POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 17, 2012
Question: I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease and, on the advice of my doctor, have started following a gluten-free diet. I have a lot of business travel coming up, though, and am concerned about hotel breakfasts. My company's travel policy generally has folks on my level (middle management) staying in moderate chain hotels that offer a breakfast buffet. It's sort of expected that you'll eat breakfast at the hotel rather than go out and submit a receipt. However, I don't think many of these hotels stock gluten-free items for breakfast. What should I do?
Answer: Here are two things you can try. First, call hotels before you book your room. Ask to speak to the general manager and explain your situation. Perhaps the hotel does offer a few gluten-free items already (after all, a lot of people follow this sort of diet, so you can't be the only guest concerned about this), or perhaps a hotel employee can pick up some items especially for you. I also would talk to your boss or human-resources department about it.
You're following this diet because your doctor recommended it, so the company might be cool with your expensing breakfast. I wouldn't head over to the local five-star hotel for its $49.99 steak-and-eggs breakfast, but if you do a little online research in advance, you can probably find a nearby diner that could accommodate your diet at a reasonable price.
Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at firstname.lastname@example.org.