Eli Orzessek finds the answers to your travel questions.

My husband has coeliac disease, which means he needs to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

It's not a trend for him, but an actual serious health concern. He hasn't travelled since his diagnosis, but I would like us to take a trip together somewhere in the not-so-distant
future. However, he's a bit wary. Are there any destinations that are good for gluten-free tourists?

Caitlin Jeffreys

I can imagine that would be stressful to consider, especially when a lot of eateries don't take the gluten-free thing entirely seriously - mostly because of bandwagon-jumpers who don't take it that seriously themselves.

I've done a bit of research and found some options. The first is Ireland. Apparently the Emerald Isle is somewhat of a gluten-free Mecca, because of a high proportion of people with coeliac there. Gluten-free products were available there long before it became a diet trend. Check out the website Gluten Free Ireland (glutenfreeireland.com) - its search engine provides information on where to eat around the country.


A surprising option is Italy - despite being known for pizza and pasta, it is actually very accommodating to gluten-free guests. Memorise the phrases "io sono celiaca" (I am coeliac) and "senza glutine" (gluten-free) and you should be well looked after. There are also plenty of gluten-free products in the supermarkets.

Otherwise, you needn't travel far to start - Australia is regarded as a haven for coeliacs.

I've always noticed plenty of gluten-free options in the cafes and restaurants I've been to over there. Do any other coeliac readers have any tips to share? Send them in!

Readers respond

Travel Editor Winston Aldworth and I have been thoroughly (and probably rightfully) schooled regarding our advice on jandals on the plane ['Ask Away', November 14]. Rather than being simply an aesthetic issue, there's an important safety component we overlooked - helpfully pointed out to us by several readers.

"As a retired airline captain, your answer concerns me greatly," wrote Russell Stewart.

"The main reason for wearing substantial footwear on an aircraft is because in the [hopefully] unlikely event of a serious ground accident where passengers may have to evacuate the aircraft with burning fuel around them, jandals provide no protection whatsoever for the feet."

"I would agree with the girlfriend but, aesthetics aside, closed shoes are safer for the whole trip even if nothing goes wrong," writes Richard Kean. "Some years ago SIA quickly redesigned the dainty slippers worn by their female flight attendants following a takeoff accident in Taiwan. Many flight attendants were treated for serious burns on their feet after returning into the burning cabin to rescue passengers."


Guess we'll be leaving the jandals in our luggage, then. Although considering how many people slip their shoes off as soon as they sit down, we're probably all screwed anyway.

Email your questions to askaway@nzherald.co.nz
Eli cannot answer all questions and can't correspond with readers.