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Great Britian Tour and Gluten Free Eating

26 Mar 2008 Explorer1094522 said

Hey,<BR>Has anyone been on the Great Britian 10 day tour that has celiac disease and cannot eat gluten. My friend and I are planning on going this July and I am nervous about the meals and if I will be able to have some meal accomodations. <BR>Any comments would be greatly appreciated! <BR>Thanks
  • Read the responses 12 responses so far
  • 26 Mar 2008 Explorer1094244 said


    Hi there. I checked with my travel agent and she advised me that with any tour, contiki tries to attend to food allergies including gluten. Just be sure to notify your tour manager of the allergy as soon as your trip begins. Also, try planning ahead by visiting supermarkets for fresh fruit and snacks so this will alleviate the stress of potentially getting sick…hope this helps.

  • 27 Mar 2008 Explorer1094522 said


    Thank you! Do you think the continental breakfasts will be danishes and muffins? That is what worries me!
    I am hoping that I would be able to grab some fruit and eggs… but I don’t know if it will just be a quick grab a muffin and eat on the bus.

  • 27 Mar 2008 Explorer1094244 said


    In many instances breakfasts usually consist of muffins, etc as you mentioned, but I’m sure your tour manager can arrange the egg and fruit thing…but just to be on the safe side, maybe you should bring some gluten free breakfast bars or protein bars with you since you will be away for only 10 days. Any small, packaged gluten free snacks will also get you through those times when you are hungry and there is nothing gluten free around.

  • 27 Mar 2008 Rob said


    I actually did this tour last September. Trust me, you will have an awesome time. Highly recommend doing the Southern Ireland portion. Anyway, to the facts…if I recall…most of the hotels that we stayed at did serve an english breakfast. (We are in Great Britian you know). I believe it varied, but served eggs, sausage, hash browns, bacon etc etc. I trust you will be fine. However, I would call Contiki and let them know of your allergy, and also let your TM know at the pre-departure meeting.

    Hope this helps,


  • 29 Mar 2008 desdemona said


    When are you going?

    I am also going on the Great Britain tour and have to eat Gluten free also! I made sure when I booked my trip to tell them about it prior. Even the airline is aware of it for my meal on my flight over. I am a little concerned still so i will bring my own snack bars and such.

    It is certainly not easy but I am hopeful that it will work out!

  • 30 Mar 2008 Explorer1094522 said


    Thanks for all the responses everyone! I talked with a friend of mine who did a contiki tour and she loved it. And I did some searching about contiki tours and food concerns and have found a lot about them being very helpful. So I feel a bit better, though it is always scary leaving home and trusting others when it comes to food! But I am very excited to go! I am planning on doing the July 31 departure tour that goes until Aug 9. Is this the same one as you desdemona? That would be neat if we were on the same tour! We could bug the tour guide together!

  • 1 Apr 2008 Thirsty Frog said


    I just did this trip in September 08, and you will have an incredible time!! I too am gluten and wheat free, and found it very difficult to eat there. Although Contiki tries to accommodate (and my TM was incredible), they can only give your dietary instructions to the chefs at the restaurants. For a country that is supposed to be very Celiac aware, many chefs are in the dark. Almost every single night I ended up with plain chicken and plan potato or vegetables. That’s a lot of plain food for two whole weeks. I also stayed in Edinburgh for a week before the trip and found that grocery stores are better, but you really don’t come near them during the tour. Lunches were a big problem, you end up eating lost of salads…you guessed it…plain.

    Take as much food as you can fit in your suitcase or else you will die of boring food.

  • 4 Apr 2008 Explorer1094522 said


    This is interesting. I read that there was lots of gluten free all over Scotland and Ireland (I am spending about a week in Ireland after the tour). Dissapointing to hear for sure. Any recommendations on food to take for the tour? I was planning on bringing a bunch of fruit bars and nuts bars (if I can have nuts on the bus – peaunut allergies?), rice cakes… any other ideas? I feel really sick when I don’t have some protein and carbs. I am going to miss my eggs… I usually have them every day for breakfast for some protein. Thanks for your help!

  • 8 Apr 2008 desdemona said



    I am going on the May 8 tour….so I will get there before you, I can update you on how it goes when I get back. Maybe that will make it easier for you! I am planning on brining a lot of my own snacks….

    I agree with Thirsty Frog,,,we will probably eat the typical plain foods and I was under the impression since Celiac originated from the UK, they would be aware and on the ball….Sad to hear it is a challenge….

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will not be as bad as we think.

  • 8 Apr 2008 Thirsty Frog said


    Surprisingly, I would recommend bringing a hot/cold bag. In two places the chefs made me a special sauce (the only two places I might add) and they let me take it with me. They were both cream or rose sauces that had to stay cold so I couldn’t take them.
    If you live in Toronto I’d recommend going to the big carrot, if not your favourite organic store. I was able to find and take gluten-free granola bars, power bars, and breakfast bars that were very high in protein. Added fruit and nuts from grocery stores overseas.

    Failing that you can order online many snacks from the UK to be delivered to you, depending on where you live, that you can then take into the UK with you. How’s that for irony.

    Where are you staying in Ireland? Admittedly Ireland is better than Scotland for G/F eating.

    What I do wherever I go in the world is give myself a day pre-tour in the new country. Then before I go I do some random googling and find organic or g/f specific stores that I can visit on day-1, before the tour starts. Then you don’t have to worry about importing food or about wasting hours aimlessly wandering around your first city.

  • 24 Apr 2008 Explorer1094522 said


    I would love to hear about your trip after Desdemona! I hope it goes well for both of us!
    Thanks for all your advice Thirsty Frog.. Sounds like you do lots of traveling! I am going a day ahead and my plan was to pick up some stuff down there that I may not be able to fly with.
    In Ireland… I would like to go to Dublin and Galway. Want to check out the bigger centers. Not pre-booking anything. Just going to find accomodation down there and hopefully that will go well!

  • 24 Apr 2008 Thirsty Frog said


    Yes, I have problems staying in one spot. I’ve been to Italy, Greece, Ireland, Scotland, Amsterdam, Australia, New Zealand, etc etc. Can’t stop. Dublin and Galway were two of my favourite spots. The bus system in s. ireland is fantastic, I had no trouble at all and the station is walking distance. Saved lots of cash.

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