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holidaying abroad with muliple intolerances

(14 Posts)
SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Sat 05-Jan-13 22:03:16

I'm feeling a lot more brave about this, but DH is still to be persuaded. The DCs would be quite happy living for a week on GF ham sandwiches (even without spread if they needed to!!)

reastie Thu 03-Jan-13 18:38:33

Hi, I'm gluten free and when I've been on foreign holidays I've always taken alot of specialist food with me in my case so I know for the week I have my own special breakfast cereal, bread and flour (so with the flour I can make many things). Can you get any powdered dairy free milk at all? Maybe that would be a space saving way of taking some. I usually take some snacks and stock cubes too (as I can't always read the foreign ones to know if they're safe). I've found in recent years some countries have got very good at specialist free from type foods in supermarkets. I think I found Switzerland particularly good. Austria had a few bits and a couple of places in France I went to did too. But I always assumed I wouldn't be able to get anything and took enough so I could cope with basic stuff where we went using my provisions. I ate things like rice and potatoes and vegetables alot (I'm veggie but you can add meat to that too). It wasn't a particularly exciting diet but it was fine and I didn't worry about contamination as I knew I was safe. Things like gluten you have to know so many foreign words to check if it's gluten free as it might not be obvious on packaging, so it can be tricky with some foods to know if they're OK or not. We always self cater as I find that less stressful. I admit 3/4 of my suitcase is food to take away, but at least I'm fine once we're there.

JoleneB Thu 03-Jan-13 18:32:39

for those of you wanting translations

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Thu 03-Jan-13 08:51:39

Very interesting to hear of your experiences-thanks. I think it's dh I've got to persuade now!

trixymalixy Wed 02-Jan-13 23:08:05

We skied in Flaine last year and there were no allergy friendly products available in resort as everything has to be brought up the mountain. We were full board with Crystal and the chef was absolutely amazing and would do separate food for the DC, one day they got practically a side of salmon between them! They did have soya milk, but that would be useless for you.

We took one whole suitcase full of food and wine as the DC needed snacks for ski lessons and we took oat milk and cereal as we weren't sure before we went what the food would be like. We wrapped the oat milk cartons in cling film and then double bagged. Spread will be fine as the hold will be pretty cold as will the bus luggage compartment.

We have also holidayed in France not in a ski resort, but they weren't really as good at allergy provision as they are in this country, soya stuff was available, but not much else so I'd take stuff with you.

OrangeforDd Wed 02-Jan-13 22:57:59

Hi, We holiday in France with one gluten free and one with dairy egg and nut allergies...self catering. I do bring margarine, cereal, maybe some snacks for my allergic son. We stick to foods which we know are safe i.e. those I can cook from scratch. Meat chicken and fish with vegetables mostly and fruit. If cooking pasta I bring gluten free pasta from the UK. We are not very adventurous though last trip did overnight in a hotel which meant two restaurant meals. There was nothing gluten free to eat for breakfast but I had fruit with me. For the evening meal the restaurant was extremely helpful but we stayed with simple foods such as steak and chips and salad for my allergic son. One trip many years ago we found that if a product contained less than a certain percentage of a food it did not have to be listed, so a sorbet which appeared dairy free was not in fact. This may have changed, but we no longer take the risk. I would buy an ice lolly for him instead, for example, where I could be more certain it would be dairy free.
The supermarkets were fine, but we do understand some French. There was also a free from type section in the large supermarkets. The fruit in July was absolutey delicious!! It is a pain having to shop and cook so much but we try to turn the supermarket into a bit of an adventure. Oh do beware motorway services. Salad and chips were good there and sometimes a large hot ham or roast which they were cutting slices from. Good luck

Seriouslysleepdeprived Wed 02-Jan-13 22:37:04

I'm gluten, dairy & soy free & holiday ok. You need to be organised & take essentials with you. I take my own milk, bread, chocolate etc. i don't bother trying eat out but self cater easily.

