamination.

I decided to build my own after getting sick in Japan with an existing card. When my card ended up helping readers as they traveled, I decided to keep going and build as many as I can.

Why are the Legal Nomads cards different?

Each card is researched by a celiac who loves to eat, and is translated then double checked by two separate translators. The cards are very detailed, and list out local dish names, local ingredients, and the kinds of cross-contamination that may be of concern.

Click on the card below to land on the purchase page for each, where you’ll also find an English translation so you know what you’re getting. 

gluten free translation card japan
gluten free translation card greek
gluten free translation card portugal
gluten free translation card vietnamese
gluten free translation card italian

In the pipeline: China, Morocco, Spain, Thailand — more to follow!

A brief testimonial from a reader named Nicole who used the Japan card:

Hi Jodi, the card is excellent and saved my skin the other night. The restaurant that we went to boils its edamame in the same water as its udon noodles.  The poor waiter kept pointing at the card when I said I could have edamame until he managed to explain the way they cooked them.

Needless to say I didn’t get much for dinner that night, but I wasn’t poisoned either.

Indispensable.  Thanks again

I will be building more, but in the interim you can download cards at Celiac Travel, Select Wisely or Allergy Translation.

General Resources about Celiac Disease

Below are the guides I have written for celiacs or for those who are seeking to avoid gluten but still roam the world.

  • Celiac Primer: For those who want to understand what exactly celiac disease is, and isn’t, see this guide.

Shop – Tote Bag for Celiacs

gluten free travel

Now in the Legal Nomads Shop: a section for celiacs. A percentage of proceeds from the Bull-Woven Tote will go to the Beyond Celiac Foundation. Tote bags and t-shirts with the slogan, “I’m not being trendy, I have the disease”.

Gluten Free Travel: City Guides on Legal Nomads