My experience with hotels has been very mixed. I find it quite stressful staying in a hotel, because you have to rely on so many different people to understand what gluten-free means. From the front of house staff, to the many different chefs, to the room service attendants, getting a clear message to a busy kitchen can be very difficult. Some hotels will go out of their way to be helpful and others find it all too much to cope with.
When travelling abroad as a family we’ve found the best solution is to stay in self-catering accommodation. This gives you the opportunity to prepare meals like breakfast and lunch time picnics, leaving you only one meal to eat out if you feel like it. It definitely takes the pressure off knowing that there is less likelihood of your child getting ill and you can choose to eat out, when you find a restaurant that will cater for your child.
Where you choose to go is also important. If possible do a bit of research before you go. Some countries are much more gluten aware. There is a really useful website www.glutenfreepassport.com which has free downloads of dining cards with translations in different languages.
It’s worth pointing out that motorway restaurants and airports are notorious black spots for gluten-free food. My advice is to bring a range of snacks with you. Even if you have ordered a gluten-free meal on your flight, it doesn’t guarantee that it will be delivered. On a short haul flight you will manage- but for a long haul flight you will need a back up plan.
Suitcase Store Cupboard
Regardless of where you stay, here are a few handy things to pack in your suitcase: