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 Travel Translation Cards

I have used existing translation cards extensively, but have found I still get sick because many people do not know what foods have wheat in them. As a result, I’m building a detailed gluten free travel card guide list with tailored dish and ingredient names, since this is currently missing in the marketplace. Thus far readers who have used the Japanese card have said it allowed them to eat without getting sick. Yay! Translation cards are in the guides for each country. I will be adding to them as the new translations come through. In the pipeline: China, Morocco, Spain, Thailand — more to follow!

Translation card and guide for Japan

Translation card and guide for Greece

Translation card and guide for Italy

Translation card and guide for Vietnam

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

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” can be found here.

Gluten Free Travel: City Guides on Legal Nomads