Go somewhere with good supermarkets. I went to Tunisia one year - big mistake. I ended up with the jacket potato scenario you described. Make sure you can read the basic ingredients list. Spain & Italy are good for gluten free. In some Spanish supermarkets they label their own brand food if its gluten free. Really helpful.

treesindoors Tue 01-Jan-13 23:46:24

What's your budget? Could you do skiing in Canada or the US? They'd have lots of Free From foods available, and you can explain yourself to waiters, etc. Also reckon the tip on Disney is a good one.

DorisIsWaiting Tue 01-Jan-13 23:43:37

Doh! sorry of course with the gluten free it's different entirely!!!

Sorry blush

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 01-Jan-13 23:30:00

Thanks both. I'm nervous about the whole thing. I certainly wouldn't want to book a holiday tha I'd flown to and then find that the three of them could only live on jacket potatoes with tuna for the week (as dh doesn't even like it!) and wrangle over trying to get a refund. I get the impression that some European countries are nowhere near as clued up as we are.

Skiing would be with other families (we wouldn't bother going to the effort on our own at the moment and one of them speaks the relevant language) and northern France would just be if we went by ourselves (so two totally different options).

Doris because of the gluten-free side of it, the soya flour isn't an issue for us (although Genius took 5 months to get back to Dh about whether or not their new bread had soya in it - they said none was added, but couldn't guarantee soya-free as have no testing equipment, just in case this is read by anyone else who needs to know). The plug in cool box sounds like a possibility if we go ahead. I have a couple of friends who I think would provide French translations - will PM you if I ever get that far with this possible plan!

EweBrokeMyManger Tue 01-Jan-13 23:25:48

This isnt what you asked but in honour of the Disney thread thats ongoing.

Disney is one of the only places that routinely provides food for multiple intolerances. In WDW the chef will come out and talk to you and they are totally clued up about it all. Irritating that other, cheaper and more normal places cant be the same.

DorisIsWaiting Tue 01-Jan-13 23:19:40

We haveb't travel abroad yet but dh and dd3 are dairy free and dd1 is soya free as well so I am really interested in this thread.

With regard to keeping things cool we have a plugin fridge/ coolbox for the car when we go camping mostly for dd2's drugs but we also keep spreads etc in there. We have one that also heats and it got plugged in the wrong way once if I could buy it again I would try to avoid that feature as we lost the meds and the food which was fine as we were only a day short of the end of the holiday (and In this country so we could buy more food).

Do you avoid the soya flour in bread products? we find that v tricky. I would love a list of transalations to search for in French, we were going to go abroad this year (live very near the ferry) but we have put it of for another year.

Good Luck

gameday Tue 01-Jan-13 23:12:02

Do you actually want to go to northern France? (Not that there's anything wrong with northern France.) If you're going to all the effort that this holiday will involve... then go where you want to be. Go to a ski resort. Ideally, go somewhere you speak the language and can communicate your needs. Pick a location, then ask for advice on what's available there .. maybe it's easy to find dairy-free spread at a ski resort of your choosing.

SurvivalOfTheUnfittest Tue 01-Jan-13 23:04:49

I know some of you do this regularly, but it will be our first time. We would be taking three gluten-, dairy- and soya-free people who become sick and poorly on the first day of ingesting them, particularly from the dairy (i.e. I know that we are very lucky that they are not allergic, but a holiday would be pretty much ruined if they all spent the week throwing up and generally feeling rubbish). I'm assuming, from what I've read, that self-catering in France would be the easiest as we could drive over on the ferry/train, carrying their foods. (Any tips on keeping dairy free spread etc.. cool?) If we were looking at flying, would this be possible (when needing it for 3 out of 4 passengers) or would I need to try and source it once abroad? Ideally, we'd like to ski, but I'm thinking a trial trip to northern France might be a good option instead to cut our teeth! Any advice gratefully received.

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